Despite widespread recognition that we are living in an era of mass globalization, there has
been a startling resurgence of nationalism in many regions of the world. Alongside this
development, many new national museums are being built or refurbished, pointing to the
critical role the telling of history plays in processes of building national identity. From new
museum construction to the re-purposing of colonial monuments, and from essentialized
narratives to spaces which encourage visitors to dream, this book explores the
development and influence of national museums in three contemporary Asian societies –
Singapore, Hong Kong, and Macau.
Part 1: ‘Legacies’
Part 2: ‘Performances’
Part 3: Transformations
Emily Stokes-Rees is associate professor of museum studies at Syracuse University, USA.
Imagining Asia’s three-city comparative framework provides a new conceptual lens through which to examine these museum sites. The case studies are well chosen, as all three share similar legacies of British colonisation and Chinese hegemony. Furthermore, the museum focus extends the study of cultural agencies in Asia, as well as the way they shape formations of national identity.