A B O U T   ‘L I V I N G   O B J E C T S   G A L L E R Y’

‘Living Objects Gallery’ is located in Southeast Asia, in a region known for artful living, rich beliefs, and a love of natural materials. In our time here, we’ve found that the art and handmade objects from this region, and elsewhere, are imbued with life by their creators and users. When studied, hidden information is revealed about the context of their creation and the societies from which they come. There is much for us to learn from these inanimate, but living, objects: stories they can tell, histories and beliefs particular to each, the significance and power of their symbols, and the relevance of time and place to their being and materials.

Assembling this collection has been a journey of discovery and delight, resulting in profound respect for human creativity worldwide. We hope you will share our joy and engage in your own process of personal discovery when perusing our website. It is our wish to find appreciative homes for the objects in our gallery and we welcome your interest, questions, or thoughts about our collection. Contact us at: susan@livingobjectsgallery.com

Robert at Persepolis, Iran 1997

Susan Dressed up by Kurdish NomadsSusan dressed up by Kurdish nomads - NE Iran 1997

A B O U T   U S

Our collection began with folk, visionary and photographic art over 50 years ago in Houston, Texas, which was home to Rice University, where Robert and I were both educated in the arts. Thanks to Houston’s thriving art community, we were fortunate to know personally many of the visionaries and artists whose works enhanced our home and enriched our lives.

After moving to the Middle East in 1989 and living immersively in a foreign culture, a passion for the ethnographic arts of Asia grew as we began collecting tribal rugs and trappings. Interest in the varied ethnic cultures became an important part of our lives as we traveled, learned, and collected ethnographica in the places we visited. From the oasis souks of Saudi Arabia, nomadic weavers of Iran, silversmiths of Indonesia, basket and craft villages of Thailand, shaman and visionaries wherever we found them, plus a myriad of people, sites, and memories in between, we expanded our experiences and knowledge.

A subsequent move to Southeast Asia in 2002 allowed us to focus on exploring this region in greater depth, and creating a website and blog. Its creation attracted kindred spirits around the world and gave new meaning to our lives as many became friends, both online and in person.

2022 however, brought a major transition to our family with the passing of Robert, the love of my life, partner, and husband for over 51 years. This new online ‘Living Objects Gallery’ will honor him. It will include objects from our private holdings, along with stories, photos and memories, which will live on in this idiosyncratic online collection.

– Susan Stem


Please note: All photos and text on this site belong to Susan Stem. Plagiarists will answer to the Law of Karma.