“… an Art Museum does not spring into existence with its collection completely formed, but must develop slowly from humble beginnings, and is alive only so long as it is growing.” ~ Michael Sullivan, 1959.
It is rather unbecoming and somewhat unforgiveable for one to write about the establishment of the present University of Malaya Art Gallery without acknowledging its origins from the University of Malaya Art Museum in the then University of Malaya in Singapore. Its history is reflective of the history of Malaysia and Singapore itself. Developed as a single entity, it was forced to separate, and then developed independently and progressively as two separate entities.
UNIVERSITY OF MALAYA ART MUSEUM
In the University’s 1954-55 Annual Report, the Vice-Chancellor reported that “The second appointment of special interest was made at the beginning of the session, that of a Lecturer in the History of Art. It had never been expected that there would be immediately any great call on the time of this lecturer for purely teaching work in his subject, but he has been able to devote a great deal of time and energy to the commencement of a significant collection of works of art representative of the cultures of Asia and especially of South East Asia. To house and display this collection a gallery has been provided on the top floor of the Library building, and we have great hopes that it will grow and become a really valuable centre for the display and the study of oriental art. It is happily contiguous with the Chinese section of the Library. This large and distinguished collection cannot yet be completely and adequately housed, but we were able to make a substantial amount of space available for it by the transfer from the top floor of the Library building and the Vice-Chancellor’s own office.”1
Similarly and in the same Annual Report, Michael Sullivan presented a report for the History of Art. Amongst other things, he reported that “In October 1954 a proposal was put forward for the establishment of the University of Malaya Art Museum and Exhibition Gallery, the main purposes of which were threefold: to give students taking courses in Art History the opportunity for direct contact with original works of art, to establish the first permanent public art collection in Singapore, and to create in the University a centre for research in the art and archaeology in Southeast Asia. The proposal was finally approved by the Council on 1st April 1955, and work on the construction of an Exhibition Gallery, Art Study Room and Curator’s Office was begun on the upper floor of the University Library in June.”2 The University of Malaya Art Museum Committee was subsequently formed to replace the Senate Committee on Works of Art to oversee the management of the Museum and Gallery. This new committee was chaired by the Vice-Chancellor himself.
Thus, established in 1955 as a teaching museum, the University of Malaya Art Museum’s primary role then was to support the teaching and learning of the History of Art course. Its presence provided the students with “an opportunity for direct contact with original works of art and to form the nucleus for the centre for the study of art and archaeology in Southeast Asia.”3 With Michael Sullivan, an art historian, as its first curator, the University of Malaya Art Museum then was established to meet the following objectives:
- To give the University a centre for the study and enjoyment of art
- To provide a background for the two-year course in History of Art
- To create a centre of research into the archaeology of Southeast Asia, and
- To bring together for the first time in Malaya, a representative public collection of the art of those civilisations that have chiefly contributed to the creation of a Malayan culture.
On 4th January 1956, the University’s Council appointed Michael Sullivan, the lecturer in Art History, to be the Curator of the Museum answerable to the Art Museum Committee. With the governance structure in place, the University of Malaya Art Museum was officially opened on 7th April 1956 by the Pro-Chancellor, Dato Dr Haji Mohamed Eusoff. Mrs Khoan Sullivan was appointed as a temporary assistant in the Museum amd Sub-Department of Art History in October 1956. Undeniably, Khoan and Michael Sullivan were instrumental in the initial establishment of the Museum as stated by Sullivan4, “There were no collections in Singapore of the work of living artists. Khoan and I founded the University Art Museum with the blessing of two vice-chancellors and the support of Loke Wan-tho and Malcolm MacDonald, Commissioner General for south-east Asia.” This was also noted by Tan5 “The University of Malaya Art Museum (precursor to the NUS Museum) was formally established in 1955 with a generous donation from Khoan Sullivan. When the museum was officially opened by the Pro-Chancellor of the University, Dr Michael Sullivan, a lecturer in art history at the University of Malaya (today’s National University of Singapore) was appointed its first curator. It was the first art museum in Singapore and Malaya and the centre for the art history program.”
