Long before the existence of modern cinemas and television, we were exposed to wayang kulit or traditional puppet theatre, which became one of Malaysia's beloved cultural heritages. It is led by Tok Dalang, who directs the performances moves his puppets with quick ease behind an illuminated screen while telling his stories to a rapt audience.
GERAK BAYANG: The Art of Storytelling exhibition features works that revolve around wayang kulit. Stories such as the Hikayat Seri Rama and Pandawa Lima, Malay adaptations of Hindu epics, have grown alongside more recent stories related to society today. These stories include elements of good and evil to raise awareness on social issues while also being a form of entertainment. Various types of wayang are featured, such as the traditional puppet on stage, which are then revealed on canvas other than storytelling using multimedia methods. Along with the passage of time, the artists also play and move their fingers using their respective expertise in presenting the story to the audience.
This teaser edition of GERAK BAYANG features Bank Negara Malaysia's artwork collection from the 1960s. Some of the artists include Nik Zainal Abidin, Long Thien Shih, Shafie Hassan, Ismail Mat Hussin, Abdul Ghani Ahmad, and Taquddin Bahro. Do look forward to a more comprehensive edition of the virtual and physical exhibition, with many more artworks from the art collectors, artists, and of course from Bank Negara Malaysia itself in 2022!