Mirsham Habib on HARTA’s Initiative to Rejoice Malaysian Artwork and Tradition

Mirsham Meer

The Malaysian-based purveyor of extraordinary jewelry HABIB has simply unveiled HARTA. HARTA which stands for Habib: Motion for Revival of our Traditions Arts, is an initaitive of the famend jeweller to have fun Peranakan cultural roots and artwork. Whereas Habib is famend for his or her beautiful craftsmanship, the corporate additionally maintaints its dedication to preserving and revitalising Malaysia’s traditions and humanities. With deep-rooted pleasure in its Penang origins, Habib goals to teach and have interaction the general public on the opulence of Malaysian tradition. HARTA is split into three elements. First, the museum which highlights the gilded traditions of the multi-ethnic Peranakan heritage, with over 800 distinctive items collected over 65 years. Subsequent, the artwork gallery which compliments the HARTA Museum, operates as an outlet to highlight the works of up to date Malaysian artists and artisans showcasing unique artworks from 16 skills. That is adopted by the café which is the place guests can unwind and style scrumptious treats whereas participating in discussions about Malaysian tradition – previous and current.

LUXUO speaks solely to Mirsham Meer, Director of HARTA on his ardour for up to date Malaysian artwork scene, the conceptualisation of HARTA and the way he goals to reinvigorate the youthful technology on native cultural heritage and the humanities.

When did you first get interested by native artwork?

Rising up my dad and mom uncovered us to the humanities, notably Malaysian artwork, from a younger age. They’ve been gathering for so long as I bear in mind and have shaped shut relationships with some artists.

They’ve at all times been very proud Malaysians and critical about preserving our Malaysian historical past. They need the longer term generations of Malaysia to grasp our tradition, traditions and historical past.

This yr marks HABIB’s sixty fifth anniversary, and when excited about what we need to obtain with the model (past our monetary targets), we determined we wished the model to assist Malaysians construct extra pleasure in our nation, and we thought to do that by means of educating and exposing youthful Malaysians to our traditions and humanities – so HARTA was born.

HARTA Artwork Gallery

Did this join you to your on heritage and that of your grandfather who based the Habib Group?

Completely! My grandfather began the enterprise 65 years in the past and performed a task in how the jewelry trade was formed in Malaysia, notably within the Northern states like Penang, Kedah and Kelantan.

He was a proud Malaysian and would have liked to see our traditions and heritage proceed onto the youthful generations.

What led you to develop such a powerful ardour on the up to date Malaysian artwork scene?

Along with the publicity we had rising up, I lived in the UK for numerous years the place I used to be uncovered to a few of the biggest artworks in historical past (the Tate Trendy was actually a ten minute stroll from my college). That is the place I acquired actually excited in regards to the artwork world. It grew to become an obsession. Shifting again to Kuala Lumpur in 2019, I wished to essentially get to know the artwork scene right here and get to know gallerists and artists. It additionally felt like a extremely attention-grabbing time to be a part of the scene as there have been a whole lot of youthful folks moving into the scene – as artists, gallerists, collectors, or simply fanatics. New galleries had been popping up each few months, there have been new exhibits to go to each weekend. It was actually thrilling!

Pictures of HARTA Artwork Gallery

Now we have two most important goals for our gallery house:

  1. To offer extra publicity to Malaysian artists
  2. To encourage newer folks to understand Malaysian artwork.

Due to this fact, when contemplating what exhibits and programming to do for the house, we remember the fact that the present must be easy, straightforward to grasp and engaging for brand new artwork fanatics. We need to exhibit each rising and established artists – for various causes. We really feel that giving extra publicity to rising artists may also help construct their careers, but in addition exhibiting extra established artists could be attention-grabbing for folks to see and likewise to encourage younger artists.

You appear to tremendously get pleasure from participating and speaking with a youthful technology of artwork lovers – inform us extra about this endeavour.

We wish youthful Malaysians to be extra enthusiastic about our heritage and our arts – as I discussed earlier, we need to assist construct up pleasure in our nation, notably amongst youthful Malaysians.

Our nation is so wealthy in historical past, and our cultural historical past is so various. Moreover, now we have so many unbelievable artists telling their very own tales by means of their artwork. I actually consider a whole lot of our artists are world class however simply haven’t had the alternatives to step as much as that degree. We hope that no matter we’re doing may also help contribute to that subsequent stage of progress for Malaysian artwork.

HARTA Artwork Gallery

At our gallery, we don’t curate the exhibits ourselves as we choose working with exterior curators and galleries who’ve a extra discerning eye within the artwork scene. Our first present was curated by Aminah Ibrahim, a contract curator in KL (beforehand with A+ Gallery).

