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Organising Team

Stephen Whiteman
Chief Investigator, Site and Space
Senior Lecturer, University of Sydney

Stephen Whiteman is a specialist in the art, architecture and landscape in Asia, focusing particularly on global early modern China. He is Senior Lecturer in Art History at the University of Sydney and the recipient of fellowships and awards from the National Gallery of Art, the Foundation for Landscape Studies, and Dumbarton Oaks, among others. He is author, co-author, and co-editor of several volumes, including Thirty-Six Views: the Kangxi emperor’s Mountain Estate in poetry and prints (Harvard, 2016), Floating time: Chinese prints, 1954-2002 (Power, 2016), Ambitious alignments: new histories of Southeast Asian art (Power/NGS, 2018), and Constructing Kangxi: landscape, image, and ideology in early modern China (Washington, forthcoming). He received his PhD from Stanford University in 2011 and his AB (Honours) from Brown University in 1998.

Adrian Vickers
Chief Investigator, Site and Space
Professor of Southeast Asian Studies, University of Sydney

Adrian Vickers researches and publishes on the cultural history of Southeast Asia. His research utilises expertise in the Indonesian language as well as drawing on sources in Balinese, Kawi (Old and Middle Javanese) and Dutch. He has held a series of Australian Research Council grants (Discovery and Linkage), the most recent looking at modern and contemporary Indonesian art, Cold War history, and labour and industry in Southeast Asia. As part of a linkage grant on the history of Balinese painting, he is preparing a virtual museum, continuing previous pioneering work in eResearch and teaching. His books include the highly popular Bali: A Paradise Created (originally published in 1989), The Pearl Frontier: Indonesian Labor and Indigenous Encounters in Australia’s Northern Trading Network (2015, with Dr Julia Martínez, funded by an ARC Discovery Project Grant) — winner of the 2016 Northern Territory Chief Minister’s History Book Award and the 2016 Queensland Literary Awards USQ History Prize, A History of Modern Indonesia (2013) and Balinese Art: Paintings and Drawings of Bali, 1800-2010 (2012). Professor Vickers has supervised more than 32 PhD theses to completion, and has taught subjects on Southeast Asian history and culture from first year to Honours and Masters levels. Professor Vickers is frequently asked to comment on Indonesia and Australian-Indonesian relations for national and international media.

Mark Ledbury
Chief Investigator, Site and Space
Power Professor of Art History and Visual Culture, University of Sydney

Mark Ledbury took his degrees at the University of Cambridge and the University of Sussex, and his first academic post was as lecturer in Cultural History at the University of Portsmouth. He then moved to the University of Manchester where he was lecturer in Art History, until he joined the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Massachusetts, in 2003. As Associate Director of the Research and Academic Program at the Clark, he oversaw the expansion of the research programs ambition and reach. He devised, planned and ran workshops, conferences and partnerships and worked to develop and oversee a lively residential scholars’ program. As Director of the Power Institute, Professor Ledbury ensures that the Power furthers its research and public engagement mission through talks, conferences and the support of research and publications.

Siobhan Campbell
Project Administrator, Site and Space
PhD Graduate, University of Sydney

Siobhan Campbell is a lecturer and researcher in the Asian Studies Program at the University of Sydney and is currently a research fellow for the ARC Discovery Project ‘Institutions and the Making of Indonesian Contemporary Art’. She received her PhD from the University of Sydney in 2013, investigating classical Balinese paintings to analyse the processes of art collecting and the relationships between museum collections and present-day art practices. She is the recipient of postdoctoral awards from the International Institute of Asian Studies in Leiden, the Netherlands and an Australian Endeavour Fellowship which she undertook at Udayana University in Bali, Indonesia.

Hedren SUm
Digital Lead, Site and Space
Digital Scholarship Librarian, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Hedren Sum is Digital Scholarship Librarian at Nanyang Technological University. He has developed and led various digital humanities projects (e.g. aungsoeillustrations.org), with particular expertise in interface design, data organisation, archiving and data visualisation for access and discovery. Hedren received his MSc (Information Studies) from NTU and BSc (Information Systems Management) from Singapore Management University. He is also an active member of the Singapore Computer Society, where he is a member of the New Media Committee and Co-Chair for the steering committee of SCS Splash Awards​​​, an annual national infocomm media competition in Singapore.

