Malaya in art and architecture
LAI Chee Kien
ABSTRACT Art and architecture played a role in expressions of Malaya’s nascent independent state in 1957, but the determination of what Malaya meant, ideologically, was different to different groups. Two types of nationalism were at work, namely that led by ethnic Malay leaders and political parties, and the other a more ethnically-inclusive set of leaders and groups. This paper explores these concepts as frozen in mural paintings and its accompanying national architecture.
Keywords: Malaya, Art, Architecture, Mural, Nationalism
Lai Chee Kien researches the histories of art, architecture, settlements, urbanism and landscapes in Southeast Asia. He graduated from the National University of Singapore with an M Arch. by research in 1996, and then a PhD in History of Architecture & Urban Design from the University of California, Berkeley in 2005. His publications include A Brief History of Malayan Art (1999), Building Merdeka: Independence Architecture in Kuala Lumpur, 1957-1966 (2007) and Cords to Histories (2013), and co-author of Last Train from Tanjong Pagar (2014). He is also a registered architect in Singapore.