GALERI PETRONAS today launched MANIFEST: Modernism of Merdeka, an exhibition to showcase how Malaysian architecture had shaped the transformation of the nation during its pre- and post-independence period of 1950s and 1960s.
The exhibition is a collaboration with the Malaysian Institute of Architects and is part of the Kuala Lumpur Architecture Festival 2017 (KLA2017), bringing together international and local experts who are catalysts of change in Malaysia’s architectural industry today.
The transformative period of Merdeka brought significant changes to Kuala Lumpur, then the capital of a newly formed nation. Architects were at the forefront of the urban debates, giving shape to planning and architectural questions that resulted in both physical changes and societal configurations.
Visitors to the exhibition will get to view photographs, drawings, models, social documents and new media presentations which showcase the achievements and ideals, ethics and aspirations of the pioneering generation of Malaysian architects during the early years of Merdeka and the formation of Malaysia.
Speaking at the exhibition launch, KLCC Holdings Sdn Bhd Group CEO Datuk Hashim Wahir said: “PETRONAS has grown with Malaysia through its formative years, and developed diverse communities from bustling cities to some of the most remote areas across the country.
“Vibrant cities and towns such as Kerteh, Bintulu, Tronoh and Pengerang are among some of the examples that have witnessed socio-economic growth resulting from their emergence as oil and gas activity centres,” he said.
Hashim added the development of the integrated and self-contained Kuala Lumpur City Centre changed the architectural landscape of the capital city of Kuala Lumpur, giving Malaysia its most recognisable landmark, the PETRONAS Twin Towers, a building which symbolizes the country’s vision and growth towards becoming a developed nation.
“I hope this exhibition and related programmes from the KLAF2017 will promote dialogues and exchanges of novel ideas in developing better cities with sustainable, congruent and lively architecture,” he said.
(From left) Director of GALERI PETRONAS, Joseph Edwin; Director of Jurubena Bertiga International Partnership, Dato’ Baharuddin Abu Kassim; GROUP CEO of KLCC Holdings Sdn Bhd, Datuk Hashim Wahir; Royal Patron of KLAF2017, Tengku Zatasha binti Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah; Director of BEP Akitek Sdn Bhd, Kam Pak Cheong; President of the Malaysian Institute of Architects, Ezumi Harzani Ismail; Director of KLA2017, Ang Chee.
Also present at the launch was KLAF2017’s Royal Patron Tengku Zatashah binti Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah. “I am hopeful that MANIFEST will bring to light the significant relationship between architecture and nation-building, and how far we have come as a nation – from the Malaya period of heroic transformation during the 1950s and 1960s – since Merdeka,” shared Tengku Zatashah.
MANIFEST is open for public viewing at GALERI PETRONAS on Level 3, Suria KLCC from 11 until 30 July 2017. Admission is free.