Huế, Vietnam

Caroline Herbelin
Field Director (Hue), Site and Space
Assistant Professor, History, University of Toulouse, France

Caroline Herbelin holds a Ph.D. in Art History from the Sorbonne University, Paris. She has been teaching at the University of Toulouse as an Assistant professor since 2011. Her book Architectures du Vietnam Colonial was published in France by INHA/CTHS in 2016. In it, she examines the diversity of cultural exchanges embodied in the built environment thereby moving beyond analyses equating architecture with colonial power. She especially focuses on the way the Vietnamese appropriated and created the build environment during the colonial period. She is currently working on a social history of art in colonial Vietnam, focusing on the history of private collections, exhibitions, and art institutions as well as exploring the way arts and handicrafts were used and framed in colonial policies. She has co-edited a collection of essays on Vietnamese art and a catalogue about French Indochina for an exhibition held in 2013 at the Musée de l’armée in Paris. She has published several articles and book chapters on art and architecture in Vietnam and colonial culture.

William Ma
Assistant Professor, Louisiana State University, Louisiana

William Ma is the assistant professor of Asian Art History in the College of Art and Design at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge. He received his BA and PhD in the history of art from the University of California at Berkeley. He specialises in the artistic exchange between China and Europe through the lens of Jesuit missions. His research interest includes material culture, workshop practices, aesthetic pedagogy, Jesuit missionary art in late imperial China, and the relationship between export art and the imperial court during the High Qing. In addition to LSU, he has taught courses in Asian art history, urbanism and the arts, Buddhist art, at the University of San Francisco, Lewis and Clark College, and his alma mater. A former Mellon Curatorial Fellow at the Peabody Essex Museum, Ma has worked at the Las Vegas Art Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Guggenheim-Hermitage Museum.

Đỗ Tường Linh
Chief Investigator, Site and Space

Đỗ Tường Linh pursued her BA in Art History and Art Criticism at Vietnam University of Fine Art and her MA in Contemporary Art and Art Theory of Asia and Africa at SOAS in London. Her research and curatorial practice ranges from art and politics, conceptualism and post-colonial studies. She has engaged in the art scene in Vietnam since 2005 and worked and collaborated with important galleries, art spaces, institutions and projects such as Art Vietnam gallery, Dong Son Today Art Foundation, Nha San studio, Hanoi Doclab and the Goethe Institute. Linh is currently the artistic director and co-founder of Sixspace (sixspace.vn), an independent platform for art, education and community projects in Hanoi and a member of SEA currents, a network/ platform for Southeast Asian Art in London – https://seacurrents.org/

Phi Nguyen
Architect and Researcher, Ho Chi Minh City

Phi Nguyen is an architect/ researcher practicing in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. She holds a Master in Architecture degree from Harvard University, Graduate School of Design (GSD) and a Bachelor degree (summa cum laude) from Berea College in the USA. Phi has experience working in both art/design practice and research from renown firms and institutions such as the Harvard Art Museums (Boston, U.S.A), Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum (New York, U.S.A.), Kengo Kuma and Associates (Tokyo, Japan), GUNDPartnership (Boston) and the Archeological Exploration of Sardis Program (Sardis, Turkey). Her research interests lie in the preservation of architecture as cultural heritage and collective identity through both traditional and contemporary design lenses. Phi is currently organising a multi-media exhibition on the neglected architectural sites of Hue City. She chaired the paper session “Architectural Preservation in Asia” at the Society of Architectural Historians’ 71st Annual International Conference in St. Paul, USA in 2018.

