PEACE PREVAILS

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Friday, 13 April 2012

PARADIGMATIC SHIFT : A CASE OF MUZIUM & GALERI TUANKU FAUZIAH

This is a repeated and re-edited versions of my previous blog entries. It was supposed to be shared during the recent Creativity and the Spiritual Path event, but not meant to be. Nevertheless, Allah is the BEst of Planner. All that I wanted to share here have been manifested through the inspiring presentations by other creative individuals during the event. Creative Intelligence manifests in myriads of ways, not necessarily through this shadowy existence or small ripple called Hasnul J Saidon.


So here we go....

Ok, we at MGTF USM can provide our stakeholders (people of Malaysia) with all the Key Performance Indicators (KPI), fancy statistics, numbers, grafts and charts that can document all our tangible achievements.
They are termed as ‘strategic information’, and now perhaps can be accessed in this particular center in USM with a name too long, I can’t remember.
On the other hand, what we (my friends and I at MGTF USM) cherish more are those intangible values that we have managed to vibrate and share with all of you (our visitors and potential visitors). These values are beyond form, beyond KPIs. They are meant to be experienced (ALAMI).
When I was given the mandate to head MGTF USM, one of the oldest university museums in Malaysia, I was unhappy and reluctant. I hated museum. Understandably, it was probably due to my training as a contemporary visual artist. Central to such training are ME and that illusion called THE ARTIST.
Practicing as a visual artist in an environment eager to become a part of a global capitalist matrix, feeding this EGO called HASNUL J SAIDON, THE ARTIST is imperative in sustaining a presence. 
I was persistently an angry, pessimist, sarcastic and easily agitated person, ready to blame everything except myself. Everything was centered around sustaining my 'doing'as an artist, plus the accompanying baggage of whatever taken as a threat to that ‘doing’. To be ‘demoted’ as a caretaker of a museum housed in an old colonial building was a big blow and threat to this notion of being a contemporary visual artist, in short, my BIG EGO.
But ALLAH is the BEST PLANNER. Through the experience of running a university museum and gallery for the past seven years with my friends, I was given a learning lesson, if not humbled. My ego was shattered into dust, even though its lingering presence is still around to pounce me whenever I’m not aware of what this thing called ‘my mind’ is doing.
The journey began with many questions. Central to these questions are :
1. How to ‘decolonize’ a museum, which is traditionally taken as one of the by-products of colonial legacy. How to encounter such extension of western modernism and scientific paradigm (read classical physic) that has ‘colonized’ the very foundation of much of the Eastern spiritual (in my case, read Malay-Islamic) paradigms found in many forms of Malay-Islamic or Eastern traditions. How to subvert the effort of turning these spiritual heritage into ‘artifacts’ or ‘dead objects’ without pertinent relevancy to current contexts? 
2. How to make a university museum relevant and pertinent to current contemporary imperatives and contexts, to current and future generation?
I have been blessed to be given 7 years to answer these questions, while healing myself in the process.
The answer :
WE NEED A PARADIGMATIC SHIFT, A ‘HIJRA’ OF SOME SORT, A ‘TRANSFORMATIVE STANCE’

 
What is this so-called paradigmatic shift then?
I have another 4 minutes to share with you the answers

Due to time constraint, I will read through a list of such shift, with the hope that each shift will spark a quantum wave in our own mental state.

From
CLASSICAL PHYSIC
To
QUANTUM PHYSIC
From
FORM
To
INFORMATION
From
BODY
To 
MIND & SOUL
 
From
CONTENT
To
CONTEXT
From
LINEAR
To
NON-LINEAR
From
MASS (MEDIA)
To
MULTI (MEDIA)
From
OFFLINE
To
ONLINE
From
SEQUENTIAL
To
SIMULTANEITY/CONCURRENT
From
THEN
To
NOW
From
PASSIVE
To
INTERACTIVE/PARTICIPATIVE
From
SINGULAR DIMENSION
To
TRANS-DIMENSIONAL
From
SINGULAR DISCIPLINE
To
TRANS-DISCIPLINE
From
DOMINANCE
To
SYNERGY
From
INDEPENDENT
To
INTER-DEPENDENT
From
CONTROL
To
EMPOWERMENT
From
PERMANENCY
To
CHANGE
From
FIXED
To
FLEXIBILITY
From
ONE TO MANY
To
MANY TO MANY
From
EXCLUSIVE
To
INCLUSIVE
From
PRODUCER-CENTERED
To
USER-CENTERED
From
HOMOGEINITY
To
TRANS-CULTURAL

From
COMPETITION
To
COLLABORATION
From
SEPARATION
To
CONVERGENCE
From
ZAHIR
To
BATIN 
From
MANAGING
To
INSPIRING
From
REACTING TO CHANGE
To
BE THE CHANGE
From
PUNISHING BAD BEHAVIOURS
To
ENCOURAGING GOOD BEHAVIORS

From
CENTRALIZED
To
HIGHLY NETWORKED
From
HIERARCHY
To
WEB OF RELATIONSHIP
From
PHYSICAL SKILL
To
MENTAL SKILL
From
FINDING FAULTS
To
SOLVING PROBLEMS
From
PRE-DETERMINED
To
CHOICE
From
THING
To
TIME
From
DESCRIBING
To
EXPERIENCING
From
FIGHTING DARKNESS
To
EMITTING LIGHT

The following photos are poor (but reasonable) documentations of the results of my own paradigmatic shift at MGTF USM. Together with my friends, we have been blessed with myriads of ‘renewable’ energies form our visitors, especially kids. Visitors are our superstars, our VVIPS, our life and bloodline (not just statistics or numbers on charts). Of course, I would like to brag about our collections too, but they are just things, and meant nothing without our visitors to WITNESS them.


Investing in the intangible (we like to refer to them as light) doesn’t require large budget. What is needed is sincere love in sharing our shared heritage and humanity. These pictures epitomize all the beautiful ‘ALAMI’. These pictures epitomize the results of our own personal and collective paradigmatic shift, hijra or transformation.
Let us embrace a paradigmatic shift, a return (transforming back or ‘hijra’) to our true nature (fitrah) together, to fulfill the greatest mandate that has been bestowed upon us –
TO MAKE PEACE

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