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Curator in Residence: Zhuang Wubin

Curator in Residence: Zhuang Wubin

In 2013, Galeri Soemardja will now hold a curator residencies programme, and our first curator in residence is Zhuang Wubin from Singapore. From June to July, Wubin will stays in Bandung to conduct a research about photographic practices in Bandung and the results will be exhibited next year.

“The aim of this research is to map the different photographic practices in Bandung. While the primary emphasis of this project may be on ‘art’ photography, it is problematic to isolate it from other photographic practices, including vernacular photography, for several reasons. One reason is that the relationship between art and photography has been defined very narrowly in Southeast Asia. The aim of this research is not to merely re-contextualise art photography in Bandung, but to look beyond such attempts to validate the medium and to consider photography as an embedded practice in modern and contemporary life.”

Here are his short bio and profile:

Zhuang Wubin (b. 1978; Singapore) is a writer focusing on the photographic practices of Southeast Asia. A 2010 recipient of the research grant from Prince Claus Fund (Amsterdam), Zhuang is an editorial board member of Trans-Asia Photography Review, a journal published by the Hampshire College and the University of Michigan Scholarly Publication Office.

Selected curatorial work: Re-Connect: Contemporary Photography from Myanmar, Esplanade Singapore, 2013; A Certain Grace: Photography from Bandung, Esplanade Singapore, 2012; Ruptures and Revival: Cambodian Photography in the Last Decade, Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore, 2012; Southeast Asian section, Photoquai 2011, Musée du Quai Branly, Paris; Notes from the South: New Photography from Southeast Asia, International Orange Photo Festival 2010, Changsha, China.

Recent essays: “Mekong Spring: Cambodian Photography in the Last Decade,” Diaaalogue, March 2012; “Out of Focus: Independent Photography in East Java,” Art Monthly Australia, October 2011; “Burmese Photography and the Issue of Control,” Asian Art, September 2011; “Politics and Identity: Contemporary Photography in Thailand,” Trans-Asia Photography Review, 2011.

As a photographer, Zhuang uses the medium to understand the cultures and histories of the Chinese communities in Southeast Asia. Supported by Lee Foundation, Chinese Muslims in Indonesia (2011) is his third photographic monograph and features essays by historian Dr. Charles Coppel, curator Enin Supriyanto and Yenny Wahid.

Recent presentations: Locating Photographic Practices in Southeast Asia, Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong, 2013; “A Matter of Context: Writing about Cambodian Photography Today”, Contemporary Art in Cambodia: A Historical Inquiry Symposium, Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2013; Picturing the Chinese in Southeast Asia, Chinese in Southeast Asia Research Group, Department of Chinese Studies, National University of Singapore, 2012; Independent Photography in Southeast Asia, Musée du Quai Branly, Paris, 2011; Images of God: Photography in Southeast Asia, National Museum of Singapore, 2011; Chinese Muslims in Indonesia, Department of Cultural and Religious Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 2011.

More info about Zhuang Wubin can be found here: