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As the world continues to fight COVID-19, curators and educators alike have embarked on new ways to showcase exhibitions and museum education on Malaysia’s socio-economic history.
Against this backdrop, how will the future look like for Bank Negara Malaysia Museum and Art Gallery (BNM MAG)?
Noreen Zulkepli, Acting Director of the Hospitality and Museum Department of Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) explained, “The halting of physical exhibitions and in-person educational initiatives such as school visits, guided tours and outreach programmes as a result of the pandemic, has been an unprecedented challenge for us.
“This new norm has, however, provided us with opportunities to explore new and innovative forms of engagement. BNM MAG is among the earliest museums in the country to digitalise its exhibitions and educational programmes, which have been available online for a while now.”
“In addition, our successful collaborations with schools, colleges and universities to organise various talks and competitions virtually have been encouraging with a wider outreach. We are also in the midst of making available some of our popular annual events online.
“Despite the current situation, we intend to move forward with our line-up of exhibitions and educational programmes and are prepared to adapt under a hybrid setup where delivery will be done via physical as well as virtual platforms.” continued Noreen.
In the first six months of this year, BNM MAG has launched virtually three new exhibitions and an art bazaar, as well as numerous online programmes and e-competitions.
Editor’s Note: Please click on the title of each exhibition to experience them virtually.
Everyone is familiar with the Malaysian Ringgit banknotes and coins issued by BNM, but not many are aware that coins have existed as a medium of exchange for more than 2,000 years.
The rich history behind these coins is as fascinating as the many civilisations that have produced them.
In fact, coins have been instrumental in the development of currency and trade around the world!
In this virtual exhibition, visitors will have the opportunity to explore the historical role of coins as one of the oldest forms of payment and delve into the evolving art of producing coins.
On top of that, visitors can have fun designing their own coins and even share their personal thoughts on the future of these metal pieces in their wallet.
Everyone has a role to play in the climate emergency!
SCARCITY virtual exhibition is a beneficial resource for anyone interested in the ongoing climate crisis.
Explore the impact of small changes in your daily routine towards better preserving our environment and understand why the climate change issue has been gaining attention even among central banks.
Through this exhibition, visitors will be able to explore the intersection between climate change and scarcity through various mediums such as images, videos, and interactive activities.
Visitors will also have access to informative videos explaining the science behind the climate emergency, a role-playing activity and case studies of environmental issues around the world.
KERINGAT illustrates the chronology of events that have shaped Malaysian socio-economic development through a range of impressive artworks.
The exhibition, comprising 53 paintings and photographs, showcases the work of our forefathers from the colonial era in Malaya up until the 1980s, primarily featuring sectors of agriculture, fisheries, mining, and small businesses.
Among renowned artists featured in this exhibition include Yong Mun Sen (1896-1962, Sarawak), Abdullah Ariff (1904- 1962, Penang), Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah (1907-1979, Terengganu), Kuo Ju Ping (1908-1962, China), Chuah Thean Teng (1912-2008, China), Mohd Salehuddin (1914-unknown, Selangor), and many more.
For those who enjoyed our Art Bazaar from previous years, BNM MAG has something better in store with the introduction of a virtual bazaar.
JARI presents the artworks of 30 emerging artists deploying diverse mediums and showcasing unique art styles.
The artworks for sale are virtually displayed for the first time this year on the JARI platform as well as on BNM MAG’s social media channels.
To promote a greater appreciation of art across a wider audience, all artworks will be priced at RM1,500 and below.
JARI is available now until September 2021. The step-by-step instructions for buyers can be found on the BNM MAG’s website. Grab the artworks while they are still available!
“The Works on Metal, SCARCITY and KERINGAT will be a part of BNM MAG’s permanent virtual exhibitions. The general public can expect more exciting virtual exhibitions, programmes and competitions from BNM MAG in the coming months.
We welcome the public to share their thoughts on new topics or ideas that can be featured on BNM MAG platforms via our email at firstname.lastname@example.org,” Noreen concluded.
All images supplied by Bank Negara Malaysia Museum and Art Gallery. Cover image: Harvesting Rice by Ibrahim Abu Bakar (left) and Tumbuk Padi by Ismail Mat Hussin.