Art of Independence Day

Overview of the event

In conjunction with Malaysia’s 60th anniversary of the nation’s independence, there were two phases prepared under The Arts of Independence Day event. Organised by students who were enrolled in the Arts and Cultural Performance unit (MPU 34022) and Art, Craft and Design unit (MPU 34072), the event was held on 3 August 2017 at Sungai Long Campus.

The volunteers were a group of students from the Faculty of Creative Industries (FCI), Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS), Faculty of Accountancy and Management (FAM) and Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science (LKC FES), who were enrolled in UTAR’s compulsory co-curricular units, namely MPU 34022 and MPU 34072.

Phase one of the event, comprising FCI and LKC FES students, was opened for all the staff and students at 10am. The phase one was aimed to serve far more than just an art exhibition to other students for admiration as Nur Farahin binti Bahari, one of the event’s advisors, explained the coherence of theme that ties to the event. “This event attempts to commemorate Malaysia reaching its 60 years milestone of its independence, and we want to honour and project that through the creative effort the students put into their art models.”

 An art project called “Geleswan”

 Other art projects on display

Each art model was displayed on the table of the selling booth, set up by the different group of students, with the purpose of collecting funds in order to aid low-income community members of their choice  “Students from different groups equipped each specific community member with a set of skills through teaching. In that way, the community members gain the knowledge of generating their own income through the knowledge of being able to construct their own arts and crafts for sale in the future,” Farahin added.

Overview of the arts and craft booth

 Geleswan booth (from left): Amalia Maisarah, Kong Ee Xuan, Ang Kai Zhen, Tee Chiau Wei and Chew Shin Ting

 ‘Palette on you charity fund’ booth (from left): Wah Pei Ling, Lee Chia Yi, Evin Gan Cheao Huey, Tan Ying Jie, Loo Annie and Chan Zhi Shan

Among the highlights of the event, besides the fundraising also includes a photo booth, followed by the Speaker’s corner held by the students of Arts and Cultural Performance along with the second event advisor, Nurulain binti Mohamad Salihuddin, in which participants went up to the stage to share topics that were correlated to the event. Phase one ended around 4pm.

The students of Art, Craft and Design at a superhero themed photobooth

Following phase two of the event, lecturers, staff and students gathered in the Multi-purpose hall to watch the event kick start with an opening ceremony where the special guest Head of Department of Soft Skills Competency Fook Oi Yee, was invited to pull the Malaysia flag in honouring Malaysia’s 60th Merdeka.

The main highlight of phase two began shortly after the opening ceremony, when the performers from different faculties such FAM, FMHS and LKCFES held a mini drama consisting of nine performances, titled ‘Rentap 1’, ‘Tun Tan Cheng Lock’, ‘Tun Sambanthan’, ‘Rentap 2’, ‘Dato Bahaman’, ‘Dato Maharajalela’, ‘Mat Kilau’, ‘Tunku Abdul Rahman’ and ‘Tun Mahathir Mohamad’. The mesmerizing performance lasted for about 3 hours.

Captivating performance by the students 

The aim of organising these show pieces was to bring all the audience back to Malaysia’s origins, during that true historical period as to how leaders of Malaysia (Tokoh Kemerdekaan) were able to fight for their country.

“These performances cannot be done without a proper research regarding Malaysia’s ‘Tokohs’, in terms of their background stories and all. You have to remember that these are real life heroes with real life stories, so we have to honour their legacy with respect,” explained Nurulain. “We wanted to show the audience how these ‘Tokohs’ played a huge role in bringing us the harmonious presence we are currently living in today. We wouldn’t be here without their sacrifices and contribution,” she added.

Participants waving their hands to the audience

Phase two of the event ended with two special performances. The first performance consists of a group of students performing a modern Japanese dance with traditional Japanese costumes, while the second performance was performed by a special guest, Amirul Shakir, a Youtuber, who ended the night by performing a Linkin Park song, before performing a robotic dance move using a modern yo-yo.

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