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Zulkifli Ishak

Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia


Country: Malaysia


Zulkifli is a Curator at the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia (IAMM) and has served with the museum since year 2008. Since its opening in 1998, the museum’s collection has increased tremendously and after two decades of its establishment, this private museum managed to gather collection that consists of thousands of artefacts and objects.

His role as a Curator in this museum is to conduct research, to disseminate knowledge, information and legacy of this collection to others (local, international and specialized visitors) through various methods such as exhibitions (in-house  and collaborative exhibitions with local and international museums and institutions), permanent displays, publications, educational programmes, lectures, social media and tour guiding. Other than curatorial works, his job scope also involves tasks to handle the museum’s website and social media, newsletter, translation works and in-house staff training.

He graduated with a bachelor’s degree and postgraduate MA in History & Civilisation. His thesis study was Medieval European travel literature concerning its understanding, perception and imagination on the Malay world. His academic interest includes the field of Malay world manuscripts He is also a certified translator from Malaysian National Institute of Translation.

At the British Museum
During his time on the International Training Programme 2017, Zulkifli was based in the Middle East Department and spent his partner placement at Bristol Museums, Galleries and Archives.

Zulkifli worked with fellow Norhan Hassan Salem (Egypt) on his exhibition proposal project, entitled Royal Headgear: Symbolism, Protection and Kingship.

He extended his stay at the Middle East Department for some weeks after the ITP to conduct research on Islamic helmets from the British Museum’s collection.

Legacy Projects
In October 2019 Zulkifli participated in the ITP MA Conference programme in Brighton. With fellows from Egypt, India, Nepal and China, Zulkifli attended a programme structured around the 3-day MA Conference on Sustainable and Ethical Museums in a Globalised World.

ITP Newsletter Publications
ITP Newsletter Issue 5 (2018), Did you know that? Museum of arts, house of knowledge: Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia
ITP Newsletter Issue 5 (2018), Learning and engagement: Immersion of Islamic Arts 2018: a learning and engagement programme at the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia
ITP Newsletter Issue 5 (2018), Your collection in focus: Tumbuk lada
ITP Newsletter Issue 6 (2019), Connectivity in the 21st century: making collections accessible, Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia digital collections: working in partnership
ITP Newsletter Issue 6 (2019), Your collection in focus: A Malay manuscript on travel
ITP Newsletter Issue 7 (2020), Your collection in focus: A Malay keris from the collection of the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia
ITP Newsletter Issue 8 (2021) Facing the pandemic at the Islamic Arts Museum, Malaysia