Intricate diorama brings 15th century Melaka to life

Intricate diorama brings 15th century Melaka to life A diorama over 13 metres long, depicting the golden age of the Melaka Sultanate, features more than 700 miniatures of a multicultural society, complete with detailed traditional clothing and cultural attire. Photo by Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR - In just three years, a group of miniature artists successfully brought to life the atmosphere and daily life of 15th-century Melaka with such intricate details that it leaves everyone in awe.

A diorama over 13 metres long, depicting the golden age of the Melaka Sultanate, features more than 700 miniatures of a multicultural society, complete with detailed traditional clothing and cultural attire. It also includes replicas of palaces, houses and transport systems using animals such as elephants and oxen.

Even more fascinating, the diorama includes several replica trading ships, similar to those used by traders from China and Melaka, showcasing the trading relationship between the Melaka Sultanate and China that began in the 15th century, during the height of Melaka's prominence as the most important port in the region.

Upon close examination, the static diorama reveals countless stories and narratives, engaging the mind to imagine the true essence of that era.

Founder of the WCO Art and Culture Gallery, Foo Loke Kee said the diorama is one of the artworks featured in the Malaysia-China Diplomatic Relations Miniature Exhibition, held in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

According to Foo, the beautiful diorama depicting the golden age of the Melaka Sultanate and its trade relations with China was successfully created by a group of miniature artists who took three years to complete after starting work in 2020.

He said that producing the diorama required extensive references and research, combined with the expertise, talent and creativity of fine and miniature artists from various backgrounds and ethnicities.

"The craftsmen come from diverse backgrounds and possess unique skills. For instance, Malay and Chinese artisans worked together on this project. The palace, houses and ships were crafted by carpenter Mohd Zain Abd Aziz, the miniature figures by Helen Chua and other miniatures by Lai Pui Sun.

"This diorama also highlights the trading activities between merchants from China and Melaka, providing an illustration of the economic relationship established with the great wall nation since the 15th century,” he told Bernama.

The exhibition, which runs from May 31 to June 30, is held at the Galeri Seni Dan Budaya WCO, You Residences, Persiaran You City, in Cheras, Selangor, and admission is free.

Foo added that there are four ship replicas: a 15th-century Galleass, the Baochuan (treasure ship), a Chinese Junk, and a Chinese Tongkang and these models illustrate maritime activities and trade with China in the waters and the Straits of Melaka.

Meanwhile, Member of the Senate, Datuk Seri Dr Awang Seriyan, said the miniature exhibition symbolises the close relationship between Malaysia and China over five decades. It not only showcases the history of cooperation and achievements of the two countries but also inspires the public to understand the importance of this diplomatic relationship.

"This exhibition portrays significant moments in bilateral relations, economy, trade and cultural exchanges that have taken place with China since the 15th century.

"We also hope that this exhibition can serve as a medium to strengthen the understanding and friendship between the people of the two countries, especially as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between our nations,” he said in his speech at the exhibition's opening recently.

At the same time, he expressed hope that the government would build a dedicated infrastructure to house these miniature artwork, turning them into a tourism product that could generate national income. - BERNAMA

  • https://www.msn.com/en-my/news/national/intricate-diorama-brings-15th-century-melaka-to-life/ar-BB1ols4S?ocid=00000000

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