Taylor’s University and YTL Land Breathe New Life Into Sentul Through Art

Kuala Lumpur, Sep 22, 2016

Taylor’s University and YTL Land & Development Berhad (YTL Land) are proud to jointly present a contemporary arts exhibition, SentulWorks. The exhibition features a collection of 34 artworks by 13 students and alumni of Taylor’s University’s School of Architecture, Building and Design (SABD) and The Design School (TDS).
The inspiration behind SentulWorks is a complex of historic railway workshops located in Sentul West, Kuala Lumpur.  Dating back to 1905, these workshops formed part of the Central Railway Workshops, and was also known as Sentul Works. These large colonial brickwork structures were once the finest engineering workshops in the world and served the needs of the Federated Malay States Railways from the early 1900s up to the early 2000s for KTM Berhad.

“The SentulWorks exhibition is a labour of love, born from our shared passion with Taylor’s University for appreciation of culture, heritage and the arts. These brickwork and metal clad structures are some of the last remaining heritage buildings in Sentul which YTL Land has preserved and will adapt for new uses in line with our philosophy for the renewal of Sentul’s physical environment under our Sentul West and Sentul East Masterplan,” said YTL Land PR and Communications Director, Richard Leen.

After decades of use and disuse, these railway workshops still loom large, providing a picturesque backdrop against Sentul’s towering iconic high-rises like The Capers and The Fennel. The objective of this collaboration is to give an opportunity to the youth to see, understand and appreciate the buildings’ unique historic structures within the context of Sentul’s glorious past. Looking with fresh eyes and keen minds, the young generation was invited to create outstanding artworks expressing their perspectives, views and interpretations.

“We are thrilled to collaborate with Taylor’s University for this first-ever arts project. We have an obligation to save the past for the future generation by bringing life back to these buildings. Eventually these workshops will be adapted for new uses and we welcome the younger generation to take part in our creative transformation of these buildings in time,” added Richard.

Commenting on the collaboration, Deputy Dean for Academic Affairs and Student Experience, Taylor’s University School of Architecture, Building & Design, Dr Veronica Ng said, “Taylor’s University is extremely proud to showcase the artworks produced by 13 of our students and alumni who have dedicated a great amount of time and effort into realising the SentulWorks exhibition. They are the “eyes” of their generation as they look back into Malaysian heritage and artistically interpret the past with their own thoughts and personal experiences.”

“Committed to grooming future ready graduates, Taylor’s University believes it is essential to expose our students to opportunities within and beyond the classroom that would enhance their industry-relevant skills,” said Dr Veronica who encouraged educators, parents and mentors to support the younger generation of Malaysians.

When asked what he gained from the project, recently graduated student with a degree in Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Architecture, Muhammad Haziq bin Ariffin, whose artwork focused on the aspect of layering of memories explained, “The SentulWorks project gave me a wonderful opportunity to utilise my classroom knowledge and experiences to interpret the building, and then later present my thoughts freely in an art form. The rich and deep history of the Sentul depot also taught me the important roles that history and architecture play in understanding today's society.”

“It was challenging to capture and express the senses of sight, smell and sound that I can only imagine may have taken place at the depot when it was in use back then. I hope visitors to the SentulWorks exhibition will develop an appreciation for the depot’s rich heritage that shaped the development of Sentul,” said Muhammad Haziq.

The students and alumni of Taylor’s University’s SABD and TDS were inspired to produce artworks that reflected their interpretations of the historic structure after a site visit to the Sentul railway workshops in October last year. Among the artworks, 33 pieces were individual submissions by Taylor’s University undergraduates while one was submitted by a pair of artists comprising of one Taylor’s University post-graduate student and one Taylor’s University alumnus.

The SentulWorks exhibition will open on 24 September, and will run till 9 October 2016 at d6, Sentul East, Kuala Lumpur (Lot G-3A & G-5), from 11am to 5pm daily.  There are plans for the exhibition to travel to Lot 10 at Bukit Bintang and Taylor’s University, Lakeside Campus at Subang Jaya after its run at d6, Sentul East, Kuala Lumpur.