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Apa Jika, The Mis-Placed Comma.

Tan, Erika (2016) Apa Jika, The Mis-Placed Comma. In: Association for Southeast Asian Studies in the United Kingdom (ASEAUK) Conference 2016 Lecture. SOAS London., 16th September to 18 September 2016, School of Oriental and African Studies.

Type of Research: Conference, Symposium or Workshop Item
Creators: Tan, Erika

Panel 26 Curating Southeast Asia - Session 2: Repatriation

Lecture summary: Apa Jika, The Mis-Placed Comma

“When men die, they enter into history. When statues die they enter into art. This botany of death is what we call culture.” (Statues Also Die, Resnais et al. 1953).

Taking as a starting point the opening lines of the film Statues Also Die, the presentation uses the figure of a forgotten Malay weaver, Halimah Binti Abdullah, who participated in the 1924 Empire Exhibition in Wembley. A minor figure in the exhibition histories of Malaya, she exists as a series of footnotes, gaining historical attention only for the act of a premature or untimely death, in London and away from home. Her remains are located in an unmarked grave in Brockwood, Woking. The product of her labour may potentially be amongst the collections held at the Victoria & Albert Museum, and an incomplete textile on an incomplete loom may hold the record to her last creative act. The presentation explores Halimah’s status as both object and subject, and the possible forms of repatriation that might occur in the re-use and re- visiting of a minor historical figure, through the appropriating acts of an artist today. Apa Jika, The Mis-Placed Comma is a film commission for the National Gallery Singapore. Initiated as part of the Gallery’s inaugural launch in 2015, the work seeks a symbolic ‘repatriation’ of Halimah, (and of weaving and pre-colonial cultural production) attempting to insert her into the discourses of modernity that have so far excluded her. Finding a ‘home’ for Halimah, or a mechanism to re-home her becomes the focus of the art work and The National Gallery Singapore becomes a strategic site in which to do this. The question as to her status as exhibition object (statue/art) or historic subject (men/history) returns us to the quote above and questions the repatriation endeavour.

Other Contributors:
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Official Website: https://www.soas.ac.uk/cseas/aseasuk-conference-2016/
Keywords/subjects not otherwise listed: southeast asia, museology, post colonial, other modernities, exhibition histories
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Central Saint Martins
Date: 16 September 2016
Event Location: School of Oriental and African Studies
Date Deposited: 28 Jul 2017 10:35
Last Modified: 28 Jul 2017 10:35
Item ID: 11409
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/11409

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