The Museum had its early beginnings in a small gallery in the then University of Malaya Library building in April 1956. In the University’s 1958-59 Annual Report, in his capacity as the Curator, Michael Sullivan reported on the Art Museum and Exhibition Gallery. He reported that “The Art Museum moved to its new and splendid galleries in August and was formally reopened by the Chancellor in the presence of a large gathering on 22nd December 1958.”6 The move to a newer and bigger venue meant bigger galleries for its various exhibits. The Museum now has ample gallery space, offices, a research library and storage area. With Michael Sullivan helming the Museum from 1954 to 19607, its collection then was divided into five main collections to represent the myriad of Southeast Asian culture:
- Contemporary Malayan art
- Southeast Asian art
- Malaya and the Islamic world
- Hindu and Buddhist art
- Ceramics and minor arts
Michael Sullivan’s tenure at the University of Malaya ended in 1960. After being without a curator for three years, the University appointed William Young Willetts the Director of the Museum, a post he held from 1963 to 1973. The works of Michael Sullivan and William Willetts in connection with the growth and development of the University of Malaya Art Museum collection is well documented by T.K. Sabapathy.10
The separation of Singapore from Malaysia was inevitable and this is also true for the University of Malaya. By 1959, the University of Malaya had two separate campuses, one in Bukit Timah in Singapore and the other in Kuala Lumpur in the Federation of Malaya. Malaysia came into being on 16th September 1963 with the merger of the Federation of Malaya, Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak. However, on 9th August 1965, Singapore become an independent state. Many attributed the separation of the two universities to the historical separation of Singapore from Malaysia. However, there is another side to the story.
UNIVERSITY OF MALAYA AND UNIVERSITY OF SINGAPORE
For the Vice-Chancellor’s report in the Annual Report of the University of Malaya 1960-61, Professor Sir Alexander Oppenheim wrote, “In my previous report I mentioned in passing that there were indications of a growing demand for two completely separate national universities in Singapore and in Kuala Lumpur. This demand crystallized during the year in review. After University agreement the two governments announced their intention to establish two separate autonomous national universities, one in the Federation of Malaya and one in the State of Singapore, with effect from the end of the triennium, that is to say in 1962.“11 The Federation of Malaya accepted the draft constitution for the new University of Malaya in October 1961 whilst the Singapore Legislative Assembly accepted the draft constitution for the University of Singapore in December 1961.
The Vice-Chancellor also reported that “The decision to set up separate universities in the Federation of Malaya and in Singapore brought with it many problems. One of the main problems the Central Council had to face was the allocation of the assets of the University of Malaya. These assets include the Accumulated Fund and other funds under its control, the contents of the Art Museum, the assets of the University of Malaya Press, furniture and equipment of the Central Secretariat, the stocks of academic gown s and robes, the mace and other items. Most of the items were settled amicably; the rest remain for discussion.”14 With this move, the Bukit Timah campus ceased its operations in 1962 and with its closure the “Museum Collection was accordingly divided equally between the University of Singapore and the University of Malaya. Lack of student enrolment for the History of Art course at the University of Singapore forced it to close in 1973. Singapore’s share of the Museum Collection was transferred to the National Museum.”15 Willetts left the Museum in 197316 and went to Kuala Lumpur to become the curator for the Museum of Asian Art at the University of Malaya, a post he held from 1973 to 1983. 17,18,19
There are conflicting reports on when the new University of Malaya’s share of the initial University of Malaya Art Museum collection was finally transferred to Kuala Lumpur. Michael Sullivan20 as well as Ahmad Mashadi21 both stated that the collection was sent to Kuala Lumpur after the separation of Singapore from Malaysia in 1965. T.K. Sabapathy22 recorded it as being in 1966, the year when both parties completed the division of the collection. Sabapathy stated that “A committee was set up to deal with terms and procedures; after considerable discussion, a decision was made to separate the collection into two components on a principle of representativeness.”23. The University of Singapore appointed Willetts as their representative and the University of Malaya was represented by Ungku Abdul Aziz, a lecturer in economics. Shabbir Hussain Mustaffa24 noted that “Willetts was a crucial figure in the division of the University’s art collection after the separation of Singapore from the Malaysian Federation in 1966, with the other half of the collection now residing in Kuala Lumpur at the University of Malaya Museum.” Ungku Abdul Aziz went on to become the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Malaya in 1968, a position he held for 20 years.
