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SEACS 43rd AGM & William Willetts Lecture 2012

SEACS 43rd AGM will commence at 6.45pm.
Friday, 30 March 2012
The POD, Level 16, National Library Board, Victoria Street
Refreshments will be served from 6.30pm.

William Willetts Lecture 2012

The lecture will commence at 7.30pm, at the same date and venue as above.

This year’s lecture, tentatively entitled “Art of Angkor: Monuments and their Dating”, will be given by Prof. Kwa Chong Guan, author of the book, 700 years of Singapore History.

The lecture begins with William Willetts’ interest in Angkor monuments. The lecture proceeds to discuss the challenges of dating the Angkor monuments and how the art historian Philip Stern developed a “method” of attempting it in the late 1920’s, which later influenced a whole generation of French scholars – P Dupont, J Bosselier, M Bernstein, among others – down to today. The talk will broadly cover the wider issue of dating art by its style and not get too technical on art history methodologies and Angkor art. A more developed lecture will be delivered to archaeology students who are currently now doing a field trip in Siem Reap

Summary of lecture

The lecture begins with the founder of SEACS William Willetts’ interest in Angkor monuments. The lecture proceeds to discuss the challenges of dating the Angkor monuments and how the French art historian Philip Stern developed a method of attempting it in the late 1920s, which later influenced a whole generation of French scholars – P. Dupont, J. Bosselier, M. Bernstein, among others – down to today. The talk will broadly cover the wider issue of dating art by its style and not get too technical on art history methodologies and Angkor art.

Three YouTube videos of the talk are now available online.

Prof. Kwa is a Member of the National Heritage Board and Chairman of its National Archives Board. He is also a member of the Asian Civilisations Board and chairs its Acquisition sub-committee. His association with oral history and museums started in the mid-1980’s when he was seconded to reorganize the Oral History Center and concurrently the old National Museum, which he led through a strategic planning process to expand it to its current three museums and their consolidation under the National Heritage Board. He was also founding Chairman of the Singapore Philatelic Museum and consultant to the Malay Heritage Foundation on the establishment of their museum. More recently, Prof. Kwa helped the Singapore Armed Forces plan and develop their Army Museum. He has also taught history at the National Institute of Education and the National University of Singapore as a member of their adjunct staff. He serves as Head of External Programmes at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at the Nanyang Technological University where he is involved in various regional security projects ranging from energy and security to policy analysis for regional security crisis management.
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