Telekom Museum centre of digital arts showcase

Zahidi (left) at the KLWKND exhibition with the theme "Traverse - Motions Through Time" in the Room 3 - The Gifted Show, featuring art pieces by people with disabilities.

COMBINING technology and arts, TM Foundation (YTM) continued with its mission to celebrate Malaysia’s arts, culture and heritage by transforming the Telekom Museum into an engaging public digital arts space.

In collaboration with the Cultural Economy Development Agency (Cendana) and Cendana’s Art in the City programme, the inaugural KLWKND series of events from Nov 25 to 28 was held to make arts and culture accessible to everyone.

Transforming downtown Kuala Lumpur into a vibrant and immersive hub for creativity, various activities were held throughout the four-day programme — dance, music, opera, fashion, architecture, food, visual arts, design and history.

The museum became the centrepiece where art met technology.

The 93-year-old heritage building was transformed into the “Situlah” public digital arts showcase.

Since 1994, the museum has been showcasing the history and evolution of telecommunications in Malaysia, and with KLWKND, YTM reinvigorated the historical building into an engaging hub to connect the dots across the many facets within the TM Group.

Showcasing Multimedia University (MMU) students, alumni and faculty talents in digital, creative and cinematic arts, as well as Telekom Malaysia’s heritage and innovations in telecommunications, YTM also teamed up with Joe Sidek Productions and other visual and performing artists.

Local food and beverage businesses also found support during the events.

With the theme “Traverse — Motions Through Time”, the exhibition showcased art and technology traversing without borders across time, mediums and cultures in an interdependent ecosystem.

The exhibition addressed the transformation of telecommunications institutions (TM Group, Telekom Museum and MMU) in the age of digital evolution contained within four chapters: Enter, Intervention, Retrospect and Experience.

Besides digital and creative arts, TM Research and Development and TM One also showcased their latest innovations.

The exhibition was attended by Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin, who did a walkabout with YTM board of trustees member Datuk Dr Abdul Rahim Daud, its director Izlyn Ramli, TM Research and Development chief executive officer Dr Sharlene Thiagarajah, Menara Kuala Lumpur chief executive officer Ainol Shaharina Sahar, Cendana chief executive officer Izan Satrina Mohd Sallehuddin and festival director Joe Sidek.

Zahidi said, “We can see that many programmes can be done through digital and integrative approaches.

“This is a good initiative and we hope with MMU students’ success at the exhibition, we can establish entrepreneurial opportunities in 5G with the help of the Finance Ministry.”

Zahidi said his ministry would hold discussions with Cendana to possibly expand the KLWKND initiative to other states in Malaysia.

“This will be a creative venture and we will need to establish an association together with MMU to perhaps rebrand this project to promote our local arts internationally,” he added.

Also taking part in KLWKND were visual artists from Perak Artists Association, who showcased the Gutta Percha Trail Exhibition that told the history of how a tree native to Malaysia played a crucial role in making the global submarine and telegraph network possible.

With the emergence of vast markets for non-fungible tokens (NFTs), YTM is collaborating with Detik, a unique Malaysian NFT project team, which is organising the NFT-Jam Challenge where digital artists will meet up in the Detik-created Newsantara metaverse.

“This is to increase digital literacy reach so creative communities can join in the digital economy and earn potential income from their creative arts,” said Izlyn.

“Malaysia has a wealth of talent, creativity and innovation but it needs due attention and support to grow further and make a mark in the world.

“KLWKND is an integral part of Art in the City, to reach out, restart, revive and rebuild the economy for the arts and culture sector,” she added.

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