Southeast Asia A History in Objects

Alexandra Green

A revealing volume on Southeast Asia’s complex histories, expertly told through art objects and cultural artifacts dating from 6,000 years ago to the present.

Created in collaboration with the British Museum, this richly illustrated volume displays the arts, histories, and cultures of Southeast Asia from about 6,000 years ago to the twenty-first century, covering modern-day Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, East Timor, Brunei, the Philippines, and Singapore. The incredible diversity of the region appears through the ancient sculptures of Java, Bagan, Angkor, and Sukhothai, paintings, ceramics, silver, ritual objects, basketry, textiles, and contemporary art.

Featuring the British Museum collection like the other volumes in this series, Southeast Asia: A History in Objects presents engaging texts and expertly curated artifacts. From the early emergence of agricultural communities to the rise of powerful empires and the religions of Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and Christianity, and from the age of colonial rule to 20th-century nation-building, every object tells a story in this wide-ranging and accessible selection.

Exploring topics like the monuments of Angkor Wat and Borobudur, the spirits of the Philippines, funerary figures of the Toraja people, the narrative paintings of Bali, and the musical instruments and shadow puppets of Java and Thailand, this volume is an informative visual treat for curious minds, historians, and cultural adventurers everywhere.


Alexandra Green


Alexandra Green is the Henry Ginsburg Curator for Southeast Asia in the Department of Asia at the British Museum, London.