Tuesday, November 30, 2010

New Distribution Partner: Art Post Asia

We are pleased to announce that Select Books has been appointed by Art Post Asia as their exclusive distributor in Singapore.

Art Post Asia is a publishing and design group producing beautifully photographed books with compelling narratives on Asian art and culture, heritage and living traditions and contemporary aspects of lifestyle and design in and around Asia.

Their books cover special interest areas from the different places in Asia, portraying the natural environments, its peoples, and their treasured heritage.

Here we feature three of their publications:

Foodlore and Flavors: Inside The Southeast Asian Kitchen by Tan Su-Lyn.

Foodlore and Flavors takes you on a street-to-kitchen gastronomic tour around the 10 countries of Southeast Asia. With essays and contributions from 14 international culinary experts from the participating countries of Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar,
Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam, this is the first ever publication to focus exclusively on the cuisines of all 10 member nations which make up the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), while delving into the cultural significance of the region’s culinary folklore and traditions.

With a clear and highly visual approach, this book will serve as a key resource for authentic Southeast Asian recipes as well as an understanding of the cultural role that food plays in this part of Asia. Country contributors for this book include some of the region’s culinary experts and internationally known food writers like: Her Royal Highness of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Princess Norodom Marie Ranariddh; Malaysian food expert and TV personality, Chef Wan; Philippine television producer and cookbook publisher, Michaela Fenix Makabenta; Ms. Jasmine Taib of Brunei Darussalam; and Indonesian food writer, Sri Owen.

Southeast Asian Art and Culture: Ideas, Forms And Societies by Aurora Roxas-Lim.

The diverse cultures of Brunei
Darussalam, Cambodia,Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines,Singapore, Thailand, and Viet Nam, the 10 countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) individually present unique artistic forms and expressions that closely interface with their history, society, and religion.

This book shows art and culture across Southeast Asia drawing from similar and yet diverse local mythical and religious beliefs, cultural traditions and cycles of migrations, trade, and political change.

Zhangzhou Ware Found in the Philippines: “Swatow” Export Ceramics From Fujian 16th-17th Century by Rita C. Tan.

Ceramics produced in the kilns in Zhangzhou region of Fujian province of China in the 16th and 17th centuries have been popularly known to the western scholars and collectors as “Swatow ware.”

The arrival of the European maritime traders in the 16th to 17th centuries opened up a new horizon in China’s trade with the foreign countries. The affluent European market became the main focus of Chinese potters in Jingdezhen, the biggest ceramic producing center in China. Zhangzhou “Swatow” ware produced in Fujian during this era was more to meet the demand of the neighboring countries in Asia. With the abundance of local finds of this group of ware in the Philippines, this publication serves to prove that faced with a new trading scenario in the region, the Philippines continued to be a thriving market of China’s ceramic trade like she used to be in the Song and Yuan dynasties or 11th to14th centuries.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Books on Public Administration and Policy Making

These are recently published books on public administration and policy making in Singapore:
  • Management of Success: Singapore Revisited edited by Terence Chong, Terence. This major collection of essays on 2010 Singapore would enable a comparison of present with past if compared with the similar 1989 ISEAS volume. The 32 specialist essays address in some depth, and often in trenchant or critical terms, pretty well every area of Singapore life and public policy. Index.
  • Road to Recovery: Singapore's Journey through the Global Crisis by Sanchita Basu Das. Singapore had been one of the nations severely affected by the 2008-09 global financial and economic crisis. The city-state came under pressure through the financial, trade, and confidence channels. To counter these shocks, Singapore policymakers undertook unprecedented monetary and fiscal policy measures. They subsequently charted a revival strategy that would help the country emerge stronger after the crisis. These all-encompassing policies together with the global economic recovery in 2009 helped the city state bounce back faster and stronger than many other regional economies. This book provides an insight into the events that occurred during the crisis and Singapore's successful navigation to economic recovery.
  • The Media, Cultural Control and Government in Singapore by Terence Lee. This book explores this inherent contradiction present in most facets of Singaporean media, cultural and political discourses, and identifies the key regulatory strategies and technologies that the ruling People Action Party (PAP) employs to regulate Singapore media and culture, and thus govern the thoughts and conduct of Singaporeans. It establishes the conceptual links between government and the practice of cultural policy, arguing that contemporary cultural policy in Singapore has been designed to shape citizens into accepting and participating in the rationales of government. Outlining the historical development of cultural policy, including the recent expansion of cultural regulatory and administrative practices into the 'creative industries', Terence Lee analyses the attempts by the Singaporean authorities to engage with civil society, the ways in which the media is used to market the PAP's policies and leadership and the implications of the internet for the practice of governmental control. Overall, The Media, Cultural Control and Government in Singapore offers an original approach towards the rethinking of the relationship between media, culture and politics in Singapore, demonstrating that the many contradictory discourses around Singapore only make sense once the politics and government of the media and culture are understood.
  • Public Administration Singapore Style by Jon S.T. Quah. This substantial and clearly organised account of Singapore's public administration discuss its history and present structure and the general context of its work in government departments and statutory boards. The nature and rationale for government policy on salaries, corruption, recruitment and some of the resolved and unresolved problems of the last 50 years are discussed. Both basic principles likely to be generally applicable and problems and solutions likely to be peculiar to Singapore and the PAP style are highlighted. With tabulated data, glossary, bibliography and indexes.
  • Singapore Perspectives 2010: Home.Heart.Horizon by Tan Tarn How. These 14 papers are from the 2010 Singapore Perspectives annual conference of the Institute of Policy Studies. This year's theme was Home.Heart.Horizon. It followed the now-traditional pattern of being a meeting of Singaporeans' positive and negative thoughtful assessments of Singapore's ongoing development.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Books on Christianity in Asia

