Story Gallery Project
The Valley of Hope Story was established by the Sungai Buloh Settlement Council, through Crowdfunding, with the following objectives:
Using the residents’ stories as the core content to promote the positive value of an intangible, cultural heritage. The Valley of Hope Story Gallery serves as a platform for recording, storing and exhibiting the leprosy community’s collective memories. We believe that what is really touching, is the meaningful and heartfelt stories. The life experience and testimony of the residents are an intangible cultural heritage, which is a collective memory of the community as a whole.
The gallery will play the role of a hub and bridge multiple parties, especially the academic, arts and cultural professions, to facilitate them in utilising the settlement for research purposes and other creative activities. With this, we hope that the heritage of the Valley of Hope would be injected with new vitality, thereby enhancing the cultural quality of the settlement.
To provide the settlement with well-equipped facilities, such as a video screening section, story-telling corner, reading area, cafeteria and etc., so that visitors may enjoy learning about the history of the settlement in a comfortable way, while preserving its natural setting.
Unlike most traditional galleries, this story gallery would be established mainly from the user’s perspective. Through the use of modern technology and a User Centered Design concept, we wish to deepen the visitors’ personal realisation and understanding of the overall historical context, whenever they undergo an immersive experience in the settlement.
This gallery will become a foundation to help sustain the operation and development of various cultural and creative industries. It will establish a sound organisational system, so that it may be the lead to connect the entire settlement to the new era and the new generations.
The Story Gallery will be located on the second floor within the community hall of the Sungai Buloh Settlement. It will be designed in such a way that would not affect the existing function of the hall. In considering the possibility of the settlement to become a national heritage (and later, a world heritage), the story gallery must adhere to the principle of not destroying the monuments, by using reversible construction method that would allow flexibility in any space adjustment in the future.
Conceptually, the story gallery is designed to connect the landscape of the environment (the Valley of Hope) with the building (Community Hall), with a special construction along the walking path, so that visitors may feel as if they are walking down the memory lane of the leprosy patients.
There will be two floors included; the first floor is mainly for corridors with displays, which leads to the second floor where the main function and activities would take place. The displays would include all essential information that visitors would need for a clear overview about leprosy and the settlement.
The second floor is divided into several display areas, including the original film projector room, the main video screening area on stories from the survivors, the interactive section, as well as two existing semi-outdoor platforms. These spaces will showcase the settlement’s oral history and the social lives of the residents in the past, giving visitors a closer look at the residents’ life experiences and stories in the settlement.