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How does a curator decide what to acquire for a museum’s batik collection – another court-styled parang rusak? Or a flowery and colourful coastal nyonya sarong? What goes on in the mind of the curator when selecting pieces for the national collection and for an exhibition? Lee Chor Lin, curator of the Batik Kita: Dressing in Port Cities exhibition, shares her insights from three decades of curating and collecting for Singapore's national museums.
Formerly Director of National Museum of Singapore, Lee Chor Lin began her career as curator of the Southeast Asian collection, well-known for its strength in textiles. Her collecting experience has been shaped purely by curatorial research and public museum acquisition. Lee writes regularly on Southeast Asian and Chinese textiles, but more widely about aesthetics in Asian arts. She is the curator of Batik Kita: Dressing in Port Cities.
Image: Detail from a batik Belanda (Dutch batik) inspired by images seen in European fairy tales and magazines. "Slamet Pake" is urban slang of "Selamat Pakai", meaning "enjoy wearing". Kain panjang (detail). Central Java, Pekalongan, 1920s. Batik tulis. Cotton, synthetic dyes. ACM, T-0811.
Lee Chor Lin: Photo by Tara Sosrowardoyo
* Includes admission to the Batik Kita: Dressing in Port Cities exhibition until 9:30 pm on 17 Aug 2022, and another one-time admission to the same exhibition until 2 Oct 2022.
Organised in conjunction with the exhibition
Special Exhibitions Gallery, Asian Civilisations Museum
Fashioning Batik Panel Sessions
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