The left symbol of IAMM actually is a Kufic writings for Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia in Arabic. Cool eh? Hehe
Dah lama gile x post pape kat dlm blog nih. So saje nk post a new post bout my practical training at Islamic Arts Museum, KL. Slalunya ak akan post pasal previous tempat keja ak in bullet points n bahasa pasar (read here and here) but since post ni pon ak just amik from report practical yg ak kena wat soo tuh yg dier dlm karangan SPM yg berjela2. Soo once again, nk bg warning awal2 dis post tersangatla pjg (klu dlm word 5 pages) n klu malas nk baca tuh anda dipersilakan utk tekan butang pangkah di hujung atas belah kanan browser anda. Terima Kasih. :)
The Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia is one of the prestigious Islamic art museums in the world. The building is located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur with 30,000 square metres and houses with more than eight thousands artefacts including an exceptional library of Islamic-art books. I have been given the opportunity to do my practical training here from 18th June 2012 until 10th August 2012. I worked from 9.15 AM till 6.00 PM (5.00 PM during Ramadhan or fasting month) on weekdays during this period of internship.
INTERNSHIP POSITION AND JOB SCOPES DESCRIPTIONS
I was assigned to work with the Department of Marketing and Events of the museum during my practical training. This department handles all the events that were held in the museum as well as visitors who came to the museum. There are no specific tasks that were given to me during this course of internship. Basically, I just help all the staffs in the department with their works. For example, I was doing most of the clerical jobs during my first week of internship. These clerical jobs are including filing and photostating of documents, pamphlets and brochures of the museum.
Another job scope for Marketing and Events department staffs is to guide any visits from schools, universities and etc. I became an observer and help a little bit during the staffs were guiding the visitors in the museum. Some of the groups that I managed to join and help are students from Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin, Korean ambassador and his delegations and delegations from Badan Amal dan Kebajikan Tenaga Isteri-isteri (BAKTI) which is the society for the wives of cabinet ministers and deputy ministers in Malaysia. The purpose and objective of this task are to get acquainted with the artefacts in the museum. Therefore, I started to learn gradually about the artefacts that are displayed in the museum by observing these groups visits. I learnt that the museum has 12 galleries which are architecture, Quran and manuscripts, India, China, Malay world, jewellery, textiles, arms and armour, coins and seals, metalwork, ceramics and living with wood galleries. The museum also has five domes and one unique inverted dome with Quranic verses decoration. The biggest artefact in the museum is the Ottoman Room in the architecture gallery.
In addition, there were two special exhibitions that were conducted during my course of internship at the museum and I managed to learn about these exhibitions through the visits that previous mentioned. The first special exhibition was the “Ann Dunham’s Legacy: A Collection of Indonesian Batiks”. The exhibition showcased twenty batiks from the private collection of Ann Dunham, President Barack Obama’s mother. The second special exhibition was the “Treasures of the Aga Khan Museum: Architecture in Islamic Arts”. This exhibition presented unique and rare artefacts that related to architecture in Islamic arts. Among the most notable artefacts on exhibit are a miniature entitled “16th century folio from the most famous series of paintings in Muslim art, the celebrated Shahnama of Shah Tahmasp; architectural elements like muqarnas and ornamented wood pieces from 15th century Spain; glazed turquoise earthenware elements from late 14th century Central Asia; tiled arches from 15th century Egypt; ornamental doors from 9th century Iran and 16th century Iznik tiles from Turkey. Both special exhibitions have taught me about the history of Ann Dunham and her batiks’ collection as well as Aga Khan with its selected artefacts from the Aga Khan Museum collection.
After a while, I was given the task to conduct a tour guide for the primary school students from Sekolah Rendah Agama (SRA) Bandar Baru Rinching, Semenyih. It was a quite challenging experience because I have to handle kids with their hyperactive behaviour and inquisitive nature. However, it was a fun experience too as I was given the opportunity to educate these children about basic history of Islam through the artefacts in the museum. I also felt like I was teaching history to these students from what I have learnt in the classroom for the past 4 years.
Moreover, I was also fortunate to participate with an event that was organized by the museum which was the “The Royal Visit by H.R.H Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn to Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia” on 24th July 2012. H.R.H is the royal princess from Thailand and daughter of the King Bhumibol Adulyadej who is the current King of Thailand. I was instructed to distribute museum guides to all guests that came together with the princess. Personally, I felt honoured to meet the princess in real life and participated in this very important event of the museum.
Assisting museum assistants was another job that I did during the internship. The job scope for museum assistant is mostly related with customer services. A museum assistant has to greet every visitor who enter the entrance door of the museum and collect payment for the entrance fees of the museum. The museum assistant also needs to explain a few rules that visitors need to follow during their visits in the museum. I also help them in recording the nationality of the visitors in order for the museum to make a statistics for their visitors. Any enquiries from the visitors need to be entertained by the museum assistants in order to give good hospitality and services to the visitors.
