AWA welcomes first Malaysian deposit
Published September 24, 2021

AWA welcomes first Malaysian deposit

The Arctic World Archive is proud to welcome the first Malaysian deposit which joins the growing repository of world memory.

This deposit celebrates South-East Asian’s vibrant art culture as seen through the eyes of emerging artists. 

This deposit was made possible by U.C. Loh and S. Jamal Al-Idrus, co-founders of Malaysia’s Artemis Art Gallery, who chose a number of pieces from their private art collection. Artemis Art is focused on promoting young and emerging South-East Asian artists, allowing them to showcase their artistic talent to art lovers in their home countries and to the rest of the world. 

These valued art pieces join existing treasures including Edvard Munch’s The Scream, records from the national archives of Brazil and Mexico, Github’s open-source code repository, famous films and other international contemporary art. 

The Archive, based on the remote island of Svalbard, Norway, is a safe repository for world memory. Set in the stability of a demilitarised zone, surrounded by permafrost and guarded by polar bears, this Archive and the data stored inside will last for centuries to come. 

Piql, the company behind the Archive, hosted a ceremony to mark the importance of storing these items for future generations. 

Speaking at the event, Piql’s Managing Director, Rune Bjerkestrand, celebrated the first Malaysian contribution. Artemis’ young vibrant art collection is a wonderful first deposit from Malaysia and around Asia, representing the diverse and rich cultures of the region. 

‘We like to think of the Arctic World Archive as way to ensure we never lose items of historical and cultural value — we help the world remember.’ 

For the deposit, the founders selected art pieces that had been digitised using hi-res photography. The art’s provenance, including a narrated memory of their experience when meeting the artist and purchasing the art piece were also digitised and archived. The digital collection, stored on piqlFilm was in conjunction with the launch of Piql Malaysia’s digital Art Provenance Archival Solution. 

Joining virtually from Malaysia, co-founder of Artemis Art, U.C. Loh, believes that storing the provenance information on piqlFilm ensures that all proof of authenticity is securely kept. 

‘This applies to both private collectors and institutions as the integrity of the information kept on piqlFilm will last for over 1,000 years,’ she said. 

The Artists 
The selection of works represents a portion of UC and Jamal’s personal collection that focuses on Asia, with an emphasis on Southeast Asia, and one which they envisage to incorporate more artists from other parts of the world in the future. Included in this selection are artists such as:

  • Ajim Juxta, Michael Chuah and Umibaizurah Mahir from Malaysia
  • Erica Hestu Wahyuni and Gabriel Aries Setiadi from Indonesia
  • Charlie Co and Yeokaa from Philippines
  • Chihiro Nakahara from Japan
  • Li Wei and Liu Zhiyin from China

Moving forward, Artemis Art hopes to continue supporting young and emerging artists from around the world. 

Safe for 1000 years 

Stored on Piql’s unique technology in the ideal climatic conditions of the arctic, the data can last for eternity, with no electricity required. The self-contained technology also guarantees that no data is lost and will be accessible no matter the time that passes. If the reading technology is no longer available, the data can be extracted manually with a camera, a light source and a computer. 

The technology can withstand extreme electromagnetic exposure and has undergone extensive longevity testing. The Arctic World Archive really is the safest place in the world for valuable data and we are thrilled to add these new works of art to our repository of world memory,’ Mr Bjerkestrand said.

About Artemis Art

With a focus on Southeast Asia, Artemis Art has been actively promoting young and emerging artists through their programming, which includes participating in international art fairs primarily around Asia. Over the last decade, in addition to their art fair participations, Artemis Art has collaborated with galleries across the region, as part of their effort in nurturing the artists they represent.

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Want to join a deposit on Svalbard?

To visit Svalbard is on many people's bucket list, and we recommend everyone who stores their precious memories in AWA to participate in a deposit ceremony.

Image of the invitation to the deposit ceremony