Julian Davison (b. 1956) is the son of an architect and grew up in Singapore and Malaysia. At the age of nine he was sent to school in England, though his family home continued to be in Kuala Lumpur until his father retired in 1979.
He has a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Durham and he subsequently studied at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, where he completed a doctorate in 1988 based on a study of “The Headhunting Rituals and Associated Oral Literature of the Iban of Sarawak”.
More recently, Davison completed a 6-month Lee Kong Chian Fellowship at the National Library of Singapore, which looked at the coming of modernity to Singapore in the years between the 2 world wars.
Julian currently resides in Singapore where he is a freelance writer and editor. He has edited, or otherwise contributed to, several reference books and scholarly works relating to the region and he is also the author of regular feature articles on regional history and related subjects for local magazines – a collection of these was published in 2001 under the title “One For The Road“ and was on the best-seller list in Singapore for several months; a second edition appeared in 2007.
Julian is an occasional watercolour painter, specialising in architectural illustrations and renderings, many of which have appeared in publications relating to the architecture of the region. He is also the host of Art Central’s popular TV history series, Site and Sound, which takes a quirky, up-beat, off-the-road look at Singapore’s past, visiting historical sites and using special “blue-screen” effects to literally walk into long-vanished landscapes and locations.
His second volume of collected essays and articles entitled “An Eastern Port” was published in early 2004 and has also been in the best-seller lists. November 2005 saw the publication of an architectural monograph-cum-coffee-table book on the “Black and White” colonial bungalows of Singapore, which is now in its third reprint.
His most recent book is a history of the Singapore shophouse, which appeared in December 2010 and is currently topping the best-seller lists.