Since it was founded seven years ago, Ilham Gallery has always prioritised education and public programming. It has run numerous school and children’s initiatives, including Tour for Tots, art workshops, storytelling sessions and school tours.
In 2021, Ilham established a student council for teenagers aged 15 to 18, who meet regularly for private exhibition tours and to engage in discussions on art and ideas. Ilham’s next step in this journey is a digital education resource on collection.ilhamgallery.com, where 600 selected works will be made available to viewers from around the world.
“During the pandemic, we started thinking seriously about the Ilham collection and its potential,” says gallery director Rahel Joseph.
“Unlike most private museums, we do not have permanent exhibitions of our collection. So how could we bring these works into the public eye, beyond our exhibition space? How could we use the collection to tell the story of Malaysian art to the public, particularly to students, many of whom have very little exposure to Malaysian art history?
“As a young institution, we have the opportunity to reinvent things — to look at the collection with new eyes and think about fresh ways to engage with audiences. In a country where art history is not part of the mainstream school curriculum, we believe that, as an art institution, we can play an important role in filling that gap.”
An important part of this digital resource is that Ilham has also developed resource material for students featuring over 220 artworks, from introductory texts in Bahasa Melayu and English to learning aids that include questions and points of discussion for educators and students.
The audience can interact with the artworks by creating personalised accounts to save their favourite artworks from the collection in the form of albums.
This article first appeared on Dec 5, 2022 in The Edge Malaysia.