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Writing the Modern: Selected Texts on Art & Art History in Singapore, Malaysia & Southeast Asia

  • Description
  • Praise
  • About the Author
  • T.K. Sabapathy has been writing on the art of Southeast Asia for over four decades (1973–2015), as a critic, curator and art historian. This collection of his work, representing the scope and depth of Sabapathy’s output, and highlighting his most important and influential writings, is also a survey of the vast changes in the landscape of art in the region over the period.

    A historian and educator, penetrating critic and ardent advocate, Sabapathy’s early scholarly engagements were marked by clear commitments to the art historiography of the Hindu-Buddhist traditions of Southeast Asia. He later emerged as an eloquent proponent of modern and contemporary Southeast Asian art. His art historical methods, critical documentation, deep dialogue with artists and detailed explication of their works have helped define Singapore and Malaysian art. His extensive studies of Southeast Asian art and artists have helped set the course of art discourse in the region.

    This publication provides an opportunity for more focused (re)reading, review and renewed consideration of T.K. Sabapathy’s rich body of work, to further fuel modern and contemporary art writing, research and exhibition-making.

  • “A remarkably rigourous and empathetic thinker...Sabapathy demonstrates an acute sensitivity to the visual, tactile, and symbolic qualities of artistic mediums.”
    —Greg Galligan, Art in America

    “Reading this anthology is a revelation, like encountering a Chinua Achebe novel… Writing the Modern is a seminal publication on art practices in the region, articulated through the voice of a formidable scholar and intellectual.”
    —Peter Yeoh, The Mekong Review

    “In the vast firmament of Singaporean-Malaysian art history, no star illuminates as radiantly as T.K. Sabapathy... The breath, depth and range of his scholarship are indeed staggering.”
    —Carmen Nge, Arts Equator

  • T.K. Sabapathy is Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Architecture in the National University of Singapore, and a part-time lecturer in the School of Art, Design and Media of the Nanyang Technological University where he teaches the history of art.

    He is Singapore’s foremost art historian, curator and critic. For four decades, he has devoted his life to the research, documentation and support of contemporary visual arts in Singapore and Malaysia. Sabapathy has also written countless articles, books, catalogues and artist monographs, making an invaluable contribution to the study of art in Southeast Asia, and is well respected for his scholarship and beloved for his tireless advocacy of art and artists of Singapore and Malaysia.

ISBN: 9789811157639
Cover Type: Paperback
Page Count: 448
Year Published: 2018
Size: 250mm x 180 mm
Language: English