Wednesday, May 4, 2016

#MuseumWeek | Discovering Malaysia's Painted Heritage

In conjunction with Museum Week 2016, a series of activities is going on on several social platforms around the world; one that is trending now is #MuseumWeek2016 or #MuseumWeek on Twitter from 28 March to 3 April. As for the rest of us that is not active on Twitter, the International Museum Day is celebrated on 18 May, 2016 coordinated by the International Council of Museums (ICOM), and the theme for this year is Museums and Cultural Landscapes. The main objective of International Museum Day is to raise awareness to the public on museum being an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among peoples.

In line with this prestige world event and its objective, Tripovo has invited a few bloggers from all genre to participate in “Discovering Malaysia's Painted Heritage” held in National Museum of Malaysia in collaboration with Textile Museum's Head, Miss Rosidha Abdullah where we learn and experience on batik canting and painting.

Having been to Muzium Negara (National Museum of Malaysia) during my school days, I was surprised to see the huge changes made and I was truly fascinated with the showcases displayed in the galleries, namely Pre History, Malay Kingdoms, Colonial Era and Malaysia Today. One that caught my attention was the history on Perak Man, Lembah Bujang and Malay Kingdoms. This definitely calls for a repeat visit. The Perak Man skeleton showcased currently in Muzium Negara is a replica as the original skeleton has been returned to Lenggong Museum in Lenggong, Perak. Having said that, one can still read the history, its excavation and its relics, artifacts and working tools, and learn how the supervolcano LakeToba eruption impacted Malaysia.

Here, at Muzium Negara, one can also learn about Lembah Bujang or Bujang Valley; a new rediscovered historical complex located near Merbok, Kedah is currently the richest archaeological area in Malaysia. Find out on civilization evidence on the existence Hindu/Buddhism trading and administration center in Southeast Asia from the 3rd. to the 12th century AD.

Gallery C covers Colonial Era, where I felt tourist and travellers can understand better of Malaysia culture diversity. Taking place from 1511 to 1945, this educates tourist and travellers on the arrival of Portuguese, Dutch and British colonialism in this country. Beginning from 1511 when the Portuguese seized Melaka and colonize Southeast Asia trading centre that ends the Melaka Malay Sultanate, until the Japanese Occupation. It also inform on how British administration help build our education system, transportation among others.

We later were highlighted on local famous craft – Batik canting. Canting or canthing/tjanting, is a pen-like tool used to apply liquid hot wax in the batik-making process, more precisely batik tulis or written batik. Where else batik is a technique of wax-resist dyeing applied to whole cloth. A tradition of making batik is found in various Asean countries, such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, India, Sri Lanka and Philippines. The Malaysian batik making is very different from the Indonesian Javanese batik. Malaysian batik can be found in Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang, whereby the pattern and design is simpler with a bigger motifs and it rely on brush painting method to apply colours on fabrics in which pastel colours are emphasized. Batik canting is a traditional culture and art that is being preserve, one can learn more on local textile making and types in National Textile Museum, a 5 minutes walking distance from both Dataran Merdeka and Sultan Abdul Samad Building.

All in all, it was a very education trip where I relive history and reminded me how we suffer, fight for our independence, and establish our country. This indeed triggered the need for me to visit other museums around Kuala Lumpur. Below are the few museums that I (and you can too) plan to cover within this few weeks.
  • Islamic Art Museum
  • National Textile Museum
  • National Museum of Malaysia
  • Bank Negara Malaysia Museum & Art Gallery
  • Royal Malaysian Police Museum
  • National History Museum
  • Maybank Numismatic Museum
  • Tun Abdul Razak Memorial
  • Kuala Lumpur's science museum (or National Science Centre)
  • Royal Malaysian Air Force Museum
  • Biomedical Museum
  • Malay-World Ethnology Museum
  • Music Museum KL
  • Kuala Lumpur Craft Museum
  • Art House Gallery Museum of Ethnic Arts
  • Kuala Lumpur City Gallery
  • Galeria Sri Perdana

This “Discovering Malaysia's Painted Heritage” activity/trip is made possible by Tripovo, Textile Museum and National Museum of Malaysia.

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