Panel Discussion

Entwined Pursuits: Conversations on Pedagogy, Writing Histories of Art, and Collections

Panel Discussion

5 PM

Panel Discussion

  • Berlin: 12pm, 13 May
  • Jakarta & Bangkok: 5pm, 13 May
  • Singapore: 6pm, 13 May

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Singapore Art Museum

Galeri Nasional Indonesia
Goethe-Institut Indonesien
Goethe-Institut Singapore
Goethe-Institut Thailand
Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin
MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum
Singapore Art Museum

T.K. Sabapathy's journey as an art historian corresponds to the development of the discipline in Southeast Asia. From his interactions with the scholar Michael Sullivan during his undergraduate studies in the 1950s at the University of Malaya in Singapore to an evolving concern with building public collections of modern art, Sabapathy's lifework offers critical insights into the pursuit of arts’ histories with a sense of regionality. By focusing on the role of pedagogy in Sabapathy’s lifework, the discussion will reflect upon the entwined pursuits of writing, teaching, and curatorial work from the 1970s to the present. 

The session is facilitated by Fang-Tze Hsu, who has been researching and developing Sabapathy’s archive with the NUS Museum, and Shabbir Hussain Mustafa who has maintained an evolving dialogue with Sabapathy on the philosopher Ananda Coomaraswamy.


June Yap is Director of Curatorial, Collections and Programmes at the Singapore Art Museum, where she oversees content creation and museum programing.


Thiagarajan Kanaga Sabapathy, better known as T.K. Sabapathy, is a senior art historian, curator, and critic from Singapore. Since the 1980s, he has devoted his life to writing, researching, documenting, and supporting contemporary visual art in Singapore and Malaysia. He has been a lecturer of art history at the National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological Institution, and National Institute of Education. Throughout the last four decades, He has also written various articles, books, catalogues and artist monographs, including Road to Nowhere: The Quick Rise and the Long Fall of Art History in Singapore (2010).

Hsu Fang-Tze is a lecturer at the Department of Communications and New Media Department, National University of Singapore (NUS), and a curator of the NUS Museum. She holds a Ph.D. in Cultural Studies from the National University of Singapore. Her dissertation research was supported by the President’s Graduate Fellowship and the FASS Promising Graduate Scholar Award. Her research interests include formation of visual modernity, Cold War aesthetics, memory, philosophies of technology, and the embodiment of artistic praxis in everyday life. 

Shabbir Hussain Mustafa is Senior Curator at the National Gallery Singapore and Singapore Art Museum. At the Gallery, he leads the curatorial team overseeing Between Declarations and Dreams, a multi-year exhibition that surveys Southeast Asian perspectives from the 19th century to the present. His recent projects include Latiff Mohidin: Pago Pago, an exhibition that surveyed the painter-poet’s movements across Europe and Southeast Asia in the 1960s as he challenged the dominance of Western modernism; and Mohammad Din Mohammad: The Mistaken Ancestor, a project that builds perspectives on the artist’s life-world by surveying intersections between art, traditional healing, oral narratives, mystical objects, silat, and Sufism in the Malay world.


Kementerian Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan Galeri Nasional Indonesia MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum Nationalgalerie Berlin Singapore Art Museum