The Applicability of Awan Larat Motif on Contemporary Building Design
After the coming of Islam in the 14th century, the artistic craft development of the Malay society has shifted more on the concept of Tawhid which is to achieve the understanding of the oneness of God. As a result, one of the Malay traditional ornaments which are called ‘awan larat’ serves as a symbol that was decorated in most traditional Malay houses to portray the significance relationship between man, the universe and its Creator. However, due to the modernization these days, this traditional form of the motif is slowly being neglected and refuse to apply to contemporary buildings due to technological advancement as well as lack of interest and appreciation among Malay society. Therefore, this study aims to understand in depth the significance of applying this motif to the contemporary building as a matter to increase the level of awareness among Malay society regarding the values of the Malay Cultural Heritage. Experts and scholars from the background of Malay cultural studies were chosen to gain various significance perspectives of ‘awan larat’ and its appropriateness to be applied on contemporary buildings. Results and findings from this study found that time, cost and personal preferences of patrons were the factors that influenced the lack of appreciation in implementing ‘awan larat’ as a decoration on contemporary buildings. It can be established that awan larat has a unique character, which allows versatility for it to be used in various forms and purposes which have its own values and uniqueness to be uplifted. Hence, it is important to ensure that this area of study needs to be revised and uplifted in order to sustain its spirits in subsequent years.
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