Ilham Gallery launches children's MCO art show, extends photography exhibit

An artwork titled 'MCO No Sweat' by Puteri Layla Amani Hazri, which is part of Ilham Gallery's 'Homebody: Finalists Of The Ilham Kids ‘MCO’ Art Competition' exhibition. Photo: Ilham Gallery

During a challenging year of lockdowns and art galleries and museum closures in 2020, Ilham Gallery made strides with its digital platform, by offering virtual tours of exhibitions and introducing new online projects and content.

“One of the unexpected positives of the MCO was that Ilham was able to transition its programmes onto the digital platform, by publishing video content like artist interviews, curatorial tours and other public programmes on our social media sites. This allowed us to connect to much larger audiences, outside the Klang Valley and Malaysia, ” says gallery director Rahel Joseph.

During the past pandemic year, Ilham Gallery ran over 50 programmes under the Ilham@Home initiative, all of which were presented online.

Besides artist interviews, the gallery also invited them to do an Instagram “take over” every weekend during the movement control order (MCO) period to share their work with the public.

In November, digital programme "Ilham Cribs" was launched, where an emerging artist is invited to speak about their practice and working process.

“These studio visits by the gallery team are posted on our social media accounts each week to present the works of these artists to the larger public. Each artist also gets a small per diem as well, as a way for us to support them during this difficult period, besides having their artworks and practice promoted on Ilham’s social media, ” says Rahel.

A look at Ilham Gallery's interactive 360 virtual tour of  'Bayangnya Itu Timbul Tenggelam - Photographic Cultures In Malaysia' exhibition. The gallery is now open to public. Photo: Ilham GalleryA look at Ilham Gallery's interactive 360 virtual tour of 'Bayangnya Itu Timbul Tenggelam - Photographic Cultures In Malaysia' exhibition. The gallery is now open to public. Photo: Ilham Gallery

The gallery also collaborated with Google Arts & Culture, to feature the gallery on its platform. The artworks from the Fracture/Fiction: Selections From The Ilham Collection exhibition are currently on view.

The current exhibition at Ilham Gallery, Bayangnya Itu Timbul Tenggelam - Photographic Cultures In Malaysia, has been extended until Feb 11. If you can't make it to the show, there is a 360 interactive virtual tour for the exhibition on the gallery’s website.

“We will continue with the virtual tours as it is a great way to archive our shows and it also enables visitors from overseas and those living out of the Klang Valley to experience the exhibition, ” says Rahel.

To start off the year, Homebody: Finalists Of The Ilham Kids ‘MCO’ Art Competition community-based group show is currently running on Level 3 of the gallery. These are 34 winning entries from the gallery’s art competition held during the MCO, inviting children (ages of four to 12) to submit an artwork that illustrated family life under the MCO.

In March, an exhibition featuring the works of the late Malaysian painter Kok Yew Puah (1947-1999) will be shown. It is curated by Rahel Joseph and Beverly Yong.

A South-East Asian exhibition curated by Patrick Flores is planned for later in the year.

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