Miniature diorama project revives 15th century Melaka


By AGENCY

The exhibition at Galeri Seni Dan Budaya WCO in Selangor includes replica trading ships, highlighting the trade relationship between the Melaka Sultanate and China. Photo: Bernama

A group of miniature artists has vividly recreated the atmosphere and daily life of 15th-century Melaka at a private miniature art gallery in Selangor.

Their 13m-long diorama, depicting the golden age of the Melaka Sultanate, features over 700 miniatures representing a multicultural society adorned in detailed traditional clothing and cultural attire. The exhibit also includes meticulously crafted replicas of palaces, houses, and transport systems, showcasing animals like elephants and oxen.

The exhibition, which runs through June 30, is being held at the Galeri Seni Dan Budaya WCO, You Residences, Persiaran You City, in Cheras, Selangor, and admission is free.

The diorama project, started in 2020, required extensive research and the combined talents of diverse miniature artists. Photo: BernamaThe diorama project, started in 2020, required extensive research and the combined talents of diverse miniature artists. Photo: Bernama

The diorama, which took three years to build, also includes several replica trading ships, similar to those used by traders from China and Melaka, showcasing the trading relationship between the Melaka Sultanate and China that began in the 15th century, during the height of Melaka's prominence as one of the most important ports in the region.

Foo Loke Kee, founder of the WCO Art and Culture Gallery, said the diorama is one of the artworks featured in the Malaysia-China Diplomatic Relations Miniature Exhibition, held in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

According to Foo, the diorama project, which began in 2020, required extensive research, combined with the expertise, talent and creativity of miniature artists from various backgrounds and skill sets.

Foo says the diorama highlights the trading activities between China and the Melaka Sultanate, while also illustrating daily life in 15th century Melaka. Photo: BernamaFoo says the diorama highlights the trading activities between China and the Melaka Sultanate, while also illustrating daily life in 15th century Melaka. Photo: Bernama

"The craftsmen came from diverse backgrounds, each possessing unique skills. For instance, Malay and Chinese artisans worked together on this project. The palace, houses and ships were crafted by carpenter Mohd Zain Abd Aziz, the miniature figures by Helen Chua and other miniatures by Lai Pui Sun," said Foo in a recent Bernama interview.

For model ship enthusiasts, he also highlighted four ship replicas: a 15th-century (warship) Galleass, the Baochuan (treasure ship), a Chinese Junk, and a Chinese Tongkang, illustrating maritime activities and trade with China in the Straits of Melaka.

"This diorama, taken as a whole, highlights the trading activities between merchants from China and Melaka, providing an illustration of the economic relationship established since the 15th century,” he concluded.

Follow us on our official WhatsApp channel for breaking news alerts and key updates!

miniature , Melaka , Malaysia-China , diorama , exhibition

   

Next In Culture

Have you spotted these iconic 'matchboxes' while cruising around Kuala Lumpur?
A broken and beautiful world of shards, symbols and memories
Almodovar’s love affair with Spain’s capital city explored in new exhibition
Hermes v Hermes: Turkey bookshop marks win in copyright fight
Weekend for the arts: 'Twisted' fairy tales at KLPac, poetics of translation
'We are crying,': 8yo 'Goldsmith' mural in KL erased, street artist asks, 'Why?'
Strasbourg, with its literary history, shines as Unesco's World Book Capital 2024
Art is cool, museum tells sweltering Muscovites
Tracing Chinese memory and identity in Indonesia's history
French author Leila Slimani drafted for Paris Olympics role

Others Also Read