Southeast Asia’s Unique Fabric Art

Colorful Fabrics at Otavalo market in Ecuador.

For generations now, the graceful, colorful and intricate patterns that adorn batik cloths from Southeast Asia have captured the imagination of fashion-conscious travelers. Today’s batik-seeking tourists follow in the footsteps of 19th-century Dutch colonists in Indonesia: captivated by the radiant batiks worn by the Javanese, the Dutch brought batik artists to Holland in the 1830s, […]

Top Art Destinations in Southeast Asia

mural at Angkor Wat,cambodia

The arts of Southeast Asia are intimately tied with the local religion and culture. Each country draws from the region’s abundant natural riches – gold, precious metals, natural pigments and clay – to create cultural treasures without compare. While some cultures share some artistic ties based on their common religious roots, each country’s art is uniquely its […]

Artistic Archipelago: The Fantastic Philippines Contemporary Art Scene

Flag of the Philippines

The culturally diverse SE Asian island country that is the Philippines has a complex national identity that has seen significant influence from centuries of colonial rule by Spain, as well as occupations by Japan, and the United States. Introducing Catholicism to the archipelago, the Spanish also entrenched European painting traditions that were initially dominated by […]

Masterpiece Theatres: Southeast Asias Magnificent Museums

City view and ArtScience Museum at evening.

For travellers to Southeast Asia, a visit to a museum generally isn’t the motivation to come to the area. And for a long time, museums in the region did not look overly attractive: displays were bland, information scarce and opening hours complicated (this last point still persists for many institutions-travellers should check opening hours).  However, lots […]

Putting the Art in Jakarta: Indonesias Contemporary Art Scene

The largest and most populous country in SE Asia, Indonesia claims some 17,000 islands that stretch over 5,000km across equatorial Asia to Australia. Such geographic expanse lends to a great wealth of ethnic and cultural diversity. The Islamic state was colonized by the Dutch in the early 17th century as an important trading post, with their rule lasting over […]

Chinatown

traveler walking at Chinatown street market in Singapore.

Chinese merchants were already trading in the Philippine archipelago when explorer Ferdinand Magellan arrived in 1521, and later the Spanish colonial rulers encouraged the development of Southeast Asia’s first Chinatown in Manila. Relations between the residents of Chinatown and the greater city were not always civil, however, and those who refused to convert to Catholicism […]