Dapunta Hyang: Transmission of Knowledge
Three Mountains in Malay History
Public Lecture by Professor John N. Miksic
19 April 2018, 7.30pm
The Malay realm is a sea-faring terrain. From search of the orang laut (sea people) to re-imagining a vessel from a 7th century armada, the sea remains the constant premise for Zai Kuning’s artistic inquisition of Malay history. Surrounded by a flat and expansive body of water, seafarers in the region have always relied on mountains as a guiding force, geographically as well as spiritually. Drawing from archaeological research, John N. Miksic discusses the importance of mountains, specifically in Palembang (Sumatra), Singapore, and Melaka, as epicentres that unify the Malay maritime culture.
Symbolic Content in Dapunta Hyang: Transmission of Knowledge
Public Lecture by Professor T.K. Sabapathy
26 April, 7.30pm
A stone inscription found in the vicinity of Bukit Seguntung in Palembang names Dapunta Hyang as a ruler who embarked upon a voyage or pilgrimage to gain merit and spiritual power. The contents of this inscription, the figure of Dapunta Hyang and ships or vessels are vital, dynamic wellsprings for Zai Kuning’s current work. T.K. Sabapathy discusses this inscription and its impact in the making of Zai Kuning’s Dapunta Hyang: The Transmission of Knowledge, which was produced for the Venice Biennale and is currently displayed at TheatreWorks. He also deals with other sources that enrich its interpretation. The talk is illustrated.
About the speakers
John N. Miksic received his PhD from Cornell University based on archaeological fieldwork in Sumatra. He spent four years in Malaysia as a Peace Corps Volunteer, worked as a Rural Development Advisor in Sumatra, and taught at Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta, for six years. In 1987 he moved to the National University of Singapore, where he is professor in the Southeast Asian Studies Department. He has also been affiliated with the Department of History, University Scholars Programme, and Asia Research Institute. He also founded the Archaeology Unit at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. He has received a Special Recognition Award and the Pingat Bakti Setia from the government of Singapore, and the title of Kanjeng Raden Harya Temenggung from the Susuhunan (hereditary rulers) of Surakarta, Indonesia. His specialty is the archaeology of Southeast Asia between 500 and 1500 CE, including urbanisation, trade, Buddhism, and ceramics.
T.K. Sabapathy has researched and published extensively on modern art and artists in Southeast Asia; his work inaugurates pathways for developing art histories of the modern in this region. He is currently an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Architecture, National University of Singapore where he teaches the history of art.
Register for these talks at https://dapuntahyangtalks.eventbrite.sg