Here is a list of selected titles from our collection of books on Christianity in Asia:
  • Christianity and the State in Asia: Complicity and Conflict edited by Julius Bautista, Julius and Francis Khek Gee Lim. Christianity is one of the most rapidly growing religions in Asia. Despite the challenges of political marginalisation, church organisations throughout much of Asia are engaged in activities - such as charity, education and commentary on public morality - that may either converge or conflict with the state's interests. Considering Christianity's growing prominence, and the various ways Asian nation states respond to this growth, this book brings into sharper analytical focus the ways in which the faith is articulated at the local, regional, and global level. Contributors from diverse disciplinary and institutional backgrounds offer in-depth analyses of the complex interactions between Asian nation-states and Christianity in the context of modernisation and nation-building. Exploring the social and political ramifications of Christian conversions in Asia and their impact on state policies, the book analyses how Christian followers, missionaries, theologians and activists negotiate their public roles and identities vis-à-vis various forms of Asian states, particularly in the context of post-colonial nation-building and socio-economic development.
  • Biomedical Ethics and the Church: An Introduction by Roland Chia. An introductory exploration of Christian perspectives on issues of bioethics which increasingly face individuals, medical practitioners and researchers, administrators and makers of public policy as well as pastoral counsellors. Part 1 explores theological foundations for bioethics. Part 2 looks at current issues in healthcare, life and death decisions, human genetics and research of various kinds and Part 3 considers bioethics and the role of the Church including in public ethics.
  • Christianity in Asia by M. C. Andrews Kutty. The author of this study of Christianity in Asia teaches religious studies and philosophy at Alagappa University. The wide-ranging account discusses Christianity as a world religion and its social sources and history. Japanese and Chinese expressions of the religion and other ongoing and recent trends are set into their political, social and also philosophical contexts. Index.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Books on Human Rights in Asia

This is a selection of books on human rights in Asia:
  • Gender-Based Violence During the Khmer Rouge Regime: Stories of Survivors from the Democratic Kampuchea (1975-1979) by Kasumi Nakagawa. This publication is based on findings from research into gender crimes during the Khmer Rouge regime, first conducted in 2006 by the Cambodian Defenders Project, a human rights NGO based in Phnom Penh. This second edition includes additional information collected by 200 Cambodian students as part of a Gender Studies course at Pannasastra University of Cambodia. The text is organised according to: Forced Marriage and Marital Rape; Rape; and Other Sexual Assaults.
  • Human Rights Constitutionalism in Japan and Asia: The Writings of Lawrence W. Beer by Lawrence W. Beer. Lawrence Ward Beer (b. 1932) has been a close observer of Asian linkages among law, politics, culture, and national security issues over fifty years. His perspectives have been refined during long residence in Asia, especially Japan, by substantial friendly interactions with Asian legal scholars, judges, and attorneys involved in the world of human rights constitutional law. This volume brings together a selection of Lawrence W. Beer's many works previously published in diverse venues, but no longer easily accessible. The collection opens with a review of constitutionalism in Asia, and the United States and concludes with a recent examination of Japan's rejection of war: "Japan's Constitutional Discourse and Performance". By way of Afterword, the author offers an in-depth review of "Globalization of Human Rights in the 21st Century".
  • 20 Years Defending Human Rights by Kua Kia Soong. Suara Rakyat Malaysia, usually known as SUARAM has since 1989 worked to promote human rights in Malaysia. This is a careful account of its aims and activities. Included are details of: the early years 1989-94; the 1995 Stop Bakun Dam campaign; the 1996 Asia Pacific Conference on East Timor; the Asia Pacific People's Assembly 1998; Save the Sungai Selangor, Police the Malaysian Police and anti-ISA campaigns; and efforts to promote refugee needs and local democracy. Annual Reports 1988-2009 are summarised and present challenges discussed.
  • Tortured Beginnings: Police Violence and the Beginnings of Impunity in East Timor by Human Rights Watch. This Human Rights Watch report documents instances of police abuses against detainees and members of the public in East Timor since 2002. The non-accountability in discipline and inadequate training of the new police force is made evident. The report stresses the urgent need for appropriate remedial action before abuses are institutionalised. Urgent recommendations are made to the local authorities, the United Nations, Australia and Britain as well as other concerned parties and donors regarding the need for training, well-understood codes of conduct, and disciplinary and accountability procedures without which impunity will take over peace.
  • China: The Truth About Its Human Rights Record by Frank Ching. A small, fact-filled and incisive book of information about China's human rights record by a senior China- experienced analyst. Degrees of progress as well as great grimness are noted.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

