Roger Nelson received his PhD from the University of Melbourne in 2017, with his thesis titled “Modernity and Contemporaneity in ‘Cambodian Arts’ After Independence.” His research approaches modern and contemporary arts of Southeast Asia from interdisciplinary perspectives, grounded in the historical, and with a particular focus on Cambodia and Laos as points of intersection. Roger is co-founding co-editor of Southeast of Now: Directions in Contemporary and Modern Art in Asia, a peer-reviewed scholarly journal published by NUS Press at the National University of Singapore. He is co-convenor of Gender in Southeast Asian Art Histories, an international symposium at the University of Sydney, held in October 2017. From 2015-16, he was a participating scholar in Ambitious Alignments: New Histories of Southeast Asian Art, a cross-regional research initiative funded by the Getty Foundation’s “Connection Art Histories” program. Roger also works as an independent curator, specialized in contemporary art in Southeast Asia. He has organized exhibitions, lectures, and other curatorial projects in Australia, Cambodia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, including most recently People, Money Ghosts (Movement as Metaphor) at the Jim Thompson Art Center, Bangkok, 2017.
Peer-reviewed journal articles
Nelson, Roger. “Locating the Domestic in Vann Molyvann’s National Sports Complex.” ABE Journal: Architecture Beyond Europe, special issue “Paradoxical Southeast Asia,” 11 (2017). Forthcoming. http://abe.revues.org/
Nelson, Roger. “Pathways in Performance (in and around Cambodia)?” Stedelijk Studies 3 (2015). Online. http://www.stedelijkstudies.com/journal/pathways-in-performance/
Nelson, Roger. “‘Performance is Contemporary’: Performance and its Documentation in Visual Art in Cambodia.” Udaya, Journal of Khmer Studies 12 (2014): 95-143.
Nelson, Roger. “On the Coevalities of the Contemporary in Cambodia. Review: Sampot: The Collection of Small Things by Chan Dany.” Contemporaneity: Historical Presence in Visual Culture 3, no. 1 (2014): 193-207.
Nelson, Roger. “‘The Work the Nation Depends On’: Landscapes and Women in the Paintings of Nhek Dim.” In Ambitious Alignments: New Histories of Southeast Asian Art, edited by Sarena Abdullah, Yvonne Low, Phoebe Scott, and Stephen Whiteman. Singapore and Sydney: National Gallery Singapore and Power Institute Publications, 2018. Forthcoming.
Nelson, Roger. “The Gap Which Separates: Simultaneity, Distance and Disparity in ‘Southeast Asian Contemporary Art.’” In Interlaced Journeys: Diaspora and the Contemporary in Southeast Asian Art, edited by Loredana Paracciani. Singapore: NUS Press, 2018. Under review.
Nelson, Roger and Clare McCracken. “Travels and Tapestries: Possibilities for Creative Exchange in Cambodia and Australia.” In Transformations: Art and the City, edited by Elizabeth M. Grierson, 73-90. Bristol, UK and Chicago, USA: Intellect, 2017.
Nelson, Roger. “Cambodian Modernism.” In Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism, edited by Stephen Ross. London: Routledge, 2016.
Nelson, Roger. “The Present is a Foreign Country.” In Fields: An Itinerant Inquiry Across the Kingdom of Cambodia, edited by Charlotte Huddleston and Roger Nelson, 58-66. Auckland and Phnom Penh: Auckland University of Technology and Sa Sa Bassac, 2015.
Nelson, Roger. “Chan Dany: Interview.” In Phnom Penh: Rescue Archaeology. Contemporary Art and Urban Change in Cambodia, edited by Erin Gleeson, Barbra Barsch and Ev Fischer, 19-27. Berlin: ifa [Institut für Ausländsbeziehungen], 2013.
Selection exhibition catalogue essays
Nelson, Roger. “A House is Inside Me: Meandering and Slowness in the Work of Orawan
Arunrak.” In Orawan Arunrak: Exit – Entrance, edited by Nicola Müllerschön and Christoph Tannert. Dortmund: Verlag Kettler, 2017.
Nelson, Roger. “Pasts and Futures in Nguyen Thi Thanh Mai’s Day by Day.” English, Khmer, and Vietnamese. In Nguyen Thi Thanh Mai: Day by Day. Phnom Penh and Ho Chi Minh City: Sa Sa Bassac and Saola, 2015.
Nelson, Roger. “Khvay Samnang’s Human Nature.” In Khvay Samnang: Human Nature. Singapore: Tomio Koyama Gallery, 2014.
Nelson, Roger. “The Part and the Whole (in Many Senses): Pinaree Sanpitak’s Cold Cuts.” In Pinaree Sanpitak: Cold Cuts. Singapore: Yavuz Fine Art, 2014.
Nelson, Roger and Erin Gleeson. “Khvay Samnang.” English and Chinese. In Asian Art Biennial: Everyday Life. Taipei: National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, 2013.