Competition celebrates Malaysia’s intangible cultural heritage

Competition celebrates Malaysia’s intangible cultural heritage

Usaha Tegas Heritage awards over RM80,000 to 24 students

THIS year’s winners of the Usaha Tegas Heritage Art Competition (Usaha Tegas Heritage) were announced at a prize-giving ceremony today at Element Kuala Lumpur hotel. Present were aspiring students, leading contemporary artists, educators, and heritage and curatorial experts.

A long-standing component of Usaha Tegas Group’s corporate social responsibility programmes, Usaha Tegas Heritage is held annually.

Students from public and private institutes of higher learning submit artworks across five categories. They are oil/acrylic painting, mixed media, printmaking, charcoal/pencil/ink drawing and watercolour and must be under a specified theme relating to cultural heritage.

Marking the 22nd edition of the competition, Usaha Tegas Heritage 2022 was themed “Intangible Malaysian Cultural Heritage”. A total of 235 entries were submitted by students from over 30 institutions of higher learning across the country.

Usaha Tegas Heritage Art Competition finalist paintings. – Pic courtesy of Usaha Tegas

Delivering the opening address at the prize-giving ceremony, Shaharul Rezza Hassan of UTSB Management Sdn Bhd said, “The Usaha Tegas Heritage Art Competition was first established in 2001 and is closely aligned with our organisation’s belief in the important role that the arts and our diverse cultural heritage play in society.

“The competition has become a celebrated annual platform for encouraging, recognising, and promoting aspiring Malaysian young artists, but also acts to create an important repository of contemporary artworks reflective of Malaysia’s unique, rich and dynamic cultural heritage through their eyes.”

“This year’s competition invited students to submit artworks under the more specific theme of ‘Intangible Malaysian Cultural Heritage’.

“The winning works capture not only the easily visible and recognisable symbols of the rich cultural traditions that thrive across our country, but also the hard work, wisdom and stories of our parents, grandparents and ancestors, and what we share as our natural environmental heritage,” he added.

Winners of Usaha Tegas Heritage Art Competition 2022. – Pic courtesy of Usaha Tegas

Usaha Tegas Heritage’s judging panel this year was led by master printmaker, artist Juhari Said, head of Fine Art at Malaysian Institute of Art and multi-disciplinary artist Bibi Chew, Penang-based heritage building conservationist Parama Nathan and National Art Gallery senior curator Syahrul Niza Ahmad Zaini.

Commenting on this year’s competition, Juhari stated, “In art what is very important is the ideas and emotions, and that’s what we were looking for. The winning entries this year show an understanding of intangible heritage, of the immaterial – that it’s not about things that you can touch, feel or buy, but something that we get from our family, our history, that we can carry forward.”

Bibi added, “Many of the younger generation don’t see the importance of heritage, they tend to go for subculture. But a person needs to grow by knowing their background, their roots and upbringing.

“Society plays an important role through institutions in opening up the younger generation to their heritage by providing information and guidance. So we hope that Usaha Tegas Heritage, as the only competition with an emphasis on this theme, can continue working well with the education sector in this.”

Nurain Fatini Abdul Jalil of UITM, Shah Alam with Dulang Opah (left) and Wan Atiqa Ramli of UITM, Shah Alam with Penunggu. – Pic courtesy of Usaha Tegas
Parama said, “Art is the soul of our culture and civillisation – they cannot be prised apart. Yet today there is a disconnect between art and how we live.

“A competition like this helps to bring art back into our daily lives by creating awareness of how art used to be so much a part of our traditional lifestyles.”

Syahrul highlighted, “Art competitions such as this play an important role in challenging Malaysia’s art students to hone the skills that will help them to progress onto the professional stage.

“In doing so, they also play an essential role in driving the development of Malaysian arts.”

This year, first prize was awarded to Dulang Opah by Nurain Fatini Abdul Jalil of UITM in the Oil/Acrylic Painting category; Alternative Performer by Lye Heng Jing of ATEC Academy (School of New Media Design) in the Mixed Media category; Nostalgic Khatam Quran Ceremony by Norfatihah Yusof of Universiti Sains Malaysia in the Printmaking category; Penunggu by Wan Atiqa Ramli of UITM in the Charcoal/Pencil/Ink Drawing category and Heirloom by Kua Wei Lun of The One Academy KL in the Watercolour category, with each receiving RM8,000. The second, third and consolation prize winners each received RM3,000, RM2,000 and RM500 respectively.

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source – The Vibes

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