Photography in Southeast Asia: A Survey is a comprehensive attempt to map the emergence and trajectories of photographic practices in Southeast Asia. The narrative begins in the colonial era, at the point when the transfer of photographic technology occurred between visiting practitioners and local photographers. With individual chapters dedicated to the countries of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, The Philippines and Vietnam, the bulk of the book spans the post-WWII era to the contemporary, focusing on practitioners who operate with agency and autonomy. The relationship between art and photography, which has been defined very narrowly over the decades, is re-examined in the process. Photography also offers an entry point into the cultural and social practices of the region, and a prism into the personal desires and creative decisions of its practitioners.
Zhuang Wubin is an image researcher, curator and artist. He is also an editorial board member of Trans Asia Photography Review, recipient of the Prince Claus Fund research grant (2010) and a Lee Kong Chian research fellow at the National Library Board (NLB) of Singapore (Dec 2017 to Jun 2018). Zhuang is the major grantee of The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Greater China Research Grant 2018. He has been invited to research residency programs at Institute Technology of Bandung (2013), Asia Art Archive (AAA), Hong Kong (2015), Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts, Taiwan (2017) and the Ha Bik Chuen Archive Project at AAA (2018). He is the contributing curator of the Chiang Mai Photo Festival (2015, 2017 and 2020).