New Distribution Titles: Two Books on Art

Select Books was recently appointed as the exclusive distributor in Singapore for these two beautiful books on art:

Agus Suwage: Still Crazy After All These Years. Still Crazy After All These Years is a much-anticipated monograph of the career and works of Agus Suwage, the great leading light in contemporary art in Indonesia.

Edited by Enin Supriyanto, this beautifully designed tome is a comprehensive documentation of Agus Suwage's work over the past three decades, compiling existing and newly commissioned writing on the artist.

It aspires to be as huge, wonderful and crazy as the artist's own output, while being fantastically light to carry and post. A must for contemporary art enthusiasts - sure to be a collectors' item!

This epic book project is produced in conjunction with the artist’s 20-year survey exhibition sharing the same name, featuring essays written by curators and writers from 1995 – 2009 that have accompanied Suwage’s various solo exhibitions at home and abroad, as well as newly commissioned writings by respected names from Indonesia’s literary and academic world.

The contributors include : Adeline Ooi, Agung Hujatnikajennong, Aminudin TH Siregar, Asikin Hsan, Enin Supriyanto, Hendro Wiyanto, Jim Supangkat, Karim Raslan, Ko Matsunaga, Nirwan Ahmad Arsuka, Patrick D. Flores, Puthut EA, Rizki A. Zaelani, Seng Yu Jin, St. Sunardi, and Sudjud Dartanto.

WORKING is a project by 10 leading contemporary Malaysian artists in association with RogueArt. It is a book about the events that take place in an artist’s studio and the thinking behind the artistic process. What exactly does an artist do? Where does he or she work? What materials do they use? What are the problems an artist faces when making a work? What goes on in their head when they are making work? This publication explores the working processes of 10 local practitioners and their relationship with their respective working environments through a series of interviews and artists’ self-documentation, recording their individual progress of making of a specific work for the project.

WORKING features lead portraits of the artists by regionally acclaimed photographer Tara Sosrowardoyo and interviews by Chai Chang Hwang, Nur Hanim Khairuddin, Adeline Ooi and Beverly Yong.

This publication hopes to communicate the experience of making art through the perspective of some of Malaysia’s most exciting practitioners.

The WORKING artists are: Ahmad Fuad Osman, Ahmad Shukri Mohamed, Ahmad Zakii Anwar, Chong Siew Ying, Hamir Soib, Jalaini Abu Hassan, Kow Leong Kiang, Raja Shahriman Raja Aziddin, Ramlan Abdullah and Yee I-Lann.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

New Distribution Partner: Areca Books

We are pleased to announce that Select Books has been appointed by Areca Books as the exclusive Singapore distributor for two of their recently published titles.

Areca Books is a rapidly-growing niche publisher based in Penang, Malaysia. A number of their publications are pioneering works in trans-local history, cultural heritage and environment. Their books are well-researched and richly-illustrated, appealing to popular readers as well as academic researchers of Malaysia and Southeast Asia. We are therefore very pleased to have been appointed as their distribution partner in Singapore.

Hail Penang! Being The Narrative of Comedies and Tragedies in a Tropical Outpost, Among Europeans, Chinese, Malays, And Indians by George Bilainkin was first published in 1932. George Bilainkin was the editor of the Penang newspaper The Straits Echo. Through a series of engaging sketches and reflections he discloses a wonderfully compelling portrait of Penang, its personalities and its environs. Looking beyond the complacent colonial facade Bilainkin grapples directly and indirectly with a wide range of topics that have strikingly modern echoes: the absurdities of social snobbery; the position of women in society; and the fraught nature of race relations. This edition has a new foreword by Ilsa Sharp, and offers an original, engaging and provocative glimpse of colonial society that is sure to engage a new generation of readers.

The Sara Saga is a memoir that traces the remarkable life of Manicasothy Saravanamuttu: cricket-loving student at Oxford during the Great War, fearless editor of Penang's English-language newspaper The Straits Echo, resilient internee during the Japanese Occupation, influential diplomat-at-large during the height of the Cold War, and trustworthy confidant to the great and the good. "Sara" as he was known to all, was a witness and participant in the making of modern Asia.