14. August 2020

"Visiting International Researchers" - Wan Atikah

Eröffnung der Präsentation im Innenhof

[Translate to English:] Vorstellung

Guest researchers from all over the world come to the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden in order to study on the spot at our museums and departments. Here they share an insight into their research.

[Translate to English:] Who are you and what is your field of research?

Who are you and what is your field of research?

My name is Wan Atikah WY. I am a cultural worker from Penang, Malaysia. I was trained in anthropology and for the past few years, I have been working in the field of arts and culture heritage education and cultural mapping for place-making with a local NGO, Arts-ED Penang. My interest lies in urban anthropology, on understanding the relationship between sense of belonging in a public space with the ever evolving community that lives around it, and how arts & culture can be a mechanism for bringing people together in a public space like museum.

[Translate to English:] Bild

Wan Atikah WY aus Penang, Malaysia

[Translate to English:] What led you to visiting the Dresden State Art Collections (personal contact, focus of a collection etc.)?

What led you to visiting the Dresden State Art Collections (personal contact, focus of a collection etc.)?

I was at Dresden State Art Collections, particularly Japanisches Palais between October to December 2019 for cross-cultural internship in Germany awarded by ifa (Institut fur Auslandsbeziehungen). The thing that led me to SKD was their range of museums and the vast collections that SKD poses. I came to SKD to learn about how exhibition curation, collections and event programming can be employed to educate the public, to address social issues and to bring community together.

[Translate to English:] Which object in our collections do/did you like best and why?

Which object in our collections do/did you like best and why?

I fell in love with the Damaskus Room. I couldn’t help but to romanticize the astonishing beauty of the room and the intricacies of the A’jami techniques that were used to decorate its walls 200 years ago. Looking at the room, what intrigued me the most was the origin of the room, Damascus of Syria. Such a beautiful room must come from an equally beautiful and rich culture and civilization. It made me curious about the stories from Damascus that the room is beholding.

The minute I saw it and it felt almost I was transported into a separate timeline when I was in front of it.

[Translate to English:] Damaskuszimmer

[Translate to English:] Which museum in Dresden (also except SKD) impressed you most and why?

Which museum in Dresden (also except SKD) impressed you most and why?

I was particularly very impressed with the Museum of Military History in Dresden. Living in Germany for this short while, I came to learn that militarism is not a topic fancied by most peoples, considering the German history. However, through design, space dynamic and curation, the topic on military history and the future of military were discussed and presented very well from multifocal perspectives. The exhibition does not focus on debunking stereotypes surrounding militarism or trying to romanticising victories in war; rather it is trying let visitors making an informed judgement about militarism. As a museum for public education, I’m impressed with Dresden Museum of Military History.

[Translate to English:] Which relevance does your research project have for society?

Which relevance does your research project have for society?

In recent years, we have been observing a much rapid change of community demography – due to migration – everywhere around the world, the rise of conservatism and climate change. This is where I see museum as a public space (living up to museum usui publico patens) is very crucial in recording the change, in discussing the change and in informing the change using, by first, being inclusive and bringing the public together in a safe public space like museum.

Eröffnung der Präsentation im Innenhof
© theater junge generation, Foto: MD Arafat ul Islam
Discussion evening in the Japanisches Palais

[Translate to English:] What will the museum of the future look like (What does this imply for your current research activities)?

What will the museum of the future look like (What does this imply for your current research activities)?

Museum will always be the home for arts and history and the one place that people will come to admire, to look for wisdom and to learn about heritage. However, museums in the future will serve beyond that.

In the future, a museum would be a space that transcends one-way communication and a space that the members of the public would feel warmly invited to engage in a discourse together.

It would be a space that encourages creative and critical thinking in addressing close to home and global issues.

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