Art of conservation in the spotlight

(From left) UEM Sunrise chief marketing officer Kenny Wong, chief development officer Mardiana Rahayu Tukiran, Chua and chief operations officer (central) Liong Kok Kit at the sales gallery in Seri Kembangan.

UEM Sunrise Bhd’s latest community engagement initiative K’Artulistiwa aims to establish a sustainable and community-based art gambit to bolster the local arts community – all while highlighting environmental and animal conservation as well as the preservation of cultural heritage.

K’Artulistiwa was launched at the property developer’s KAIA Heights sales gallery in Taman Equine, Seri Kembangan, on March 12.

The initiative was launched with the company’s appreciation event for its loyal customers called Trésorians.

The space is open to the public daily (from 10am to 5pm) and admission is free.

A play on words in three languages, the name cleverly intertwines the Bahasa Malaysia word for “equator”, which is khatulistiwa, to symbolise Malaysia’s geographical location, while the letter “K” represents UEM Sunrise’s flagship township of Mont’Kiara.

Meanwhile, the use of the English word “art” is a tool to bring communities together and tulis, a Bahasa Malaysia word for “write”, represents self-expression.

Lastly, istiwa means “to rise” in Arabic, which is aligned with UEM Sunrise’s philosophy.

Debby the Sun Bear is one of Chua’s many paintings on display at the KAIA Heights sales gallery.Debby the Sun Bear is one of Chua’s many paintings on display at the KAIA Heights sales gallery.

Based in the sales gallery, K’Artulistiwa will showcase works by local artists and host community-led art activities such as murals, art workshops, solo and group exhibitions by artists.

K’Artulistiwa is also in line with UEM Sunrise’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals and highlights elements of the company’s ESG framework by putting forth the urgent need to protect biodiversity and highlighting the importance of supporting community needs.

“UEM Sunrise sees art as a vehicle for communication and social change. Art is after all a pillar of any civilised society.

“It is important that we lead by example by practising environmentally and socially sensitive development strategies. Our local artists are now our advocates,” said UEM Sunrise chief executive officer Sufian Abdullah.

Plans are underway to roll out the art initiative to the company’s other sales galleries.

“With our sales galleries becoming more than just spaces to showcase our developments, they can double up as a creative platform and space for art-related activities.

“It is our hope that we can work with our local artists on a deeper level to develop a self-sustainable community which not only champions wildlife conservation but also champions art as a form of expression and a means to support the local economy,” he said.

In the first instalment of K’Artulistiwa, UEM Sunrise teamed up with environmental and wildlife conservationist artist Suzi Chua, whose passion for art and environmental conservation has inspired her to champion the cause through various art forms.

“The rainforest is home to many types of animals – large and small.

“Due to deforestation, natural habitats are shrinking fast, with many wild animals losing their homes.

“As an environmental and wildlife conservationist artist, I see it as my mission to be a voice for them, addressing this alarming issue in our society.

“Hopefully, their voices can be heard through my paintings – raising awareness and protecting them from becoming extinct.

“Through my collaboration with UEM Sunrise, I can bring art into interior design and ‘breathe life’ into the KAIA Heights sales gallery,” said Chua.

Her work is now on display at the KAIA Heights sales gallery for public viewing as well as for purchase.

Part of the proceeds from the sales of Chua’s artwork will go to conservation efforts for the Malayan tiger and Bornean sun bear and their habitats.

Both animals are local to the Malaysian wildlife ecosystem and are facing extinction.

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