From House to Museum — The Poetic Activism of Doris Duke’s Shangri La


Asia Society — Orientations Art Lecture Series

doris duke

Dining room tent panels, featuring nineteenth-century Egyptian appliqués. Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, Honolulu, Hawai'i. (Photo: David Franzen, 2011.)

Drink Reception 
Lecture 7:00pm
Close 8:00pm

Inspired by her experiences during a 1935 honeymoon trip through the Middle East, South Asia and Hawaii, USA, American philanthropist Doris Duke built a 14,000 square-foot modernist structure in Honolulu —  the capital of Hawaii — that seamlessly unified original and commissioned Islamic art and designs from around the world and the surrounding Hawaiian landscape. She called her Honolulu home, “Shangri La.” Over the next 50 years, Shangri La was a site of constant activity as Duke developed a vision to open a museum about Islamic creative life. The Islamic worlds of today are much changed from the worlds that had originally inspired Duke— indeed, these contemporary dynamics offer unique opportunities for impacting public engagement. By way of sharing the recent work of Shangri La, Konrad Ng will explore how museums can be agents of positive, progressive and inclusive narrative change by highlighting the creative intersectionality between collections and the communities and cultures that collections purport to represent.


Konrad Ng is the executive director of Shangri La in Honolulu, Hawaii  — a museum for learning about the global culture of Islamic art and design through exhibitions, digital and educational initiatives, public tours and programs, and community partnerships. The museum creates opportunities for positive and progressive narrative change, inspiring the public with the creativity of Islamic cultures. Before joining Shangri La in 2016, Konrad was the director of the Smithsonian Institution’s Asian Pacific American Center in Washington, DC, and a former professor in the University of Hawaii’s Academy for Creative Media. Konrad was also the first curator of film and video at the Honolulu Museum of Arts and earned his doctorate in political science from the University of Hawaii, a master’s degree in cultural, social and political thought from the University of Victoria and a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and ethnic studies from McGill University.

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Event Details

Tue 27 Mar 2018
6:30 - 8 p.m.

Asia Society Hong Kong Center, 9 Justice Drive, Admiralty, Hong Kong

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Asia Society Members/ McGill University Alumni; $200 Non-members $350
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