Thinking and Talking about Arts and Culture in Southeast Asia

An Artist’s Comprehensive History of Southeast Asian Photography [SEA, Singapore]

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“I was first introduced to writer and photographer Zhuang Wubin’s work when I moved to Cambodia. His writings on Cambodian photography are well-researched, accessible, and thoughtful — exactly what I was seeking as a newcomer to the area. Zhuang became an important node for me to learn from and think through photography in Cambodia, and later the region as a whole. I didn’t know it then, but it came as no surprise to learn that Zhuang was working on a book: Photography in Southeast Asia: A Survey, which was published in late 2016 by National University of Singapore Press.

The book is the first serious attempt to comprehensively document the history of photography in the region. Just as the first article I read by Zhuang helped introduce me to Cambodian photography, his book provides a solid framework, built on years of research, conversations, and meetings, to begin to critically explore the region’s varied histories and notable practitioners around an oft-unsung medium. For those interested in exploring the history of the practice outside of the West or looking at art history within the Southeast Asian region, this book is invaluable.

To get a better grasp of the book’s scope and Zhuang’s work in general, I spoke with him over email.”


Tead Ben Valentine’s full interview with Zhuang Wubin, on Hyperallergic.

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