Firstly, I would like to thank the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia for allowing me to do my internship at the museum. I gained a lot of experiences during my 10 weeks course of internship. The internship gives me a unique working experience in a museum which not a lot of people can acquire. Working in a museum also requires a lot of patience, tolerance and endurance as people in here have to deal with fragile artefacts and visitors who have different attitudes. The Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia also taught me that there are many beautiful Islamic art artefacts from the smallest thing such as ring, seal and coin to the biggest thing like monuments all around the world. These artefacts are evidences that demonstrate previous Islamic kingdoms and caliphates had a glorious achievement in arts during their time. Furthermore, I began to appreciate the Islamic arts and realized that I have taken things for granted when I am studying history in the classroom. I always think the Western civilization is more advanced in their arts and craftsmanship but I was wrong. The Islamic arts are equal with the Western arts. Besides that, lots of Islamic artefacts and their designs are far more beautiful and complex than the Western artefacts. There are also quite few objects that were made by the Western people which were inspired by the Islamic arts. This shows that the Islamic civilization has high quality in its arts and culture. For this, I would like to thank the museum for gave me such kind of awareness.
The internship also helps me to improve my communication skills as I need to face daily visitors who visit the museum. I have to greet and explain to them about the rules when visiting museum. Besides that, I have to ensure that I addressed my visitors properly according to their demographic so that they can understand what I am trying to say during the museum tour. I also need to hear what they want to say or comment about the museum and guide them to other places around the Kuala Lumpur if they ask for directions. This training also made me realize that there are many tourists from all over the world that come to Malaysia. Regular visitors who come to the museum are including from Japan, South Korea, China, United Kingdom, Australia, United States of America and Austria.
While this internship has given me quite few experiences, there are certain things that I want to highlight from what I have been through this internship. Firstly, I was quite disappointed with the Human Resource Department when they decided to not allow me to switch to Curatorial Affairs Department. Although I believe that I have learnt many valuable things in the Marketing and Events Department, but considering my area of specialization, i.e. history and civilization, Curatorial Affairs Department might be a more suitable option for me. This department deals greatly with the Islamic art artefacts and it was a quite waste that the museum did not fully utilized my talent in history because most of the history of the artefacts in the museum I have learnt them in the classroom. It is understood that the curators in the Curatorial Affairs Department are busy and engaged with their current works and future special exhibitions and this has been said as the main reason that I was not allowed to enter this department. However, it is my opinion that I should be exposed to this area of specialization even though in a short period so that I can feel what it is like to work in a Curatorial Affairs Department since the nature of the work in this department is closely related to my lectures and coursework in the university. I was a bit disheartened when I found out that there were no chances at all that I could join this department because the museum has stated in its official website “each intern will be placed in the department that is most appropriate for their line of academic studies” and I believe that Curatorial Affairs Department is most likely related with my degree programme compare to Marketing and Events Department.
It is suggested also that the museum could give allowances to the future interns. The cost of working in Kuala Lumpur is quite high and the interns could use some financial assistance from the museum in order to ease their financial strains during the internship. I believe any amounts that would be given to the future interns would be much appreciated by them.
In addition, there are some errors that I found in the information panel for certain artefacts in the museum. For example, there is historical information that tells the visitor about the conquest of Constantinople by Sultan Mehmed II which was happened in 1451 in the architecture gallery but the exact date was 1453. Another error was the description of the painting of Cave of Thur which was the cave during the Prophet hid when he embarked his hijra’ to Madinah in the Chinese gallery. But instead, the description informs that it was the Cave of Hira’. I was informed by the curators that it takes time to change all this error information but it is my viewpoint that the museum should not delayed the correction of all these information as it will give wrong information to the visitors of the museum continuously.
I also want to further suggest that the museum should use the abbreviation of CE which stands for Common Era instead of AD (Anno Domini which means “in the year of the Lord (Jesus Christ)”) for all labels of the year of the artefacts. AD abbreviation stands out as a particularly direct reference to Jesus as Lord and this is contradict with the Islamic teachings because Muslims regard Jesus only as a prophet. Besides, this is an Islamic Arts Museum so that any references that sided with non-Islamic references should be avoided at all.
Once again, I would like to thank the museum especially to the Marketing and Events Department staff for guiding me during my practical training here at the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia. A special thanks to:
- Raihana Md Saad: Assistant Manager of Marketing and Events Department
- Mohd Romi Irwan: Senior Executive
- Siti Nor Hanani: Senior Executive
- Ahmad Azizan: Executive
- Zulhilmi: Museum Assistant
- Nur Anida: Museum Assistant
- Nor Liyana: Museum Assistant
I pray for many successes for the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia in the future. It is hoped too that there will be a lot of future students from Department of History and Civilization, IIUM that would do their optional practical training in this museum.
p/s: Tulisan kale merah sebenarnya adalah kritikan
direct halus ak terhadap IAMM. Well nk wat cmne dh dlm report guideline ader satu part soh tules general view of the session from student's perspective. But terbuat in details plk instead of general. Nk wat cmne ak kan emo skit. Hahahaha