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The Makings of Art from Southeast Asia and the Problems of Colonial Legacies brings together artists, curators, and scholars from various disciplines to rethink artistic and curatorial practices, and histories of framing and collecting objects from Southeast Asia. It aims to facilitate discussions about the continuing colonial legacies in knowledge production about art in the region as evidenced in the makings of exhibitions and the institutionalization of art historical narratives and collections. The conference contributes to ongoing global discussions about what decolonization means for the knowledge production of art by following the perspectives that begin in Southeast Asia. It addresses the politics of representation by zooming in on the histories and networks of artists, scholars, and collecting institutions from the late nineteenth century onward.

The conference is conceived of as a three-day gathering with presentations, discussions, seminars, and workshops set up in collaboration with ITB and KITLV. It will take place in Bandung, the symbolic site of political decolonization, where the spirit of liberation percolated in the staging of the Asia-Africa Conference in 1955. As two institutions that have strong ties to the history of colonization and as laboratories of colonial modernity in the East Indies and its metropole, ITB and KITLV serve as more than a symbolic site for epistemic change. Both institutions strive to produce research, artistic pedagogy, and practice that confront the shadows of colonialism. Taking Bandung as the inspiration for and connection to ongoing discussions about the decolonization of knowledge, the conference seeks to interrogate and break away from what is colonial about the representation of art from Southeast Asia.

The conference is made possible with the support of ITB and KITLV

Faculty of Art and Design at the Institute of Technology Bandung (FSRD ITB)

FSRD ITB is one of the best art and design schools in Indonesia located in the heart of Bandung city. As part of Institut Teknologi Bandung (Bandung Institut of Technology), FSRD continuously refines its academic programs to compete globally and to be relevant to various changes in the future. FSRD ITB strives to produce artists, designers, performers, and entrepreneurs with great reputations both at national and international levels. We continue to encourage our students to be creative and innovative in building a better quality future. FSRD ITB commits to giving impactful contributions, collaborations, and innovations through the breadth and depth of academic activities, research, and various creative programs both in Indonesia and abroad.

Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV)

The Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde / Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV) aims to be a world-class research institute for the study of Southeast Asia and the Caribbean, with a focus on Indonesia and the ‘Dutch’ Caribbean, in an interdisciplinary and comparative perspective. Benefitting from the unrivalled collections offered on campus by Leiden University, KITLV researchers explore (dis)continuities between the (pre)colonial and postcolonial period, and articulate their research agendas empirically and theoretically in order to advance wider debates on the meandering paths of globalization. KITLV engages with the academic community across the world, as well as with (inter)national governmental organizations, NGOs, the media, and the interested general public. KITLV is an institute of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW).