Speaker & Moderator

About this talk

On this special talk, we invite you to join Sijia Yao, a recently accomplished intern of SEACHA and a student from the Master of Arts in International Cultural Heritage Management Programme at Durham University, who will share with us her findings on the issues of Singaporean handicraft, as part of the country’s cultural identity, innovation, and sustainability.

Singapore is no stranger to most of us living in Southeast Asia- and the world. The island-state is known for its richness in cultural diversity as a result of the diverse ethnic background found among its citizens. When referring to Singapore, towering skyscrapers and endless greens found in parks and botanic gardens may come to mind. Singapore is often overlooked for its traditional handicrafts, which reflects the diversity of country’s cultural heritage.

In the age of mass production and in the midst of the high-rises of Singapore, traditional craft, the ‘vanishing trade’, has been and continues to be essential to Singapore society, both in terms of economic and environmental sustainability, providing a sense of identity and improving well-being, as well as in terms of protecting, adapting and transmitting culture and traditional wisdom. By linking the stories of various craftspeople and entrepreneurs from related cultural industries in Singapore, the speaker seeks to present a sustainable future in which traditional intangible heritage can be revitalized and passed down to future generations.

Speaker & Moderator

Speaker: Sijia Yao

A student in the MA International Cultural Heritage Management programme at Durham University, UK. Growing up in a rapidly urbanising coastal city in mainland China, she started critically reflecting on the issues of modernity from an early age. With a keen interest in the politics of memory, urban space, diversity and cultural inclusion, she is currently working on her dissertation on dissonant heritage and cultural inclusion using the case study of the Berlin Wall. She finished her bachelor’s degree in Tourism and Events Management at Budapest Business School, Hungary in 2021 where she discovered her passion for heritage studies and cultural theories. Her research interests also include identities, gender and globalisation, and she aspires to pursue a career in culture, heritage and creative industry.

Introducer: Dr. Johannes Widodo

Professor of Architecture, National University of Singapore, and SEACHA Advisor

Moderator: Dr. Jack Tsen-Ta Lee

Dr. Jack Tsen-Ta Lee, President of Singapore Heritage Society and Member of SEACHA Board of Directors.

This talk is free of charge. Registration is required.
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