Indigenous Applied Arts of Malaysia and Canada on Exhibition in Vancouver

MONDAY, 05 MARCH 2012 15:53

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Pix Courtesy of Asso Prof Salmah Abu Mansur KITA

BANGI, 2 Mac 2012 – A 10 day Malaysia-Canada Indigenous Communities Applied Arts Exhibition is currently being held at the Pendulum Gallery in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada exhibiting applied arts of the indigenous communities of both countries.

The exhibition which ends tomorrow includes a diverse range of functional works including baskets, textiles, jewellery, mats, souvenirs, scarves, hats, bangles, musical instruments, toys, tools, etc.

The exhibition is organised by the Canadian Society for Asian Arts, the Institute of Ethnic Studies (KITA) of the National University of Malaysia (UKM), Aboriginal Studies Emily Carr University of Art and Design and supported by the Canadian and Malaysian governments.

A statement from the organisers sent to UKM News Portal today said the exhibition is the result of the joint collaboration of the co-curators, the Senior Research Fellow of KITA, Assoc Prof Salmah Abu Mansor and Sam Carter, Professor Emeritus-Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Vancouver who in Spring and Fall of 2011 had selected applied arts from indigenous communities across Malaysia and Canada.

The statement said some recent design products representing both traditional designs as well as new innovative works were also exhibited.

Some of the products apply images of local flora and fauna using only natural materials with old and new tools. Other designs share stories and are expressive of design traditions within indigenous communities.

Other objects explore new images and visual language combining old with new and local with global design influences.

The statement also said the bi-lateral exhibitions provide ideas for design and development of products to reach larger markets, maintaining standards of art, design and craft excellence.

It also provides insights package design and promotion of creativity and innovation within indigenous communities in Malaysia.

The exhibition acknowledges and promotes excellence in creativity and production of applied arts from indigenous communities and partnerships from all aspects of national and international creative industries.

A Virtual Gallery (Educational Online Learning Tool Website) will be created and include all images of the collection with labels and additional information in this bi-lateral exhibition.

From Spring 2012 onward, the Malaysia-Canada Indigenous Communities Applied Arts Exhibition will travel to various States of Malaysia. The exhibition will be showcased in museums, community cultural centres and for conventions and special events in Malaysia.

The exhibition of both Malaysian and Canadian components including all artifacts, labels will be donated to UKM.

The Consul General of Malaysia to Vancouver, Mohd. Haniff Abdul Rahman said at the opening of the exhibition last week that in addition to creating public awareness and giving credence and recognition to indigenous applied arts, the exhibition has also elevated indigenous applied arts to an international level.

It has also become an important instrument of bilateral relations in cultural diplomacy between Malaysia and Canada.

In showcasing samples of their applied arts, a piece of their proud ancestral identity are therefore shared, appreciated, admired and celebrated with the rest of the world. Likewise, their identity and strong connection and attachment to mother earth and its elements are better understood and appreciated by others.

Mohd Haniff hoped the exhibition would mark a new chapter of collaboration and cooperation not just between UKM and Emily Carr University in the field of arts and culture but expand to other organisations and institutes of higher learning and between both governments.

President and Vice Chancellor, Emily Carr University of Art and Design, (ECUAD) Vancouver, Dr. Ron Burnett; President, Canadian Society for Asian Arts, Dr. Jan Walls; Manager, Aboriginal Programme, ECUAD, Brenda Crabtree; Seri Malaysia Club, student volunteers and ECUAD Aboriginal Studies Programme-student volunteers were present at the launching.