Sunday, 9 December 2007

NUS Museum South Asian Collection | Fragments, Histories, Contexts


Date: 10 December 2007 - 6 April 2008
Venue: NUS Museum

An addition to the second hanging, Highlights of South-Southeast Asian Collection, NUS Museum revisits an exhibition of classical Indian sculptures and paintings by its first curator Michael Sullivan in 1955. These "artifacts" that range what many scholars refer to as the “medieval period”, present a rich and complex insight into "Indian" architectural forms and iconography. They also help us in bringing to light various sociohistorically loaded interregional complexities and influences that seem to bind the culturally rich regions of South and Southeast Asia. It may also be pertinent to note that this curatorial project attempts to push beyond the above-mentioned "historicizations" via the inclusion of contemporary Indian art. Michael Sullivan identifies the central problematique that is not entirely focused on the “medieval idiom” that these artifacts represent, but on relocating these artifacts firstly in the contemporary Singapore art discourse and secondly in the Museum’s very own objectives. As such, the exhibition hopes to weave together a narrative that picks up from the second hanging by adopting a theme of "postcolonial recontextualization", but to also push further by exploring the "unexplored cites of interaction" that the South-Southeast Asian collection at the NUS Museum so vividly represents.

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