The Malay Cultural Heritage Interpretation of Light: The Art of Spirit

By Azizi Bahauddin, Aldrin Abdullah, Nor Zarifah Maliki and Safial Aqbar Zakaria.

Published by The International Journal of Arts Theory and History

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The Malay cultural heritage perspective of light is not fully understood as far as its interpretation in exhibition design is concerned. Thus, this paper focuses on the understanding of the philosophy of light and its interpretation in a contemporary exhibition design context. Culturally, light can be defined in relation to philosophy, spiritual beliefs, and religious teachings. However, it is lacking in knowledge relating to cultural contexts. This research aims to examine the philosophy of light based on this cultural heritage, to interpret traditional Malay light application and the green design aspect of lighting. It employs an exploratory qualitative method relying on literature review, comparative studies of light application in galleries, interviews, naturalistic observation, and visual data collection. The research outcomes define the meaning of light from the cultural perspective, formulating guidelines in the implementation of sustainable lighting design. It is the art and science of light in a contemporary context. The definition of light acquired is a catalyst used to create and produce contemporary lighting for galleries; a translation that brings about a universal interpretation albeit one that is traditional in philosophy. It is an understanding of the light, an intangible Malay cultural product and an art of the spirit.

Keywords: Cultural Heritage, Light, Spiritual

The International Journal of Arts Theory and History, Volume 8, Issue 4, December 2014, pp.41-52. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 776.681KB).

Dr. Azizi Bahauddin

Associate Professor, Interior Design Programme, School of Housing, Building and Planning, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Minden, Penang, Malaysia

Dr. Aldrin Abdullah

Associate Professor, School of Housing, Building and Planning, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Pulau Pinang, Penang, Malaysia

Dr. Nor Zarifah Maliki

Researcher, School of Housing, Building and Planning, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Minden, Penang, Malaysia

Safial Aqbar Zakaria

PhD Candidate, School of Housing, Building and Planning, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Minden, Penang, Malaysia