Dr Gaik Cheng Khoo

UK Host Institution: University of Cambridge
Project status

Durian Stories

There has been little work done on the Southeast Asian durian beyond the focus on its smell. Therefore, my proposed collaborative research project with Dr. Liana Chua is to examine the social life of the durian through indigenous and colonial historical accounts and images, personal family stories and visual art by contemporary Southeast Asian and Asian artists. We approach the durian as object and subject. Acknowledging the emergent ecological problems caused by new durian mega-plantations, in our analysis of the durian’s human-nonhuman relationships, we ask ‘What stories have yet to be told about and by the durian that transcend the olfactory?’ Our research themes align with current scholarship in environmental humanities, art history and film studies. To explore these themes further, I am organising a seven-member workshop with UK researchers preoccupied with the Anthropocene and investigating human-nonhuman relationships in visual art.

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