HARTA’s first exhibition is named Open Home. The exhibition explores Malaysian home areas as inspirational and aspirational, providing a better take a look at the treasure of on a regular basis. It options multimedia work by artists Azzah Sultan, Bayu Atom Radjikin, Chong Yan Chuah, Fawwaz Sukri, Gan Tee Sheng, James Seet, Nadirah Zakariya, Raimi Saini, Umi Baizurah, Yuki Tham in addition to works from HARTA’s personal assortment by Ahmad Zakii Anwar, Atiqah Khairul Anwar, Ismail Awi, Jalaini Abu Hassan, Lee Lengthy Looi and Yee I-Lann. The exhibition, very similar to a house, is split into a number of “rooms”: Kitchen, Residing Room, Bed room and Backyard, with every room investigating totally different arenas of domesticity. Company are invited to roam as they please and delve into the various narratives, objects, know-how, feelings and histories displayed by the artists.

Open Homes maintain significance in Malaysian tradition the place we welcome household, mates and acquaintances into our house. It felt vital to introduce HARTA in a manner that was accessible and welcoming.

HARTA Artwork Gallery

Inform us extra in regards to the superb paintings you could have commissioned from Najib?

Najib Ahmad Bamadhaj is such a unbelievable artist and I’m an enormous fan of his work. We commissioned him to create the “Kebaya Sequence”, a particular paintings that includes three fashions of various races carrying conventional Kebayas and Peranakan jewelleries which can be a part of our museum assortment. The kebaya is such a novel but common a part of our tradition as a result of anybody can put on them, so we felt this was a fantastic metaphor of what HARTA stands for – a artistic house for all Malaysians to understand our artwork and traditions. It’s a combined artwork piece that comes with charcoal, acrylic paint, kebaya material collages and Meranti board – all supplies which deliver its personal id and persona. It’s additionally one of many first artworks you see whenever you enter HARTA.


How vital is the presence of the Café in the entire HARTA idea?

HARTA Café is somewhat café inside our house. It serves specialty espresso, matcha, chocolate and a few pastries and sandwiches too. The house serves a pair functions corresponding to being a hangout house for gallery/museum guests to sit back after looking; and likewise to draw folks to return as much as the house and hangout. By attracting guests to the café, we hope that these guests will pop into our gallery or museum areas after.

Within the café, we additionally function artworks from Malaysian artists rotating each few weeks. The artworks aren’t curated to any specific theme, however extra simply enjoyable artworks that we like and wish our prospects to see.

Pictures of HARTA Artwork Gallery

Now we have a sequence of exhibits and academic occasions deliberate. We are going to companion up with different galleries and establishments to offer a variety of exhibits together with solo exhibits for rising and senior artists. We additionally plan to have academic workshops and talks overlaying matters round Malaysia historical past, tradition, trend, movie and plenty of extra!

What’s your favorite museum in Malaysia?

Do I’ve to choose one? To be trustworthy, there are such a lot of superb museums in Malaysia – private and non-private.

In fact, our Muzium Negara is unbelievable and I encourage everybody to drop by after they go to. The Islamic Arts Museum in KL and the Borneo Tradition Museum in Kuching are additionally each superb! Should visits!

What are your suggestions for artwork lovers heading to Kuala Lumpur and desirous to expertise the artwork scene within the metropolis?

Once more, a lot to select from!

I believe the Ilham Gallery is unbelievable. The standard of the curation is world class and I really like that now we have an establishment like that in Malaysia. For those who need to see extra Malaysian artists, the Nationwide Artwork Gallery, Financial institution Negara Malaysia Museum, G13 Gallery and Rissim Modern are actually attention-grabbing. A+ and Taksu function regional artists and their exhibits are additionally very good. Lastly, there are some superb personal collections on show in galleries like UR-MU and Galeri Z.

Mirsham Meer

For those who had been to call one mentor who has impressed you in your life, who would that be?

I can’t say one with out the opposite, however I’d undoubtedly say my dad and mom. Not solely due to their dedication to this mission, however all through my life they’ve been superb examples of methods to work onerous to attain success, while remaining humble and utterly right down to earth. Their kindness and dedication to the folks round them could be very inspiring and I hope that by means of our work, we not solely protect our Malaysian heritage and traditions, but in addition protect their legacy that they’ve constructed collectively.

Particulars on the HARTA showspace are as follows:

Tackle: Habib Jewels Sdn Bhd, Lot 93-95, Ampang Level, Lorong Mamanda 2, 68000 Ampang, Selangor.

Opening hours:
HARTA Museum & Artwork Gallery: 10AM – 5PM (Monday – Sunday)
HARTA Café: 8.30AM – 5PM (Tuesday – Friday), 10AM – 5PM (Saturday – Sunday)

For extra on artwork options and unique interviews, click on right here.


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