Discovering Malaysia’s Painted Heritage

We recently had the Labour Day long weekend and surprise, surprise, I wasn’t travelling 🙂 I was in KL, spending time with family as my parents came over from Malacca to visit. Aside from time with family, I spent an interesting Saturday morning at our National Museum (Muzium Negara).

discover malaysia kl national museum entrance

I joined a group of bloggers that morning to attend an event hosted by Tripovo and Muzium Negara. It’s in conjunction with International Museum Day on 18th May 2016, and we were invited to re-learn our Malaysia history at the museum and to participate in a crash course on batik painting.

I was particularly excited to return to our National Museum because I haven’t visited the museum since primary school days! I remembered visiting the museum twice: the first visit was with my parents during the school holidays, and the second visit was part of a school trip from Malacca to KL.

Our event started with a 2-hour guided tour of the museum. Our guide, Mr Yee, walked us through the Malaysian history starting with the galleries of the geographic and natural history of the Malay Peninsula, and the Malacca Sultanate. The last one hour of the tour was moving through the gallery of the colonial era (Portuguese, Dutch and British) and ending at the Malaysia Today gallery which features the formation of the Federation of Malaya and independence from the British. I must say, the museum has changed a lot – thankfully – the curatorship has improved and upgraded.

Photo courtesy of Tripovo
Photo courtesy of Tripovo

After the museum tour was over, we were brought back to our original meeting place for the batik painting session. We were introduced to Puan Rosidah Abdullah from the Textile Museum who explained to us about the processes involved in batik painting.

We were given several batik drawings to choose from – there were drawings of flowers, ducks and Hello Kitty – I chose our national flower, the hibiscus. First, we dip a pout into a pot of boiling wax, and from the pout flows out the wax which is used to outline the drawing pattern on a white cloth.

I chose our national flower, the hibiscus
I chose our national flower, the hibiscus
We dip the pout into that pot of boiling wax
We dip the pout into that pot of boiling wax
And use the pout to outline the drawing with wax. The little boy must be thinking, "Ok, steady, steady!"
And use the pout to outline the drawing with wax. The little boy must be thinking, “Ok, steady, steady!”

The part which touches the white cloth is painted with water using a paintbrush, followed by colours. The drawing which was outlined with wax resists the colours.

discover malaysia kl batik painting water colours

discover malaysia kl batik painting brush colours

The final outcome…

discover malaysia kl batik painting hibiscus

Do you think our masterpieces could fetch thousands of dollars? 😉

Photo courtesy of Tripovo
Photo courtesy of Tripovo

Well, masterpiece or not, I’m going to frame my batik painting and hang it proudly in my living room!

*Many thanks to Tripovo and Muzium Negara for hosting this event. Opinions in this post, as always, are my own.

On 18th May 2016 – on International Museum Day (IMD)- Muzium Negara will have an Open Day whereby entrance to the museum is free of charge. In fact, more than 32,000 museums around the world will be participating in IMD, thus there will be many interesting and enjoyable activities for this special day.


Planning a trip to Kuala Lumpur soon? Let’s book your hotel accommodation here:


Pin it!

discover malaysia painted heritage katpegimana

*This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click through and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. All opinions shared in this post are my own.


  1. You should be really proud of your painting – it looks fantastic! What a great thing to do and and an informative outing overall. Thanks for linking to #citytripping

  2. Oh what a fantastic picture – I’m sure mine would not be worthy of display. Sounds a really interesting way to learn about the country’s history and culture too. I always find it interesting going back to museums I visited as a kid… They always seem so much better! #citytripping

    1. I agree, it’s fun to go back to places which we had visited when we were kids especially when there are now positive changes…thanks Cathy!

  3. Ooh so awesome that you got to make a batik painting! It turned out beautiful. I remember on our trip to Malaysia, I had been to a place in KL where they made beautiful batik painted things.

  4. I love your batik! So talented 🙂 Great to hear that the museum has evolved. I have been as a child and then around 20 years ago as well. xx

    1. Not sure if I’m really talented, as long as I can colour within the lines, that’s fine hahaha! If your last visit to the museum was 20 years ago, then probably the same time as my primary school years – I think I’m about 5-6 months older than you 🙂

  5. Waah! This is wonderful, something different. And Kat, you seem to have done a wonderful job with the colors!

    **The little chap on the right seems the least interested in the photo being taken. 😉


Leave a Reply