Posts categorised under "History"
Eric Goh pieces together a history of Taman Sari, reading between the lines of existing sources and questioning how we write art.
The Politics of Pleasure in Taman Sari
Delving into previously unpublished sources, Noelle paints the life of rickshaw pullers in the city of Zamboanga during the turn of the century.
The Jinriksha Puller Is There
Nicole Ong takes a closer look at the album art produced by Koh Lee Meng, one of the first graphic designers in Malaysia. Through a study of his designs in the 70s and 80s, she tells a story about an emerging industry.
Designing Record Sleeves in 1980s Malaysia
Examining a tranche of early 20th-century photographs of Malay women, O for Other critiques the layered histories behind the images, reckoning with their legacies.
Postcards of 20th-century Women in the Malay Archipelago
Where does the creole stand in the construction of Malayness? Simon pays attention to spaces of encounter, enacting a counter-cartography.
Shadows and Shades of Sovereignty (5/5)
A pair of tomb ancient tomb pillars from China during the Western Han dynasty open up a world between life and death filled with monuments, spatial rituals and quests for immortality.
Tomb Pillars: The Spatial Practice of Permanent Obscurity
How did the kebaya come to take on national significance across Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia? Yvonne Tan traces the cultural and social history of a costume, and how it became intertwined with the image of the state.
Nationalising the Kebaya in the Nusantara
Jann Choy and Amanda Gayle spend some time with the owners and workers at the Kwong Yik Seng Crockery Shop in Kuala Lumpur before their closure in 2019. Their video is a tender, intimate portrait of a community about to bid goodbye.
Kwong Yik Seng Crockery Shop
How did British colonialists use language and maps used to establish dominion over the land of Malaya? In this article, Simon traces the idea of indigeneity in maps, texts and photographs.
The Bahasa of Politics (4/5)
In a wide-ranging survey of sources, Simon tells a story of how nature was implicated in the colonial project of making of the Malay archipelago.
Splendid Possibilities for the Planter and the Merchant (3/5)
Mahen Bala’s social history of Malaya and Selangor Mansions emerges from a loose series of recollections from those who call or have called it their home.
Lay Sheng looks at how the child slave controversy in the early 20th century elucidated larger debates on hygienic modernity, gender propriety and endemic racism at the heart of empire.
The Mui Tsai Controversy
Simon dwells into how one early colonial journal rigidified geographical, racial and language categorisations.
Indonesia, Melayunesia (2/5)
Dennis introduces us to the original site of Merdeka Park and its transformations as new urban infrastructures were layered atop, through the lens of national history and change.
The Forgotten Park on an Urban Promontory
Sifting through the detritus of various objects from the year 1969, Ong Kar Jin tells a speculative, weaving exploration of the memories of the racial riots of 13 May 1969.