The William Willetts annual lecture 2012

by Professor Kwa Chong Guan

The lecture began with William Willetts’ interest in Angkor monuments. The lecturer then discussed the challenges of dating the Angkor monuments and how the art historian Philip Stern had 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 also covered the wider issue of dating art by its style and the importance of not getting too technical on art history methodologies and Angkor art.

Three YouTube videos of the talk are available online. Part I can be accessed here.

At the time of the talk, Professor Kwa was a Member of the National Heritage Board and Chairman of its National Archives Board. He was also a member of the Asian Civilisations Board and chaired 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.


SEACS 43rd AGM commenced at 6.45pm.

Friday, 30 March 2012

The POD, Level 16, National Library Board, Victoria Street