Museums, Exhibitions & GalleriesNature & Culture

Borneo Cultures Museum

Kuching, Malaysia
Borneo Cultures Museum
Surface area
64,584 sq ft / 6,000 sqm
Completion date

Nature and culture are not separate elements of Sarawak’s heritage. Repository of irreplaceable collections, the Borneo Cultures Museum aims to engage with new audiences through immersive environments and multisensory experiences that uncover the interconnections between land and peoples of Sarawak.

A new cultural complex

Located in Kuching, capital of the East Malaysian state of Sarawak, the Borneo Cultures Museum is South East Asia’s second largest museum to date with galleries sprawling 30,000m2 and spanning multiple levels. Home to diverse collections ranging from archaeological artefacts to natural specimens and material culture, the Museum showcases the heritage of the indigenous communities of Borneo.

To completely redefine the visitor experience of Sarawak State Museum, the former name of an institution with over a hundred years of history, the Museum selected GSM Project after a global search for the right experts. Our team worked hand-in-hand with the museum's curators, experts and scholars for 4 years to reveal the intangible connections between objects and their stories.

A narrative arc for modern audiences

Interpretation of the peoples and cultures of Sarawak and their interactions with nature from the pre-history of Borneo up to the formation of the state of Malaysia in the 60’s is the experience storyline that linked together collections, new media and oral history.

Visitors get to engage with Sarawak’s immemorial knowledge through a multisensorial experience scenario and learn how to protect and preserve Sarawak’s living legacy, its age-old traditions and unique biodiversity.

Sense of places

Our team specially designed the ‘In Harmony with Nature’ permanent gallery as an immersive journey from the riveting landscape of the Bornean riverine coast, through dense rainforests brimming with life to the exhilarating exploration of lofty highlands.

The creation of large environments, using cinematic footage or graphic installations, combined with hands-on interactives and layered content serve a strong visitor engagement and in-depth discovery of the island. Content encourages further exploration of the region —beyond the visit— to heritage and natural sites part of the Museum network.

An evolving heritage

Celebrating key personalities, communities, and social changes that led to the formation of Sarawak today, ‘Time Changes’ gallery teleports visitors back into the state’s history and its social evolutions.

From the prehistoric Niah's Great Cave archaeological remains to modern times and colonisation period, this thematic gallery tells how human presence on the island has evolved over 40,000 years. Rare artefacts and oral testimonies are displayed along large projections, immersive graphics and archival images.

Artifact becomes art

Moving up to the ‘Objects of Desire’ gallery, colour-rich atmospheres and dynamic arrangement of showcases highlights the aesthetics of some Sarawak’s masterpieces, as well as their spiritual and political dimensions.

Magnifying pieces of ceramics, textiles and ornaments on display, visitors can fully appreciate the traditional craftsmanship of indigenous communities.

Leaving a lasting impression

The multitude of stories and media presented in the exhibit galleries conveys the message that the past and present cultures of Sarawak are inseparable from their natural environments they flourished in, inviting to a deeper, complex, and more nuanced understanding of changes and human relations to nature on the island of Borneo.

Since its doors opened in 2022, the Museum received extremely high visitorship with over 70,000 visitors per month from local school groups to international tourists discovering Sarawak in visual and emotional ways.


From master planning of end-to-end creation to final design, our commission resulted in appealing and engaging exhibitions to a broad audience. Making the most of international conservation standards and new educational programs, the Museum’s collections highlight the unique cultural, ethnic and natural richness of Borneo. The visitor experience underscores the concept of connection to the land which is deeply embedded in the life of the people of Sarawak since time immemorial.