MUSEUM OF ASIAN ART
There is no documentation to attest to what actually happened to all the artefacts that were transferred from Singapore once the transfer was completed. At some point in time, Malaysia’s share of the collection was housed at the Library and its management was put directly under the Vice-Chancellor’s office. In an email correspondence with Mrs Khoo Siew Mun, a former Chief Librarian of the University of Malaya, she said that in the early 1960’s, the art collection was placed in the Library. However, in their documentation about Ungku Abdul Aziz, the authors, Abu Bakar Abd Hamid and K.T. Joseph, noted that “In 1962 when the campus was developed as University of Malaya’s home in Pantai Valley, a section of the university library was used to house and display the artifacts”.25 When Ungku Abdul Aziz did become the Vice-Chancellor of the University, he established the Museum of Asian Art or Muzium Seni Asia. Ungku Abdul Aziz was instrumental in expanding the collection and he personally hand-picked artefacts which not only enriched the collection further but is of value. He believes that the strength of a museum is not dependent on the number of artefacts stored within but it is highly dependent on the selection of artefacts which are culturally significant. There is a striking similarity in the rationale for the establishment of the Museum now and the establishment of the University of Malaya Art Museum in 1954 which is to provide an opportunity for the students of the University to have an experience with an actual heritage collection as well as to provide a source for research. In line with the premier aspirations of the University, the museum’s vision is to preserve and disseminate knowledge on Asian art through research whilst simultaneously providing museological services akin to international museum standards. The museum’s mission is to be the region’s leading educational museum preserving and disseminating knowledge related to art heritage of Asia. The concept of the Museum revolves around housing and showcasing three significant civilisations under one roof. This is achieved via the collection of artefacts from the Malay and Islamic civilisation, Chinese civilisation and the Indian civilisation. At the same time, the Museum was also building up its collection of paintings by Malaysian artists.
The University of Malaya and Visual Arts
During his tenure as Vice-Chancellor, Ungku Abdul Aziz was propagating the importance of the visual arts on campus. In 1971, the University of Malaya appointed Ibrahim Hussein as Pelukis Tamu or Artist in Residence and he stayed on till 1978. He said that what Ungku Abdul Aziz wanted was for him to “reside on campus and stimulate some artistic interest among the university population, from students to lecturers”.26 Numerous activities which were related to visual arts were held on campus during Ungku Abdul Aziz’s tenure.27,28,29,30,31 In 1981, the University and the Cultural Culture hosted and organised Pameran Perdana Persatuan Pelukis Malaysia at Dewan Tunku Chancellor. This event was sponsored by Syarikat Selangor Pewter Sdn. Bhd.
Construction of the Museum of Asian Art
Plans for the construction of a building to house the Museum of Asian Art’s collection was underway and is well documented. In the University’s 24th Annual Report for 1972-73, Beda Lim, the Chief Librarian, reported on the approval of a proposal to build Phase 4 of the Library Building. This would be part of a new complex for the Postgraduate Studies, Faculty of Law, Faculty of Economy and Administration, the libraries for Postgraduate Studies and Law as well as the Arts Museum.32 This was confirmed by Ungku Abdul Aziz in a conversation with the writers on 19th March 2012.
