KUCHING, August 30: An art exhibition featuring creative artworks inspired by Sarawak elements and values are being showcased at the “Artist Playground” at Pullman Kuching’s lobby floor.
Themed “Visual Analogy”, the collection includes creative sculptures, drawings and paintings, amazing works of lecturers and students from Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Uminas) Faculty of Applied and Creative Arts.
The artworks in various approach media and dimension graces both sides of the eight substantial display panels and five pedestals, providing a new domain in the lobby space for public viewers and art enthusiasts alike to walk through and exposes oneself to an artistic experience.
Many of the visuals and artworks are inspired by Sarawak elements, such as personal stories with physical environment, Sarawak’s own wild fern Midin, traditional practices and cultural objects that invite viewers to endless imagination.
Among the spectacular artworks are Midin sculptures, called Midin Series I, and Midin Series VII, both created in 2015 by Awangko’ Hamdan Pangeran Arsha.
Midin Series is the embodiment of a mixture of experiences, influences and appreciation of art; a result of the artist’s investigation into the natural found objects indigenous to the rainforest, mangrove swamp and sandy beaches that bordered the spaces of the artist’s upbringing in a small Melanau finishing village.
There are also artworks inspired by Semangat Kayu, mangrove, meditation, traditional ritual in healing, and drawings of analytical studies and paintings of Belawai town, Buffalo Race in Limbang, Semban night porters and many more.
One of the most eye-catching artworks is burnt matches (Jiyak-jiyak Gaya Susap series) on the display panel, an unique artwork in response to the threat of modern technology.
“It (the artworks) also concern with materials, which focuses on the integration of art through latest technological development,” said Unimas Faculty of Applied and Creative Arts Dean Assoc Prof Dr Musdi Shanat.
He explained that the peculiar integration and adaption are visible through the works produced based on the findings or reflection of academic research by the academic members.
“Despite its diversified subjects, the works are recognisable in conveying the cultural and contextual significance of the inspiring local content and values,” he said at the launching of the art exhibition.
Musdi said the showcase is an effort to unfold the available strength in the faculty to the public, whose brief is to teach, maintain their professional practice and to contribute to community cultural development, who will be inspirational forces in the visual arts.
Pullman Kuching cluster general manager Ishak Ibrahim said the Pullman’s Artist Playground is an innovative art corner which blends elements of local interest, cultural intrigue and visual ingenuity – creating new timeless experiences for hotel guests.
“With Artist Playground, we hope to make art more accessible to not only our guests, but also the community thus making the hotel a connecting thread that links artists and guests,” he said, stressing that Pullman Kuching aims to offer a stimulating, creative and inspiring environment.
Part of the proceeds from the sales of the artworks will be channelled to the hotel’s corporate social responsibility programme.
Unimas and Pullman Kuching had signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the art exhibition collaboration witnessed by Assistant Minister of Youth and Sports Datuk Snowdan Lawan who officiated the exhibition. — DayakDaily