KLAF 2019: Unsung Heroes Wira Sebalik Tabir


In line with the theme, “Tomorrow” of Kuala Lumpur Architecture Festival (KLAF) 2019, Galeri Petronas celebrates the people behind the Malaysian Architectural scene through Unsung Heroes | Wira Sebalik Tabir that was organised in collaboration with Pertubuhan Akitek Malaysia (PAM) held on the 27th of June 2019. 

Among the attendees are Ar Lillian Tay, President of PAM Pertubuhan Akitek Malaysia, Ar. Dr. Tan Loke Mun, Director of KLAF 2019 and Puan Liza Abdul Rahman, Senior General Manager, Group Strategic Communications, Petronas. Then, the guest was brought on a curatorial walkthrough by the Head Curator, Ar. Pital Maarof. 

Malaysia’s architecture, historically accommodative, adaptive and acclimatised to its surroundings, is no stranger to the new concept, made possible by the main factor behind it is the people. Hence, through digital artworks, sketches, photography, video projections, architectural models and sculptures, the exhibition will bring to light the brains and brawns behind the scenes of 30 local mid-life architecture firms- for their long overdue recognition.

Unsung Heroes highlights the craft and contribution of ‘heroes’ in building an architectural vision that centres the unity between the built environment and its surroundings. It displayed seven thematic zones (7) such as Wawasan, Perkasa, Mercu, Lestari, Prihatin, Bakti and Balai. The term ‘heroes’ refers to those who play a critical albeit indirect role, from general workers, drafters, visual illustrators, designers, young architects, modellers and photographers from the architecture industry.

It urges a shift in attention to the importance of a building’s contribution, function and effectiveness in the eyes of everyday users, the disabled community and surroundings that are more balanced, green and in tune with nature. The harmony between architecture and its beneficiary society becomes the focus. The exhibited works are categorised and situated within a timeline of major developments in Malaysia’s brief architectural history, from the post-independence era to the present.

Unsung Heroes | Wira Sebalik Tabir is currently open for public viewing at GALERI PETRONAS on Level 3, Suria KLXX until July 28, 2019. Admission is free.

Words by Elizabeth Dass