When Willetts took office at the Museum of Asian Art in 1973, he documented and inventorised the seed collection that came from Singapore whilst retaining the original accession number assigned to each artefact. He recorded a total of 296 artefacts, including paintings, representing the Malaysian university’s share of artefacts and paintings which were acquired from 1954 to 1959 (Table 1).
|Year of Acquisition||No. of Artefacts/Paintings|
Reproduction of Willetts’ inventory of the seed collection
In his report for the University’s 27th Annual Report for 1975-76, Professor Ungku Abdul Aziz mentioned the ongoing construction works of a complex for Postgraduate Studies, a library for the Faculty of Law, an annexe for the Faculty of Economy and Administration, lecture theatres and a Fine Arts Gallery or Balai Seni Halus.33 On completion of this complex, the Museum of Asian Art moved to its new home. It was was officially declared open by Tuanku Chancellor DYMM Tuanku Hajjah Bahiyah Almarhum Tuanku Abdul Rahman on 20th June 1980. On 9th December 1986, Tuanku Chancellor DYMM PadukaSeri Sultan Azlan Shah “officiated the Tan Sri Dato’ Tan Yuet Foh Hall on Level 2 of the Museum of Asian Art. The late Tan Sri Dato’ Tan Yuet Foh donated a substantial amount of money to the Fine Arts Fund which will enable the Museum to continue acquiring artefacts of importance to our national cultural heritage.”34
The Museum continued acquiring artefacts under its various Directors and plans were also made for the acquisition of paintings as noted by Willetts in 1981 when he said that “the top floor of the museum, designed later for a picture gallery”.35 Willetts vision of the Museum was very clear when he stated that “If the Muzium Seni Asia is to attain to any degree of international status, it must concentrate on art-forms in which the decorative, abstract and symbolic element is intrinsic and uppermost – on textiles, metalwork, wood-carving, ceramics, calligraphy – all forms in which the genius of Asian art has traditionally found its expression”.36
From its early beginnings, the governance of the Museum of Asian Art was unclear. It was initially placed under the Vice-Chancellor’s Office. When the University established the Pusat Kebudayaan or Cultural Centre in 1974, the Museum was placed there. All of its activities then was reported together with the activities of the Cultural Centre. However, in the University’s 39th Annual Report for 1987-88,37 the Cultural Centre ceased reporting about the activities of the Museum. It is therefore safe to assume that the Museum went back to the Vice-Chancellor’s Office and this is rightly so since during the tenure of the Abdullah Sanusi Ahmad (1994 to 2000) as Vice-Chancellor, the Museum was under the Vice-Chancellor’s Office with Rahmah Bujang as its Head. However, when Rahmah Bujang was appointed as the Director of the Cultural Centre, the Museum was once again placed under the Centre with Othman Yatim as its Head. When Anuar Zaini took up office as the Vice-Chancellor (2000 to 2003), the Museum was returned to the Vice-Chancellor’s Office with Othman Yatim remaining as the Director. The Museum remained there under the tenure of both Hashim Yaacob (2003 to 2006) and Rafiah Salim (2006 to 2008) as Vice-Chancellors.