Ylan Vo
Landscape Architect and Researcher, St. Louis, MO

Ylan Vo is a designer and researcher focused on strategies that integrate social and economic development with sustainable natural systems management. Her recent investigations concern the role of natural systems and environmental discourse in post-conflict and militarised landscapes. This research spans a range of sites impacted by Agent Orange from the Vietnam War, as well as more broadly the global spatial practices of U.S. security and militarisation including tactical environmental modification, preservation, and territorial expansion. Ylan earned her Master of Architecture and Master of Landscape Architecture degrees from Washington University in St. Louis. She also holds a BA in History of Art and Architecture from Brown University, where she served on the planning committee of the international conference Better World by Design. Ylan has previously worked in design-thinking education and outreach at Washington University, St. Louis Artworks, and The Nature Conservancy. She currently works as a landscape and urban designer at Forum Studio in St. Louis.

Penang, Malaysia

Simon SY Soon
Field Director (Penang), Site and Space
Senior Lecturer, University of Malaya

Simon Soon is Senior Lecturer at the Visual Art Program, Cultural Centre, University of Malaya, where he teaches the art histories of Southeast Asia. His broader areas of interest include comparative modernities in the art, the built environment, and art historiography. He also has a keen interest in the visual dimensions of arcane knowledge and its social histories. He has written on various topics related to 20th-century art across Asia and occasionally curates exhibitions, including Love Me in My Batik: Modern Batik Art from Malaysia and Beyond. He is also an editorial member of Southeast of Now: Directions in Contemporary and Modern Art in Asia, and a team member of the Malaysia Design Archive, a repository, education and research platform on visual cultures of the 20th century.

Raisa Kamila
Independent Researcher, Aceh, Indonesia

Raisa Kamila is an independent researcher currently based in her hometown of Banda Aceh, Indonesia. She recently graduated from the MA program in Colonial and Global History at Leiden University and obtained her bachelor degree from the Faculty of Philosophy at Gadjah Mada University. Her research interests lie in the social history of areas along the Straits of Malacca, particularly Aceh, from the late colonial until the Cold War period. Before returning to Aceh, Raisa had various internships and research commissions investigating a range of issues including indigenous land rights, wars of decolonisation and popular culture in Islamic society.

Lawrence Chua
Assistant Professor, Architectural History, Syracuse University, New York

Lawrence Chua is a historian of modern architecture and the urban built environment. He is an Assistant Professor in the School of Architecture at Syracuse University and is currently a Marie S. Curie FCFP Junior Fellow at the Freiburg Institute of Advanced Studies. His writing has appeared in the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Fabrications: the journal of the Society of Architectural Historians of Australia and New Zealand, the Journal of Urban History, TDSR, and Senses and Society. His current project examines Buddhist felicities and urban utopias in 20th-century Bangkok.

Juno Ooi
PhD Candidate, English, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur

Juno Hoay-Fern Ooi is a PhD candidate in the English Department of the University of Malaya. Her doctoral thesis titled ‘L’informe in Literature: The Aesthetic Philosophy of Georges Bataille’ studies the position of l’informe as a concept embedded in Bataille’s system to understand the place of art and literature in Bataille’s philosophy, and subsequently argues how Bataillean formlessness as a process may operate in literature. Her other research interests include the manifestation of l’informe in architecture, whether through the negation of form and function, materials used, or subversion of power and original significance imbued to the structure. Her current position as a graduate research assistant for Little India(s) In Malaysia: Contested Identities And Heritage Tourism involves looking at cultural mapping efforts in Kuala Lumpur and Penang, specifically those by ArtsEd and ChowKitKita. Her hopes for Site and Space are to study the spatial and material aspects of Derridean hauntology by researching structures and art that were never completed, rebuilt, abandoned, or merely in planning but ultimately never constructed. She was awarded a B.A. in Philosophy with First Class honours from the University of London.

