RE:SOUNDING aims to locate, record, and digitise the percussive sounds of the bronze Đông Sơn drum.

Displaced by colonisation and the post-war trade in Southeast Asian antiquities, these drums have the significance of announcing the rain, harvests, fertility, and well-being of local communities. Now held in museums and collections throughout the world, this project reimagines how the Đông Sơn drum can conceptually exist beyond the glass display.

In the hands of contemporary artists and musicians, the digitised drum sample will continue the acoustic voice and cultural impact of these ancient instruments.


Sheila Pham and James Nguyen visits the AGNSW to see the two Dong Son drums in their storerooms. We chatted with Matt Cox and Kerry Head around concepts of borders, lived economies, knowledge sharing and knowledge production when working with museums and their public collections. 

Image by Sheila Pham

Image by Sheila Pham

200 Treasures of The Australian Museum

Described as a Dong Son Bronze Frog Drum, this example was acquired from the Kha Laware Hill People, Laos. The drum was first registered in 1978.

Curiously, the drum was displayed with a few taxidermy examples of "Frogs of the Greater Mekong in Asia." Dr Jodie Rowley and colleagues from the Australian Museum have discovered 20 new Mekong frog species along the Mekong River since 2006. It was a nice juxtaposition of the Bronze Age and the biological sciences. 


A link to The Australian Museum blog:

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