Reflecting on the pandemic with Buku 555

Reflecting on the pandemic with Buku 555

Ilham Gallery presents collection of 555 notebooks recorded during the lockdown in an exhibition

FOR a look back at the past three years in the form of a mini visual diary, Ilham Gallery is presenting Projek 555, Small Observations of an Ongoing Pandemic.

The exhibition is presented in collaboration with Malaysia Design Archive and is ongoing until December 11.

At the end of 2020, and again last year, Malaysia Design Archive issued an open invitation for anyone to journal whatever they liked. Those who wanted to take part would receive a 555 notebook by mail. The idea was to create a space for pause, contemplation, and connection through distance.

The Covid-19 pandemic has created a rare moment where we are all experiencing the same thing, in hugely different, yet resonant ways. These notebooks become part time capsule, part living archive – a space for the everyday observation to be part of defining what a year is.

According to Ilham Gallery, diaries are often private objects, a quiet space for unspooling a day. When done with the intentionality of being seen by others, they occupy a liminal space that moves between a witnessing of personal observations by the self, and also by the larger, unknown public.

Thus, they create an expansive space for entanglement between them.

Each 555 notebook returned is different. Some hold space for raw emotions, some filled with silences, some littered with fragments of mundanity and significance. This exhibition invites you to step into this space of shared intimacy and collective memory-making.

The 555 notebooks are a remake by Ana Tomy of the familiar pastel-coloured tiny notebooks. They were common fixtures in sundry shops, recording everyday transactions and often standing in as an artefact of trust between the shopkeeper and their customers in the form of IOUs.

To Ilham Gallery, they feel like the perfect vehicle for this project.
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source – – The Vibes

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