Napong Tao Rugkhapan
Lecturer, Urban Planning, Thammasat University, Thailand

Tao Rugkhapan received his AB in History of Art & Architecture and International Relations from Brown University. He went on to complete his MA at University College London and his PhD in Urban Planning at the University of Michigan. Prior to his doctorate, he practiced as an urban planner for the Department of Town & Country Planning in Thailand. His interest in historic city centres in Southeast Asia led to a comparative doctoral dissertation on the Chinatowns of Penang, Ho Chi Minh City and Bangkok. His current research interests fall into two areas: the technopolitics of urban planning and cross-national circulation of urban development models. The first line of inquiry investigates the knowledge politics of planning techniques, e.g. mapmaking, zoning, architectural guidelines, building codes. His second research area explores how imaginaries of successful urbanisms, e.g. best practices, case studies, exemplars, success stories, are mobilised from one place to another. Particular attention is paid to social conflicts and contentions that necessarily accompany such urban policy imaginaries.

Huế, Vietnam

Pen Sereypagna
Director, Vann Molyvann Project, Phnom Penh

Pen Sereypagna is the director of the Vann Molyvann Project and urban researcher based in Phnom Penh City. He has been awarded scholarships and fellowships including the Chevening Scholarship (2017-2018), US/ICOMOS and East West Center (2015-2016), Sa Sa Arts Project (2014-2015), Asian Cultural Council (2012-2013) and the School of Constructed Environments PARSONS as a visiting scholar (2012). Pagna’s work on Genealogy of Urban Form Phnom Penh, Genealogy of Bassac, and Phnom Penh Visions has been the subject of several exhibitions and presentations in Cambodia and selected venues in Asia, Australia, and the U.S. such as Phnom Penh SaSa Bassac, Art Stage Singapore, Bangkok H Gallery, PARSONS the New School, Taipei Biennale 2016, and Sydney Biennale 2018. He has contributed essays to scholarly journals and books including NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore (forthcoming 2019), Cité De L’architecture & Du Patrimoine in Paris (forthcoming 2019), National University of Singapore’s Urban Asias (2018), Chulalongkorn University’s Nakhara journal (2015), and PARSONS’ journal (2014). Pagna received a Bachelor of Architecture and Urbanism from the Royal University of Fine Arts in Phnom Penh and an MA from London Metropolitan University.

Thomas Patton
Assistant Professor, Religious Studies, City University of Hong Kong

Thomas Patton is assistant professor of Buddhist and Southeast Asian studies at the City University of Hong Kong. His research is on lived religion in Myanmar, specifically examining local cults of saints and peoples’ relationships with them, shrines, miracles, and other manifestations of religious devotion. He has published essays in the Journal of the American Academy of Religion and Journal of Asian Studies, among others. His book, The Buddha’s Wizards: Magic, Healing and Protection in Burmese Buddhism, will be published in 2018 with Columbia University Press.

François Tainturier
Director, Inya Institute, Yangon

François Tainturier, a PhD graduate from the Art and Archaeology Department at SOAS, London, specialises in the study and preservation of past built environments in Southeast Asia, the concept and practice of space and spatial narratives, and the development of cartography and geographical thought in Myanmar/Burma. He is the author of Building dhamma: Mandalay and the Burmese art of making cities(forthcoming). Based in Yangon since 2005 he has been living in Southeast Asia for more than 15 years. He is the Director of the Inya Institute, a Yangon-based higher-education research and training institute dedicated to advancing the social sciences, the arts and humanities as they are related to Myanmar.

Roger Nelson
Postdoctoral Fellow, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Roger Nelson is an art historian and independent curator, and Postdoctoral Fellow at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. His research considers images, texts and urban spaces in relation to discourses of modernity and contemporaneity in Southeast Asia. He is co-founding co-editor of Southeast of Now: Directions in Contemporary and Modern Art in Asia, a journal published by NUS Press at the National University of Singapore. He completed his PhD at the University of Melbourne, on ‘Cambodian arts’ of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Roger has contributed essays to scholarly journals including ABE Journal: Architecture Beyond Europe, Stedelijk Studies, and Udaya: Journal of Khmer Studies; specialist art magazines; as well as books and numerous exhibition catalogues. He has curated exhibitions and other projects in Australia, Cambodia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Roger’s translation of Suon Sorin’s 1961 Khmer nationalist novel, A New Sun Rises Over the Old Land, is forthcoming with NUS Press.

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