Increasingly, museums are changing their approaches to the collection and interpretation of objects in their care to address the colonial legacies embedded in museum practice. This means rethinking the relationships between objects, people, and places. Decolonisation in the second half of the 20th century saw new national museums established in many parts of the world as showcases where the best of the nation’s heritage could be displayed. Despite these political processes, many museums retained ways of understanding and representing the world framed by the values and biases of colonialism.
This exhibition is part of the ongoing challenge to the legacies of colonialism. By proposing a new way of understanding the significance of objects in our collections, museum curators in Australia and Indonesia, together, have creatively re-examined the interpretation of museum objects. Many objects and stories contained in this exhibition also illustrate the historic and contemporary connections and flows of people, ideas, and objects between Australia and Indonesia.