The Queen's College
DPhil Oriental Studies
I grew up in Singapore and came to Oxford in 2014 to read for a BA in Oriental Studies (Egyptology with Akkadian) at Harris Manchester College, receiving the Gibbs Prize in Egyptology and Ancient Near Eastern Studies and the Arthur Lenman Senior Memorial Prize. I stayed on for an MSt in Oriental Studies as a Clarendon Scholar, training in art-historical approaches alongside specialised work on Egyptian images and texts. I am now working towards my doctorate as the Barns Student in Egyptology at The Queen's College.
My DPhil project explores the forms and construction of 'composite' images in ancient Egyptian visual culture. These include fantastic creatures and 'mixed' human-animal and multi-animal forms of deities. Currently, I concentrate on the usage, distribution and significance of ophidian elements in such images.
Major goals of my research are, on increasingly broad levels, to explain the ubiquity, rarity or ostensible non-existence of certain anatomical configurations; to situate the incorporation of animal elements within a wider set of ancient Egyptian representational strategies centred on the body; and to model and compare iconographic systems between periods and contexts of representation.
A related objective is to compare patterns and principles concerning the use of composite images in art and in hieroglyphic writing. I am interested in how ancient Egyptians conceived the relationship between image and text—both as semiotic categories and as ways of displaying and expressing cultural knowledge—and the extent to which this changed over time and between sociocultural environments.