Warisan Kertas 2014 @ Badan Warisan Malaysia

Housed beside one well-restored kampung house, this selling exhibition “features a selection of antiquarian and recent books, maps and ephemera on Malaysia and Southeast Asia.” Beautiful maps and quirky posters recall a colonial past, the exhibits flanked by Ilse Noor’s etchings of local historical buildings seen in the Shell-commissioned Warisan Nusa. Flipping through 80-year old books about gardening techniques and Chinese porcelain is endlessly fascinating, while 1960s Papineau travel guides provide a glimpse into a time before Cuti-Cuti Malaysia. A 1978 edition of Aliran titled ‘Wither Democracy’ compiles essays and debates from local intellectuals then. Reading Tunku Abdul Rahman’s foreword, one wonders, what happened to the legacy of healthy political debate without invoking draconian laws?

Ilse Noor - Makam Tok Pelam - Trengganu (1986) [ed. 20/300]