2007 Institute of Current World Affairs
The Institute awards long-term fellowships to develop a deep understanding of an issue, country, or region outside the US and to share that understanding with a wider public.
Institute of Current World Affairs - Home Page

Below is a hobbled text version of a PDF document.
In order to read the actual document please click the link below and register if necessary.
(One-time registration is free and very quick.)
Read article

11/5/1982 - Pintu Gerbang by Bryn E. Barnard

INSTITUTE OF CURRENT WORLD AFFAIRS Jalan AU5 C Lembah Keramat Ulu Kelang Selangor Malaysia November BEB II Pintu Gerbang Mr Peter Bird Martin Institute Current World Affairs Wheelock House West Wheelock Street Hanover NH Dear Peter Gates their occupied dwellings Gates provide passageway support structural loads define space inside outside entrance From these humble utilita origins gates developed bolic functions identity rites passage markers Gates there where going identifying marks words symbols shape orientation Gates signify changed state sciousness economic political marital status plateau spiritual development Designers architects found different emphasizing these symbolic functions Jav anese temple builders ninth century onwards carved fearsome grinning visage upper Kala temple doorways symbolically devouring those passed underneath leading spiritual plane within Similarly Dante passing through Gates Hell spiritual journey thirteenth century Inferno noted rather forbidding admonishment carved overhead Lay Down All Hope You That Go In By Me Less ominous riotous secular decorations painted college dormitory doors veritable American campuses Symbolism excellance freestanding commemorative monument Free carrying support functions herent structural gates commemorative usually built solely memorialize event honor person consecrate place validate ritual Commemorative gates least Stonehenge built Japan India China Java Bali Most structurally simple using basic lintel design Indonesian split posts lintel More complex gates manner Roman trium arches employing voussoirs wedge shaped stones transfer Bryn Barnard Institute Fellw studying visual communication Southeast Asia His current interest architecture I iiiiiiiil Kala carving Balinese temple Gua Gaja Balinese Javanese temple gravity diagonal thrust thence vertical force resistance other arches inertia tresses Originally built honor Emperors Titus Septimius Severus Constantine triumphal arches found favor later Europeans eager harken Rome glory The French Arc Triomphe British Marble Arch British colonial India Gate New Delhi built imitation Roman model Today colonial fortunes tastes changed commemorative tradition guished Save isolated projects St Louis Gateway Arch monuments thing Except Malaysia It oddly enough comme rative tradition survives flourishes Lo II cally these gates called arches Malay pintu qerbang literally arched doorways Most however arches instead relying lintel construction Unlike Eur opean edifices these Malaysian gates permanent stone structures rather temporary seasonal creations plastic metal built yearly commemorate major natio cultural religious events As evolved quickly changing subject current tical ideology whims taste Supported private firms councils state government bespangled nationalistic religious cultural mottos symbols comnemorative gates become major visual components government national Malaysian culture Like Soviet Chinese socialist realism murals Indonesia Sukarno nationalist sculpture Malaysian commemorative gates service state official visual reminders Malaysia rather should The origins Malaysia commemorative gates obscure Photographic records sporadic before My informants Kuala Lumpur remember simple commemorative gates constructed during first Independence Day celebrations August before seasonal Christmas arches erected British stores Robinson Ma laYsian cultural chauvinism notwithstanding however modern commemorative gates documented indigenous historical cedent bamboo thatch village commemorative might begotten today variegated brood True Kelantan Trengganu still original pintu gerbang which modern urban commemorative gates derive their These freestanding entrance gates placed front sometimes northeast coast Malay homes But tradi domestic commemorative andnone modern gates I appear their basis Both Indian Arch Constantine Rome Arc Triomphe Paris Marble Arch London Ni IN P gerbang Kelantan Chinese communities their building ditions South Indian goyipuram Chinese temple religious structures usually attached temple walls Again neither major visual sources design modern Ma laysian gates India course tradi commemorative pillars erected command Emperor Asoka second century B C these monuments known descendants analogues Penin Also commemorative closer spirit modern Malaysian tradi Javanese split permanent stone concrete village demarca monument repainted annually throughout island Indonesian In dependance Day celebrations Again however known examples split erected Peninsula Malaysian commemoratives Pintu gerbang Kelantan Pintu gerbang Kelantan reflect design Perhaps Malaysian commemorative tradition Or bination traditions instead truely modern creation product contemporary urban genius Whatever origins building prospered Malaysia during