On 2nd April 2008, the management of the University headed by Rafiah Salim approved the Jawatankuasa Penasihat Muzium Seni Asia or the Advisory Committee of the Museum of Asian Art to be chaired by the Director of the Academy of Malay Studies, University of Malaya. The other members are the Chief Librarian, a representative each from the arts-based faculties and the science-based faculties and the Director or a representative from Jabatan Muzium Malaysia or theDepartment of Museums Malaysia. Rafiah Salim repositioned visual arts as an important agenda in the University and this is evident through the decisions made at various management meetings. On 18th June 2008, an Ibrahim Hussein’s painting was removed from Kolej Kediaman Kelima or the Fifth Residential College and sent to the National Visual Arts Gallery or Balai Seni Visual Negara for restoration. On 2nd July 2008, a notice was sent out to the University’s staff to return any of Ibrahim Hussein’s painting which are still in their possession. On 15th August 2008, the Museum of Asian Art was formally placed under the University of Malaya Library. The writers stated that “It is timely for the Museum to be part of the Library since both entities are dedicated to the collection, preservation, conservation and archiving of rare and unique information sources. Within the same year, in its efforts to preserve and conserve the art collection of the University, the Library and the Museum has been asked by the University’s management to document and inventorise the art collection of the University. The Museum was designated as the depository for the University’s art collection. This was the beginning of the revival of the visual arts movement on campus.”38
Visual Arts and the Museum of Asian Art
The Museum of Asian Art was not only responsible for the acquisition of artefacts but was actively involved in the visual arts. It has actively played hosts to numerous solo exhibitions by artists from various genre. From 2009 up till the end of 2011, the Museum held numerous art exhibitions and art-related activities:
- 25th Solo Exhibition of Professor Mi Jai Lee : Natural and Soul – Celebrated Transition From Traditional to Digital : 15th April 2009 to 15 Mei 2009
- Print Making Exhibition : Expression of Idea & Creativity : 23 Febuary 2010 to 22 March 2010
- Solo Exhibition by Soh Boon Kiong : The Lyrical Flow : 10 to 25 November 2010,
- Solo Exhibition by Datin Hajjah Yurni Amir : Gemersik Mayang : 16 December 2010 to 14 February 2011
- Solo Exhibition by Suzlee Ibrahim – Road to Sahara : 25 February to 25 March 2011
- Solo Exhibition by Associate Professor Dr Abd Jalil Othman : 20 April to 20 May 2011
- Solidarity of Poland Exhibition : 16 to 31 May 2011
- Conservation & Restoration of Paintings from the Museum of Asian Art Project : 1 to 15 September 2011
- The French Masters Series Lecture : Pierre Soulages by Soh Boon Kiong : 16 November 2011
- The French Masters Series Lecture : Yan Pei Ming by Soh Boon Kiong : 8 December 2011
- Art Exhibition in conjunction with the University of Malaya’s Convocation Festival : 3 to 8 October 2011
- Around Campus with the KL Sketchers Project : 15 October 2011
The Ibrahim Hussein Mural
In 2010, the Museum was given a monumental task which involves the restoration, preservation and conservation of a mural which was created by Ibrahim Hussein but was inevitably whitewashed.39 On 14th July 2010, Musrizal Mat Isa, a curator from National Visual Arts Gallery was invited to present the Gallery’s proposal to conserve and preserve the mural. Finally, in December 2011, the task of restoring the mural was given to National Visual Arts Gallery and was successfully completed in March 2012. The building which was previously a store room for sports equipment is currently being renovated and when completed will house a mini gallery and studios for the Artist in Residence.
UNIVERSITY OF MALAYA ART GALLERY
The idea of reviving the visual arts on campus came about in 2010 and subsequently this led to the appointment of Soh Boon Kiong40, Juhari Said, Yusof Ismail or popularly known as Yusof Gajah as Artist in Residence. The establishment of an art gallery also came about in 2010 and was put forward by the Vice-Chancellor himself, Ghauth Jasmon. He aspired to establish an art gallery which will become a cultural legacy and icon of the University “through the study, preservation, conservation, exhibition, interpretation and development of its collections. Exhibition of works by local and international artists, supported by creative learning activities aimed at diverse audiences across ages from the uninitiated to the expert.”41 The mission of the Gallery is to make the visual arts an essential part of the experience of all University of Malaya community, to advance knowledge of art and culture, to serve as a world-class destination for members of the national and international communities, and thus to act as a public gateway to the University’s intellectual resource.
Work to transform Level 5 of the new Chancellery building into an art gallery began on 21st July 2011. Apart from a public viewing area, the Gallery is designed to include a Miniature Painting Room, Audio Visual Room, Artists’ Studio, Reference Room, Research Room and a Café. Once everything is in place, the paintings which were stored as well as exhibited in the Museum of Asian Art were moved to its permanent home. This marks the formal separation of the paintings from the artefacts which shared a common root in the University of Malaya Art Museum in Bukit Timah, Singapore. The University of Malaya Art Gallery or UMAG or Galeri Seni Universiti Malaya had its pre-launch on 11th October 2011 and from then on, we have never looked back.
