The IKAT 2.0 event, an abbreviation for "Immersive Knowledge and Textile," is an experiential pop-up initiative that aims to shine a light on Malaysia's rich textile heritage. Scheduled to tour Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Terengganu, and Kuching over the year, IKAT 2.0 is designed to preserve and reinvigorate interest in Malaysian textile arts by blending traditional crafts with modern technology and collaborations.
IKAT 2.0 focuses on creating an immersive experience to deepen appreciation for heritage textiles and techniques. Launching with a two-day event at The Godown Arts Centre in Kuala Lumpur on 6 and 7 January, IKAT 2.0 promises a unique experience at each location, tailored to the respective state’s audience.
In Kuala Lumpur, IKAT 2.0 captivated visitors with its “Whispers Of Borneo’s Dreams” theme, curated by Jacqueline Fong of Tanoti Crafts, an organisation dedicated to the conservation of heritage crafts, women’s empowerment, and rural community development. The event highlighted the intricate connection between Bornean artisanal textiles and the region’s rich heritage and culture.
The Kuala Lumpur edition of IKAT 2.0 was a vibrant showcase of several key attractions that seamlessly blended traditional artistry with contemporary experiences. At the heart of the event was the “Dreamweavers Installation,” an immersive 480 sq ft space that transported visitors into a world inspired by the dreams and artistry of Bornean textile artisans.
Complementing this were the Textile Gallery and Live Demonstrations, which brought the intricate crafts of Pua Kumbu, pis embroidery, and beaded art to life, offering attendees an up-close view of their detailed creation processes. The event also featured Interactive Workshops, where participants had the unique opportunity to learn from master artisans such as Crisna Mojupi, Helen Manjan Atong, and Lucille Awen Jon, each a custodian of unique heritage crafts. These sessions were enhanced by engaging talks, where the artisans shared their profound insights and expertise in heritage textiles, enriching the visitors’ appreciation of these cultural practices.
Adding a touch of modern flair to the traditional elements, a fashion showcase on the last day presented over 20 young designers from Limkokwing University’s Faculty of Creative Arts and Lifestyle, who displayed contemporary designs that beautifully integrated heritage textiles with the vibrant culture of Borneo. Limkokwing University, as a key collaborator in the IKAT 2.0 event, has taken a significant leap in intertwining Malaysian textiles’ rich heritage with modern design’s pulsating energy.
Under the curatorship of Dato Tiffanee Marie Lim, Limkokwing University’s Chief Brand Officer, the event’s fashion show emerges as a narrative, a journey through the heart of Malaysia’s cultural tapestry. The fashion show turns into an immersive experience for its audience.
The kinetic stage, as fluid and dynamic as the textiles themselves, symbolises the ongoing flow of traditions evolving. Ever-flowing metaphorical river signifies the continuous passage of cultural knowledge and artistry from one generation to the next. It’s a reminder of the importance of keeping these traditions alive, relevant, and adaptable in a rapidly changing world.
Accentuating this theme, the backdrop of the stage is equally mesmerising. A kinetic 3D display of famous landmarks from around the globe signifies the expansive influence and universal appeal of Malaysian textile art. This backdrop is not just a visual spectacle; it’s a statement about the global impact of local art forms, emphasising that the essence of Malaysian heritage can resonate worldwide.
Limkokwing University’s participation in IKAT 2.0 reflects its commitment to nurturing talents that respect and revitalise cultural legacies. IKAT 2.0 is a cultural journey inviting Malaysians to explore the intricate narratives of textile art and ethnic heritage. It aims to foster a robust demand for these cultural treasures and enrich the public’s understanding of Malaysia’s diverse cultural heritage.