Melaka is a vibrant city in south-western Malaysia that boldly shows the imprint of many cultures and conquests. The mural in the top photo extends further along the Melaka River depicting much of that melting pot history. Melaka was established in 1400 by a fugitive Hindu prince who became a Muslim in 1424. A Chinese trading envoy arrived in 1403 and in 1424 the founder Parameswara travelled to meet the Ming Dynasty Emperor and a strong trading relationship developed, founded on Melaka’s strategic position between west and east. A marriage of a Chinese Princess, Hang Li Po to the Sultan, Mansur Shah, in 1448 foreshadowed the development of the Nyonya culture blending of Chinese and Malay that continues to today. In 1511 the Portuguese attacked and took control. The Dutch began a protracted struggle to oust the Portuguese from 1606 and in 1641 Malacca fell to the Dutch. The British East India Company took over in 1795 during the Napoleonic Wars until Melaka was restored to the Dutch in 1818. Six years later in a colonial land swap, the Dutch gave Melaka to the British. The British colonial rule was interrupted by Japanese occupation from 1942 until the end of the Second World War , when Malaya was returned to the British. It was only in 1957, after almost 500 years of colonial occupation that independence returned, with the establishment of Malaysia. The influence of that extraordinary history makes Melaka a city of multi-cultural charm. The Nyonya or Peranakan culture that grew from Chinese settlement is manifest in many ways, but none more pleasurable than the delicate and delicious Nyonya cuisine.
Is this from the REAL real Banksy? Who knows, but it seems the right picture as Melbourne prepares to welcome about 800 delegates to the 17th Triennial Conference of the International Council of Museums Committee for Conservation (ICOM-CC).
The conference will attract leading international keynote speakers and up to 800 delegates, including conservators, scientists, historians and art historians, curators, librarians, archivists, students, collection managers and directors from the world’s leading cultural institutions and the private sector.
The conference offers technical sessions of the twenty-one specialist working groups, keynote speeches, behind the scenes visits to local conservation laboratories and sites of historic interest, cultural and social events as well as numerous opportunities to meet and forge ties with colleagues from every region of the world.
Warddeken Land Management, managers of the Warddeken Indigenous Protected Area in Arnhem Land have brought an exhibition of photographs of rock art to the Melbourne Conference and Exhibition Centre and it will be open to conference members and the public in Room 101 at the MCEC from lunchtime Monday 15 to COB Friday 19 September.
The photographic exhibition, entitled Fragile First Impressions, features photographic work by Top End photo-journalist David Hancock.
The theme is first contact between the Aboriginal people of the Arnhem Plateau and europeans, as depicted by Aboriginal artists in the caves of the plateau. Most of the images are indeed the first impressions of the settler frontier by adventurous indigenous people who went down from the plateau to buffalo camps, tin mines, pastoral properties and later Christian missions.
They painted these images to illustrate their stories when they returned to the folks who stayed at home.
Over the coming week I’ll share some pictures and stories from the show here on Tumblr. I will be at the show most of time during the week to share the story of Warddeken and the rock art treasures of Western Arnhem Land.