Launch Of “MANAH: A LIVING LEGACY” Exhibition

February 21, 2017 4:20 pm 0 comments

Tuesday, 21 February 2017


Assalamualaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh

Salam Sejahtera

Dan Salam 1 Malaysia

Yang Amat Mulia Tunku Zain ‘Abidin ibni Tuanku Muhriz, Penaung Organisasi Dunia Melayu Polynesia,

Excellencies Ambassadors; and Representatives of Foreign Missions in Malaysia,

YBhg Tan Sri Zarinah Anwar, Member of the Board of Directors, PETRONAS,

Yang Berusaha Puan Zahariah Liza Abdul Rahman, Pengurus Besar Kanan, Bahagian Komunikasi Strategik, PETRONAS,

Yang Berusaha Puan Roshaniza Ilmi Mohd Ali, Pengarah, GALERI PETRONAS,

Artis-artis dan Warga Seni,

Rakan-rakan Media,

Para hadirin yang dihormati sekalian,

Alhamdulillah, marilah kita bersama-sama merafakkan kesyukuran ke hadrat Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala kerana atas limpah izin dan kurniaNya jua, kita dapat bersama-sama bertemu di majlis ini sempena perlancaran rasmi pameran sulung GALERI PETRONAS untuk tahun 2017, “MANAH: A LIVING LEGACY”.

2. Perkataan “Manah” ini sendiri sebenarnya berasal dari Bahasa suku kaum Temiar yang membawa maksud “purba” atau “cara lama”. Ia merujuk kepada budaya terdahulu yang mengabadikan hubungan suci antara orang-orang asli atau orang-orang asal dan tanah yang mereka duduki.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

3. Galeri PETRONAS is very proud and privileged to open its door to this unique exhibition, “MANAH: A LIVING LEGACY” as a testament to our continued commitment to our “Amanah”, our responsibility towards creating a positive ecosystem for the growth and understanding of Malaysian art, culture and heritage. Particularly, as a platform for the preservation of Malaysian indigenous aesthetics and culture by providing another perspective to the understanding of indigenous communities across Malaysia – be it in Sabah, Sarawak or Peninsular.

4. “MANAH: A LIVING LEGACY” explores the indigenous worldview which is grounded on ancient stories and symbols, orally recounted through ritual dance and songs. The world is revered as a sacred symbol of creation and sustainer of life. This symbiotic relationship between man and nature provides a template for their culture and social order.

5. This Exhibition seeks to re-represent indigenous aesthetics in a new context, challenging the notion of indigenous culture as something that is mysterious, inferior or backwards. The prejudices of modern society have led to the mistaken perception which assumes that the creativity and inventions of the past did not bear any influence or effect on their lives. Thus, it causes people to ignore the valuable treasures of their ancestors. While in awe of the presence of new inventions that are expensive and considered of high value and associated with prestige.

6. While we must continue to innovate in this disruptive Digital Age, we must consider the material and non-material culture from the indigenous communities as invaluable, not merely as heritage, but to use them for expanding the body of knowledge in various fields such as agriculture, medicine, anthropology, linguistics, literature and industry.

7. There is so much that we can learn from the values and practices of indigenous people when it comes to global issues such as climate change, biodiversity loss and sustainable living. Their minimalist way of life is in itself a lesson in sustainability – a subject only recently given more prominence including by the Corporate world. PETRONAS is proud to contribute towards enhancing traditional knowledge and a holistic culture.

8. Indeed, PETRONAS’ CSR initiatives are anchored on sustainability. For example, our work in collaboration with Yayasan Sabah on the Imbak Canyon, deep in the heart of Sabah. Allocating more than RM 80 million this initiative which includes the Imbak Canyon Studies Centre aims to conserve 30,000 hectares of virgin rainforest and home to 600 species of flora and fauna, making Imbak Canyon a priceless heritage. Our Biodiversity, Environmental and Conservation (BEACON) Project in collaboration with Sarawak Forestry in Bintulu and ecoCare Programme together with Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) along Sungai Kertih in Terengganu and many more across the country are manifestations that PETRONAS is beyond just economic sedentary. We remain highly committed to such corporate social responsibility, despite the current challenges in the global oil and gas industry.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

9. The exhibits that you will find on display throughout the Galeri today showcase the ingenuity of the indigenous communities in their everyday items. In the absence of materials and tools of modern technology, they possess the knowledge to produce items of value. A good example would be the process of making the ‘pua kumbu’ among the Ibans which requires special delicate expertise and keen observation. It shows a level of local wisdom that is unmatched, simply relying on basic tools, discipline and noble work ethics to produce something so valuable. So precious. Some of these arts are translation of their dreams. A visualisation of their Unseen world.

10. This Exhibition also showcases works from a new generation of young indigenous artists who celebrate their ancestral heritage. Their works are contemporary in nature and are infused with their distinctive culture and heritage.

11. With the march of progress and modernity, much of the traditions and aspects of indigenous culture is slowly diminishing and increasingly lost amongst the younger generation. The efforts of the four young artists in this Exhibition to preserve their heritage by presenting traditional culture in a modern medium through a contemporary lens is much lauded.

12. It is my hope that this Exhibition will facilitate a larger awareness and appreciation of the indigenous communities in Malaysia as they reaffirm universal values of kinship, ingenuity, simplicity and respect for nature and the environment. There will be various public programmes in conjunction with this Exhibition such as story telling of Kelabit tribes for children, Sulaman demonstration all the way from Kampong Inarad Tongod, film screening on Temiar People and numerous art forums and discussions. Bringing ourselves closer to our Root. It is in a way reminding ourselves, both as individual, and as an organization, of our Origin. Lest we forget!

Ladies and Gentlemen,

13. Since its inception in 1993, GALERI PETRONAS has emerged as a platform for the exchange of ideas, cultures and expertise towards building a vibrant art community and industry in Malaysia. Today, it has become a crucial arts engagement platform for artists and audiences, both locally and abroad.

14. I wish to congratulate Puan Roshaniza Ilmi and the family of GALERI PETRONAS, Guest Curator Associate Professor Dr. Hj. Baharudin Arus from University Malaysia Sabah (UMS) and his co-curator, Encik Badrolhisham Mohamad Tahir, our guest writers Prof. Dr. Ismail Ibrahim from Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) and Dr. Noria Anak Tugang from Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS), who have all worked tirelessly to bring the Exhibition to life.

15. I would also like to thank all four talented local artists Alena Ose’ Murang, Shahar Koyok, Kendy Mitot and Kaleb Anyie Udau for sharing their creative talent, contributing towards another milestone in GALERI PETRONAS’ efforts to promote and develop Malaysia’s young talents.

16. A special acknowledgement is due to Tok Batin Hussein of Kampung Orang Asli Bukit Kala, Batu 12, Gombak and Biro Kebudayaan dan Kesenian Belia 4B, Gombak and all individuals who have kindly lent us their collections for this Exhibition. Many many thanks.

17. I hope this Exhibition will contribute towards making our legacy, living and thriving through the ages, and that we have discharged our Amanah to the legacy.

18. On that note, and with lafaz ‘Bismillahirahmanirrahim’, it gives me great pleasure to declare “MANAH: A LIVING LEGACY” exhibition open.

Thank you.











Manah6  Manah8

Photos courtesy of PETRONAS Group Strategic Communications.

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