Researching art at the Australian Museum.

Ambitious Alignments Balinese paintings
Participants with Professor Adrian Vickers viewing Balinese paintings. Australian Museum 27 January 2015. Image: Yvonne Low
© Yvonne Low

About thirty junior and some senior scholars researching art in Southeast Asia came to view and talk about the Balinese paintings in the Museum’s Collection. This outstanding Paintings Collection reflects an evolution of traditional Balinese art in the complex social, economic and political changes in post-war Indonesia.

The Balinese Art Collection is both a product and a subject of innovative landmark research on art, notably by Professor Anthony Forge in the 1970s and Dr Siobhan Campbell in the last five years. We are delighted that this Collection could inform and inspire young and bright art scholars brought together under an umbrella of the Ambitions Alignments.

The Ambitious Alignments is a research program focused on New Histories of Southeast Asian Art. It is sponsored by the Getty Foundation and developed by The Power Institute Foundation for Art & Visual Culture at the University of Sydney, in collaboration with the National Gallery in Singapore and The Institute of Technology in Bandung, Java.

Ambitious Alignments supports early career scholars from Australia and Southeast Asia to examine individual artists, groups, their art and ideas that evolved and shaped the art currents in the late twentieth-century Southeast Asia. It focuses on the period 1945-1990 – marked by decolonisation, national independence, struggle for democracy and the vicious conflicts of the ‘Cold War’ era.

The Ambitious Alignments scholars convened an inaugural meeting in Sydney in early February this year - we are pleased we were able to offer them some insight into our Collection and research.