Getty Foundation Ambitious Alignments Project

Supported by the Getty Foundation’s ‘Connecting Art Histories’ grant program


Ambitious Alignments: New Histories of Southeast Asian Art is a new research initiative funded through the Getty Foundation’s ‘Connecting Art Histories’ grant program. Ambitious Alignments is being developed by The Power Institute with regional Southeast Asian project partners National Gallery Singapore and Institute of Technology, Bandung. The project seeks to bring together early career scholars/curators from Southeast Asia to rethink histories of art in the region. The focus is particularly on the years between 1945 and 1990 – a period characterised by decolonisation, independence, struggles for democracy and the geo-political conflicts and tensions of the so-called Cold War era. The project is being led by a team including Professors T.K Sabapathy, Patrick Flores, Adrian Vickers, John Clark, Mark Ledbury and Stephen Whiteman.


The Power Institute is calling for up to twelve participants to be part of the Ambitious Alignments initiative. Participants will receive support for independent archival research and travel to three meetings to be held in Sydney, Singapore and Bandung. Individual research projects will provide the opportunity for broader discussions around the methodologies, approaches and material crucial to building a sophisticated, cross-regional and archivally rich history of Southeast Asian art. A further goal of the individual research projects is to offer early career scholars the opportunity to interact with senior members of the field from across the region and world. This we hope will form the basis of a new and effective network of scholars, curators and critics who might shape the future of art history in the region. The project’s outcomes will include the publication of an edited anthology of participants’ research that will constitute an important landmark in the formulation of modern Southeast Asian art histories. Other opportunities for publication of key texts and findings will also be sought.

Criteria: The opportunity is open to early career scholars in art and cultural history, curatorship or related fields with a demonstrable record of achievement in their field, relative to opportunity, who hold at least a Masters degree or comparable professional experience. Scholars should be based in Southeast Asia or Australia.
Assessment process: Applications will be assessed by the project team against the criteria above.


To apply, please complete the online form below. A personalised email will be sent to you within the following days to confirm receipt of your application. If you have any questions about your eligibility to participate in the project, please do not hesitate to contact Professor Mark Ledbury by email .

Deadline: 5.00pm Australian Eastern Standard Time, 26 September 2014.
Timeline: Applicants will be informed of the status of their proposal by 10 October 2014. The project officially commences in October 2014, and the first face-to-face meeting of the group will take place in early 2015 in Sydney. We will be establishing a project website and communication tool to link all participants.

Ambitious Alignments is generously supported by The Getty Foundation’s ‘Connecting Art Histories’ grant program. Further information about the initiative can be found on the Getty’s website:

The Power Institute, The University of Sydney |
National Gallery Singapore |
Institute of Technology, Bandung |