To further strengthen the University’s commitment to visual arts, the University of Malaya signed a Memorandum of Understanding or MoU with the National Visual Arts Gallery on 17th February 2012. The MoU seeks to establish a smart partnership between the two organisations for the development and enhancement of the visual arts in Malaysia. The MoU will allow both organisations to cooperate in various visual arts-related research and development activities as well as the sharing of expertise. With all this in place, the University of Malaya Art Gallery will continue to move forward in its endeavour to be an icon of the University of Malaya.
- University of Malaya. Annual Report of the University of Malaya : 1954-55. Singapore: University of Malaya, 1956. pp. 1-2.
- University of Malaya. Ibid. pp. 50-52.
- Chai, Wai Hon. Whither the Arts. Singapore Towards the Year 2000. Edited by Saw-Swee Hock and R.S. Bathal. Singapore: Singapore Association for the Advancement of Science, 1981. pp.131-139.
- Sullivan, Michael. Modern Chinese Art: The Khoan and Michael Sullivan Collection. Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, 2001. p.16.
- Tan, Li-Jen. A Preliminary Survey of University Art Museums in Southeast Asia. University Museums and Collections as Recorders of Cultural and National Communities Worldwide : Proceedings of the 10th Conference of the International Commiitee of ICOM for University Museum and Collections (UMAC), Shanghai, China, 7th-12th November 2010. pp.13-18. Available at: http://edoc.hu-berlin.de/umacj/2011/li-jen-13/XML/TanLi_xdiml.xml
- University of Malaya. Annual Report of the University of Malaya : 1958-59. Singapore: University of Malaya, 1956. pp.26-28.
- Tan, Li-Jen. A Preliminary Survey of University Art Museums in Southeast Asia.
- University of Malaya. Annual Report of the University of Malaya : 1954-55. pp.1
- Guidebook: University of Malaya Art Museum. Singapore : Hian Seng Press, 1959. pp.3-6
- Sabapathy, T.K. Introduction. Past, Present, Beyond: Re-nascence of an Art Collection. Edited by T.K. Sabapathy. Singapore: NUS Museum, 2002. pp. 10-21.
- University of Malaya. Annual Report of the University of Malaya (established by the University of Malaya Ordinance 1949): 1960-61. Kuala Lumpur: University of Malaya, 1962.
- University of Malaya. Ibid. pp.1-2.
- University of Malaya. Ibid. p.8.
- University of Malaya. Ibid.
- Tan, Shook Fong. NUS Museum, National University of Singapore. Passage, September/October 2011. p.20.
- Shabbir Hussain Mustaffa. Camping and Tramping Through the Colonial Archives: The Museum in Malaya. Camping and Tramping Through the Colonial Archive: The Museum in Malaya. Singapore: NUS Museum, 2011. p.16.
- Pathmanathan, Murugesu. (1995, March 12). A passion that lives on. New Sunday Times.
- William Willetts – renowned authority on Oriental art. (1995, February 4). Business Times.
- Oriental art expert dies. (1995, February 5). New Sunday Times.
- Sullivan, Michael. Modern Chinese Art: The Khoan and Michael Sullivan Collection. p.16.
- Ahmad Mashadi. A University Museum: Contexts and Practice. Camping and Tramping Through the Colonial Archive: The Museum in Malaya. Singapore: NUS Museum, 2011. p.1.
- Sabapathy, T.K. Introduction. Past, Present, Beyond: Re-nascence of an Art Collection. Edited by T.K. Sabapathy. Singapore: NUS Museum, 2002. p.1.
- Sabapathy, T.K. Past-Present : A History of the University Art Museum. Past, Present, Beyond: Re-nascence of an Art Collection. Edited by T.K. Sabapathy. Singapore: NUS Museum, 2002. p.18.
