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Raffles in Southeast Asia was an exhibition that ran from 1 February 2019 to 28 April 2019 presenting a complex, multilayered picture of Sir Stamford Raffles while presenting the rich artistic and cultural heritage of Java and the Malay world.
Sir Stamford Raffles was an official with the British East India Company stationed in Southeast Asia between 1805 and 1824. He is known for establishing Singapore as a British port, as the author of The History of Java, and as a collector of natural history and cultural materials. Opinions of Raffles have changed over time. He has been viewed as a scholarly expert on the region, a progressive reformer, a committed imperialist, and even a plagiariser.
The presentation of this exhibition was a collaboration between the British Museum and the Asian Civilisations Museum.
What is the relationship between Java, Majapahit, and Singapore? Who was Queen Tribhuwana? What is the significance of all this? Our director Kennie Ting shares more about his favourite piece of art in our #RafflesInSEA special exhibition.
Regarded as one of the highest art forms in court society, batik is not only worn and used in the palaces of Java, it is seen as an extension of a court's power and prestige. Assistant curator Naomi Wang tells stories about divide and conquer strategies through royal alliances and rivalries.
Royal regalia - crowns, krises, jewellery, etc. - are symbols of divine kingship. In 1811, the last sultan of the Johor-Riau-Lingga Sultanate passed away - without naming an heir, leading to a crisis of succession.
Guo Pei: Chinese Art & Couture
Angkor: Exploring Cambodias Sacred City