News & events > Exhibition: "Raffles in Southeast Asia" | Singapore
01 Feb 2019 - 28 Apr 2019

Exhibition: "Raffles in Southeast Asia" | Singapore

  Between 1 February and 28 April 2019, the Asian Civilisations Museum, in Singapore, an ASEMUS member, presents an exhibition entitled "Raffles in Southeast Asia: Revisiting the Scholar and Statesman".


Sir Stamford Raffles was an official with the British East India Company stationed in Southeast Asia between 1805 and 1824. He is known for establishing Singapore as a British port, as the author of The History of Java, and as a collector of natural history and cultural materials. Opinions of Raffles have changed over time. He has been viewed as a scholarly expert on the region, a progressive reformer, a committed imperialist, and even a plagiariser. In keeping with the Asian Civilisations Museum’s mission to explore encounters and connections, this exhibition presents a complex, multilayered picture of Raffles while presenting the rich artistic and cultural heritage of Java and the Malay world. The presentation of this exhibition is a collaboration between the British Museum and the Asian Civilisations Museum.

Other activities

The Asian Civilisations Museum has prepared a set of other activities accompanying the exhibition "Raffles in Southeast Asia", including the following:
  • Contemporary artwork: "Natural Progression", a work by artist Grace Tan, focuses on natural materials and human action, with parallels to the themes addressed in the exhibition
  • After-hours curator tours on 20 February, 20 March and 17 April, where the exhibition curators will introduce the exhibition and tell behind-the-scenes stories.
  • The ACM Symposium: Revisiting Raffles, on 8-9 March, which will explore in greater depth the themes and topics presented in the show, involving speakers from several institutions.
  • Lectures providing further background to the topics and historical context of the exhibition.
  • A catalogue accompanying the exhibition, comprising five essays as well as full-colour illustrations of all the exhibited objects, has also been published.

Further information

For additional information about "Raffles in Southeast Asia: Revisiting the Scholar and Statesman", please visit