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Paula Swart

Paula Swart’s recent article entitled Celebrating Khmer Cultural Heritage: Archaeology, Research and Restitution to Cambodia has just been published in the Jan/Feb 2018 issue of Arts of Asia! Over five years in the making, the research was facilitated by Paula’s many trips to the region. Click here to read the article.

Paula Swart’s recent article entitled The Elegance of Persian Steel & the Art of Parviz Tanavoli has been published in Collectors World! Tanavoli is the foremost Iranian contemporary sculptor, who lives in Horseshoe Bay, B.C., but still has his workshop in Tehran. Click here to read the article.

Paula is a lecturer at the University of British Columbia and has recently been teaching courses on UNESCO World Heritage sites at the UBC Summer Institute and the University of Victoria. Paula speaks five languages, including Mandarin, and has enjoyed introducing students and visitors to Asian culture and history for more than twenty years. She has travelled extensively throughout Asia and lectured on numerous expeditions — including trips by train, boat, and private jet.

In 2012, Paula curated an exhibition at the UBC Museum of Anthropology on Buddhist art, called Visions of Enlightenment. She is a Board Member of the Canadian Society for Asian Arts and has published scholarly articles in ‘Arts of Asia’.
Paula studied Sinology at the University of Leiden, Chinese history at the University of Nanjing, and received an M.A. in Asian Art History from the University of Amsterdam.

"We wanted to tell you (although you likely know) what a gem Paula is, a great travelling companion as well as guide and  has a wealth of knowledge." - Harry and Helen H., who travelled with Paula to Myanmar in 2014

"Paula is a very friendly, knowledgeable and competent trip leader with a good sense of fun. She is also flexible and attentive to the needs of individuals and the group." - Sharon G., who travelled with Paula to Myanmar in 2016

Upcoming Tours

Current Projects

She has recently curated an exhibition on Buddhist art, called Visions of Enlightenment, based on public and private collections in Canada, that included art from China, Cambodia, Japan, Korea, Myanmar, Vietnam, Tibet and Thailand. While researching the topic she travelled to Vietnam, Cambodia and Lhasa, Tibet.

Memorable Moment

Meeting the King of Bhutan in 2008 one month after his coronation.