- Shabbir Hussain Mustaffa. Camping and Tramping Through the Colonial Archives: The Museum in Malaya. p.16.
- Abu Bakar Abd Hamid and K.T. Joseph. 2010. Ungku A. Aziz – A man for all seasons. In: Royal Professor Ungku A. Aziz : The Renaissance man. Editors, Hashim Yaacob, Abu Bakar Abd Hamid, K.T. Joseph, Azizah Hamzah. Kuala Lumpur : University of Malaya Press. p.11
- Khoo, Eddin and Alia Ibrahim Hussein (Editors). IB: A life : The autobiography of Ibrahim Hussein. Petaling Jaya: Pentas Seni Pusaka Sdn. Bhd. p.103
- Hishamuddin Md Rais. (1971, Julai 5). Kata Ibrahim Hussein pelukis tetap Universiti: “Memahami lukisan macham jatuh chinta, tak kenal maka tak chinta”. Mahasiswa Negara. ms.12
- Ibrahim Hussein, pelukis tetap Universiti, ketiga dari kiri, mengawasi ahli2 Kelab Seni Lukis Kolej Kelima pada perjumpaan hari Ahad].(1971, Ogos 23). Mahasiswa Negara. ms.14
- Ungku Aziz jelaskan konsep baru Universiti. (1972, Oktober 5). Mahasiswa Negara. ms.24
- Mohd Taufik wins the mural painting competition. (1972, September 5). Mahasiswa Negara. ms.13.
- Maznah Mazlan. (1972, 22 September). Pameran senilukis kampus. Mahasiswa Negara. ms.6.
- Universiti Malaya. Laporan Tahunan Ke 24: 1972/73. Kuala Lumpur: Universiti Malaya, 1973.
- Universiti Malaya. Laporan Tahunan Ke 27: 1975/76. Kuala Lumpur: Universiti Malaya, 1976.
- Universiti Malaya. Laporan Tahunan Ke 38: 1986/87. Kuala Lumpur: Universiti Malaya, 1987.
- Willetts, William. The Muzium Seni Asia : the Spirit of Man, The Genius of Art. The New Straits Times Annual 1981. Kuala Lumpur: NSTP, 1981. p.61.
- Willetts, William. Ibid. p.56.
- Universiti Malaya. Laporan Tahunan Ke 39: 1987/88. Kuala Lumpur: Universiti Malaya, 1988.
- Nor Edzan Nasir. Preface. Amongst us : Juhari Said, Yusof Gajah, Maamor Jantan. Edited by S. Janaki. Kuala Lumpur : University of Malaya Library, 2012. p.iii.
- Lee, Y.W. (1974, June). Admin launches sports equip loan scheme. Mahasiswa Negara. ms.19.
- Lim, Ai Woei. 2010. Soh Boon Kiong: Pelukis residen baru di Universiti Malaya. Senikini: Malaysian Art Now. No. 9. ms.13.
- University of Malaya Art Gallery. 2011. Catalogue. Kuala Lumpur : UMAG.
- University of Malaya. UMAG – University Gallery with a focus on modern and contemporary art [Media release].http://icr.um.edu.my/images/icr/berita/press/(108)%20Release%20UMAG.pdf
- Rozario, Brigitte. (2011, May 15). UM champion art. Sunday Star.
- Nas Norziela Nasbah. (2011, November 17). UMAG menempatkan hasil karya terbaik tanah air. Berita Harian.
- Sia, Andrew. (2012, February 12). Art uncovered. Sunday Star.
- University of Malaya. UM, BSVN kerjasama martabatkan bidang seni visual [Media release]. http://icr.um.edu.my/images/icr/berita/press/(11)%20Kenyataan%20Media%20MoU%20UM%20&%20BSVN.pdf
By: Dr Nor Edzan Che Nasir, former Chief Librarian, University of Malaya Library and Pauziaah Mohamad, former Deputy Chief Librarian, University of Malaya Library
NOTE: This article was written in 2012 to document the beginnings of the University of Malaya Art Gallery.