though erratically By beginning Malaysian cities erecting Ii Chinese style mosque Malacca Govi puram Kuala Lumpur Split Java Chinese temple penang least commemor Independence Day occasionally other events The majority reflected current architectural trends Since colonial Malaysian civic architecture drawn visual inspiration West Islam Malay culture Commemorative gates followed Throughout decades ornament incor porated edged Western design elements keeping government emphasis Sains Teknologi Islamic ornamentation Malay inspired designs proven popular Minarets spires domes ogees variety cusped horseshoe lancet arches Often combined variations National Electricitv Board Independence Day Malaysia Day Malaysia Day Malaysia Day Malaysia Day Koran Reading Competition popular Minanqkabau BEB BEB discussion architectural Kelantanese carving artifacts keris ceremonial Malay knife Arabic writing Arabic style Malay language Jawi script virtual imperatives mottos other words either alone bination English English style Malay language Rum Elements Chinese Indian culture almost unseen today commemorative gates In these structures prime method insinuating Malay Islamic cultural edifices Chinese Indian areas Though Malaysian cities dominantly Chinese commemorative gates Malay Spandrel Springer Impost Horseshoe Round Arch Flyi Buttress centered Stilted Ogee Cusped Lancet Equal Blunt Types Arches Malaysia Day Though commemorative gates hallowed urban dition Malaysia competitive building comparative phenomenon restricted primarily Kuala Lumpur Such competitive fever however endemic throughout urban areas Peninsula Schools clubs media government forever sponsoring contests raise funds talent promote civic national pride Not Kuala Lumpur contest Federal Territory More recently Utusan Malaysia Malay language daily polled readers masthead design Even Malayan Banking contest design Kuala Lumpur headquarters Though democratic spirit competitions particularly government design competitions often rather narrow tical conduits creative activity The limit focussed along ideologically determined Malaysian lines Since design entered The Kuala Lumpur sponsors annual Pintu Gerbang competition inviting selected firms build commem orative gates determined spots around center PETRONAS Kuala PP RNAS Kuala 5umpur Lumpur National Electricity Bank Bumiputera Board Kuala Lumpur Kuala Lumpur MISC Kuala Lumpur MISC Kuala Lumpur MISC night Kuala Lumpur The stakes entrants build maintain light insure gates their expense usually M US But gates company logos support posts excellent advertising public relations straddling major Kuala Lumpur thoroughfares months during official commemorative season The season seems longer events added petitive calendar Competitive gates commemorate Independence Day annual International Koran Reading Competition during installation Yang Pertuan Agung Malaysia sultans turns office stretch City insists competitive gates should stand months rapidly approaching point permanence erected firms places National culture considered particularly important aspect these competitive gates serve major media official theme slogan chosen government mittee later appended billboards bumper stickers lyrics Usually inspir ational intent slight spartan themes revolve around civic virtues theme Berbakti Berdisiplin loyalty discipline Berdisiplin Berharmoni disci pline harmony Berdisiplin Giat discipline Genting Kuala Lumpur Genting Kuala Lumpur diligence success Subsidiary events their equally iplined themes Aesthetics expected official Though gates judged variety visual criteria including nighttime artificially appearance Malaysian cultural content stands paramount Winning gates heavyon Malay Islamic ornamentation years running The winner employed giant keris shaped support posts while position gates using Islamic theme Domes stylized forms received three honorable mentions though winner PERNAS Perbadanan Nasional National Corporation government multifunctional conglomerate traditional elements Stylized aluminum coated thunderbolt support posts lintels visual mainstays latter crowned Islamic crescent Malaysian design State governments Kuala Lumpur better In years state borders truly permanent gates PERNAS Sime Darby PERNAS Sime Darb Kuala Lumpur inner Kuala Lumpur National Electricity Board Kuala Lumpur winner National Electricity Board Kuala Lumpur honor mention Koran Reading Com petition facade PETRONAS Kuala Lumpur honorable mention PERNAS Kuala Lum winner National Electricity Board Kuala Lumpur Inde pendence Day facade PKNS overpass Kuala Lumpur honorable mention constructed functioning regional cultural identity markers More sturdily expensively constructed temporary gates these permanent ructures symbolize perimeters local sultan realm local culture The Negeri Sembilan border astride Kuala Lumpur Singapore highway representative A heirarchical arrangement modified Minangkabau roofs crown lintel symbolic ethnic group predominance state Terrioriality impor sultans affirmation their traditional rights their subjects In Sultan Selangor ruefully bequeathed Kuala Lumpur Federal Government unprecedented territory colonial Malay ruler To commemorate event secure borders sultan erected ultimate permanent gates Kota Darul Ehsan completed early Built million taxpayer