Today, most Chinese Muslims you would meet in Indonesia are likely to be recent converts of Islam. The main thrust of this project is to document their experiences, so as to understand their motivations for conversion, and its impact on their lives and relationships with families and friends. With the Chinese forming around 1.2 percent of the country’s population, of which 5.41 percent are of Islamic faith (based on figures from 2000), Chinese Muslims are a minority within the minority.
Zhuang Wubin is a writer, curator and artist. As a writer/curator, Zhuang focuses on the photographic practices of Southeast Asia and Hong Kong. He uses the medium as a prism to explore the following trajectories: photography and Chineseness, periodicals and photobooks as sites of historiography, and photography’s entanglements with nationalism and the Cold War. As an artist, Zhuang uses photography and text to visualise the shifting experiences of Chineseness in Southeast Asia. Published by NUS Press, Photography in Southeast Asia: A Survey (2016) is his fourth book. His fifth publication is titled Shifting Currents: Glimpses of a Changing Nation (2018), a commission by the NLB, which features the work of Singaporean photographer Kouo Shang-Wei.