The Thai Textile Society
together with
The Siam Society Under Royal Patronage

Reconnecting the Disconnected Through Textiles. A Talk by John Ang



Mr. John Ang of Singaporean parentage was born in Chicago. After he received his M.A. in Asian Art History from the University of Michigan, he moved to Japan and worked as a reporter for Japan Times covering Asian Art exhibitions and performances in Tokyo.  Later he travelled to Taipei where he established an art gallery handling fine Asian art which included, furniture, sculpture, textiles, carpets and jewelry.  He was the first to introduce to Taiwan minimalistic Ming style furniture, Tibetan carpets and furniture, Indian jewelry, Indonesian, Thai, Laotian and Cambodian textiles and ceramics. Besides helping and advising major museums in USA, Taiwan, Singapore, China and Australia build their collections of Asian art, John has also written many books and articles on the subject.  In the 1990s through many articles in international magazines and journals John was the pioneer for research of Chinese furniture through their regional styles.  Since 1990 he has lectured in several universities in Taiwan and China and also at Sotheby's in New York and Hong Kong.

Currently he is focusing on two life missions ~ teaching yoga to young underprivileged children in Cambodia and forming a comprehensive collection of textiles of the Malay world. His presentation to this joint event of the Thai Textile Society and the Siam Society is part of his second life mission. It will discuss who the Malays are and what textiles they have produced. These will include textiles of the Langkasuka Kingdom of south Thailand and northeast Malaysia, rare ikats of Komering and Bangka, batiks made for the Malay market of Jambi, Palembang and Bengkulu as opposed to Peranakan and Javanese batiks, rare court textiles of west Kalimantan and Malay textiles with Bugis blood from Riau, Johore, Pahang and Terengganu.

In presenting these textiles many of which have never been written about or shown in museums, John will discuss the origins of their designs and techniques and how they connect closely with textiles of other kingdoms in the empire. He hopes that this presentation will shed new light on this little researched area of textiles and inspire many people to become more appreciative of them.

Date: Tuesday, 28 March 2017
Time: 7.30 p.m.
Place: The Siam Society, 131 Asoke Montri Rd, Sukhumvit 21

Non-members donation: B200. Siam Society members, members’ spouses and children, and all students showing valid student ID cards are admitted free of charge. For more information, please contact Khun Arunsri or

Office Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 9:00am. – 5:00pm.

The Siam Society is deeply grateful to the James H.W. Thompson Foundation for its generous support of the 2016-2017 Lecture Series.