Raden Saleh: The Enigma from the Orient
Featuring Syed Muhammad Hafiz
Moderated by Dr Azhar Ibrahim
The name 'Raden Saleh' is not just found at the beginning chapters of most Indonesian art history books. His paintings regularly fetch a premium in auction houses and currently, adorn the permanent galleries of museums in Indonesia, The Netherlands, Germany and also Singapore. At the same time, art historians and critics are equally divided about his artistic legacy. Who is Raden Saleh and how did he end up living in Europe for over two decades, when European countries were colonising other parts of the world during the 19th century? What do his paintings tell us about the art world then, and now?
Syed Muhammad Hafiz is an independent curator who researches on modern and contemporary Southeast Asian art, with a special focus on Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. He has previously curated exhibitions for national museums, commercial art galleries and corporate art collections. Currently, he is pursuing his PhD studies at National University Singapore, writing a thesis on the Singapore art world.