inggit US million straddles Federal Territory major arteries Kuala Lumpur Kelang highway It strange Nicknamed Marble Arch reference Johore northern entrance Tampin Independence Day KL Singapore highway coemorative Negeri Sembilan Negeri Sembilan northern Alor Setar northern entrance KL Singapore entrance Kedah highway The Marble Arch Selangor design links Hyde Park original actual construc built reinforced concrete marble facing Like British Marble Arch Roman Arch Constantine Malaysian structure subsidiary arches flanking entranceway inscription decorative facing In overall appearance however modern triumphal unquestionably Islamic Malay Unlike round Roman style gates Europe Malaysian Marble Arch flanking entrances instead usual three accomOdate modern freeway traffic blunt style those found North Indian design Kuala Lumpur train station office The Arch incorporates North Indian style domes again similar train sation Islamic geometric facade ornamentation Selangor state Words Kota Darul Ehsan royal Malay Selangor State Monument Four antique cannons guard exterior support Less elaborate permanent gates erect watch other entrances Selangor Construction Marble Arch unchallenged Newspaper editorials letters questioned wisdom massive essential outlay taxpayer money importantly right Malaysia royalty author expenditures Charges waste possible misma nagement construction briefly filled until sultan ungrateful rakyat subjects commanded argument closed Arch built monument future generations Though media silenced subject Arch continues provoke private commentary debate particularly privacy automobiles daily beneath giant edifice The Marble Arch grandiose project duced Malaysia Public scrutiny recession inspired national state budget_cuts austere federal budget decadss luxurious uments unaffordable political economic liabilities Hard times reduced participation Kuala Lumpur compe tition Many regulars MAS Malaysian Airline System could afford small agches Less entrenched participants backed completely But gates longer quasi These polyglot freestyle borrowings indigenous foreign tradi tions become monuments tourist attractions subject scholarly research Even architects begun gates inspiration poring photographic examples National Archives National Museum Gates become Malaysia truly urban cultural traditions In country where_such symbols nurtured groomed displayed enshrined gates probably continue produced future Sincerely BrynIBarnard List Illustrations Kala carving temple Sem temple Dieng Plateau Central Java BEB Gate Pura Desa temple Bangli Bali BEB Gua Gaja Balinese temple honoring trimukti Shiva Brahma Vishnu BEB Triumphal Arch Constantine Rome Encyclopedia Americana Volume A Marble Arch London World Book Encyclopedia Volume L Arc Triomphe Paris picture postcard Paris Pintu Gerbanq Kelantan National Museum Kuaia Lumpur Pintu Gerbang Kelantan sketch sepia paper BEB Pintu Gerbang Kelantan sketch sepia paper BEB Govipuram Sri Maha Mariamman temple Kuala Lumpur BEB Chinese style mosque Malacca National Museum Kuala Lumpur Split Jalan Solo Yogyakarata Java BEB Chinese temple Penang BEB National Electricity Board Lembaqa Lektrik Negara LLN Independence Day celebrations National Photo Archive Malaysia Day Malaysia Day commemorates merging Peninsular Malaya Singapore states Sabah Sarawak island Borneo Malaysia Singapore federation National Photo Archive Malaysia Day National Photo Archive Malaysia Day National Photo Archive Malaysia Day National Photo Archive Koran Reading Competition This first gates erected annual International Koran Reading Competi every Kuala Lumpur National Photo Archive Types Arches Encyclopedia Americana Volume A Malaysia Day National Photo Archive PETRONAS Kuala Lumpur Pintu Gerbang competition City Hali Kuala Lumpur National Electricity Board LLN Kuala Lumpur City HalI Kuala Lumpur PERNAS Kuala Lumpur City Hall Kuala Lumpur Bank Bumiputera Kuala Lumpur City Hall Kuala Lumpur MISC Malaysia International Shipping Corporation Kuala Lumpur City Hall Kual Lumpur MISC Kuala Lumpur City Hall Kuala Lumpur MISC night Kuala Lumpur City Hall Kuala Lumpux Genting Highlands Resort Kuala Lumpur City Hall Kuala Lumpur Genting Highlands Resort Kuala Lumpur City Hall Kuala Lumpur PERNAS Sime Darby Kuala Lumpur winner City Hall Kuala Lumpur PERNAS Sime Darby Kuala Lumpur National Electricity Board Kuala Lumpur winner City Hall Kuala Lumpur PERNAS Kuala Lumpur winner City Hall Kuala Lumpur National Electricity Board Kuala Lumpur honorable mention Koran Reading Competition facade City Hall Kuala Lumpur National Electricity Board Kuala Lumpur Independence Day facade City Hall Kuala Lumpur PETRONAS Petrolium Nasional Kuala Lumpur honorable mention City Hall Kuala Lumpur PKNS Perbadanan Kemajuan Neqeri Selanqor Selangor State Development Authori overpass honorable mention City Hall Kuala Lumpur Johore northern entrance KL Singapore highway Crown Johore sultan stands Minagkabau style lintel BEB Negeri Sembilan northern entrance KL Singapore highway BEB Tampin Independence Day commemorative Negeri Sembilan This classic style commemorative since Stylized Minangkabau foreground BEB Alor Setar entrance Kedah BEB Marble Arch KL Kelang highway BEB The quote Dante Inferno Canto III Penguin Books edition translated Dorothy Leigh Sayers Received Hanover