Shifting art paradigms the digital way
MULTI-sensory digital installations and projections are some of the interesting artwork awaiting visitors at Galeri Petronas.
The gallery is hosting an exhibition entitled Liberating Potentials: Manifestation of Digital Shift, which highlights digital artwork.
It features works by three independent new media artists – Syafiq Abdul Samat, Tsa Meera and Haris Abadi, as well as student groups from five local universities – Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas), Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS), Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) and Multimedia University (MMU).
“Tun Dr M: Reviving the Legacy” is a large-scale collaborative project by five artists from UiTM from different fields, namely industrial design, printing technology, photo media creative, visual communication and new media. – Photos: LOW LAY PHON/The Star
“Instead of confining their talents within the tangible and physical realms where artworks are supposed to be viewed or touched (paintings and sculptures), these Malaysian digital artists have shifted the boundaries between the virtual and real worlds and made use of technical skills and technology as a means to express their creativity,” said Galeri Petronas operations head Dzalina A. Manan.
“By providing a platform to feature digital art installations out of the confines of classroom theories and studio practices, we hope that the exhibition will create responses and provocations that generate constructive discussions in the Malaysian art scene.
“Galeri Petronas is also committed to providing a space where thoughts are liberated and freely exchanged, in view of nurturing new media art as a field of high scholastic value,” she said.
Dzalina said Petronas had embarked on its own digitalisation agenda, progressing from a document-based organisation into a data-based one.
“The switch to digital is about embracing efficiency, reducing waste, improving quality of life and ultimately liberating the constraints of human potential towards creating a greener and more sustainable environment for generations to come,” she said.
“Terabai” by Unimas’ Faculty of Applied and Creative Arts team is a projection mapping piece that highlights the culture and heritage of Sarawak.
“Noise Painter” is an interactive piece by Syafiq that responds to light and noise.
“The device captures motion and sound, whether intended or unintended, to generate visuals,” he said.
“As a designer, there are circumstances in my work that I can’t control. This generative computer art explores that concept.
“I set the platform and code for the device, but how the audience interacts with it or whether they are aware the device is tracking their movement is out of my control.”
“Pohon” by Haris was inspired by the wayang kulit, a traditional art from his home state of Kelantan.
“The artwork is a video animation on loop, offering a modern means of communicating something traditional,” he said.
“The title refers to ‘pohon beringin’, an important wayang kulit element that symbolises the tree of life and how the cosmic order of the world is symmetrical.”
Haris said “Pohon” also reflects a childhood experience that is presented in a fun way.
“Tun Dr M: Reviving the Legacy” is a large-scale collaborative project by five artists from UiTM from different fields, namely industrial design, printing technology, photo media creative, visual communication and new media.
“Pohon” by Haris Abadi was inspired by the wayang kulit, a traditional art from his home state of Kelantan.
It combines new media forms such as video mapping, cinemagraph and interactive art installation to take viewers’ experience of art to another level of appreciation.
Dr Baharudin Arus from UMS’ Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Heritage and Anuar Ayob from Unimas’ Faculty of Applied and Creative Arts were on hand to explain the various artworks done by their students.
“‘Terabai’ is a projection mapping piece that highlights the culture and heritage of Sarawak, displaying elements such as hornbill and Sumazau dance,” said Anuar, adding that the visuals are projected on terabai shields used by the Iban community in ancient times.
Dr Baharudin described “Medium the Message 2” as an electronic robotic sculpture that can move around and capture images in its path.
“This machine represents social media and how it influences our everyday life,” he said.
“Kinetic” by UMS’ Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Heritage is similar to a wind chime and takes inspiration from Mount Kinabalu.
Liberating Potentials will be held until Jan 6 at Galeri Petronas, Level 3, Suria KLCC, Kuala Lumpur.
The gallery is open Tuesdays to Sundays, from 10am to 8pm. Admission is free.
Call 03-2051 7770 or visit