Sarawak artisans’ craftwork to take centre stage at prestigious London Craft Week

Abdul Karim (seated, fourth left) and others in a group photo following the press conference on London Craft Week 2023.

KUCHING, May 3: Sarawak is all set to display its exceptional handicrafts and rich cultural heritage to the world at London Craft Week 2023, following Malaysia’s participation under the patronage of Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah.

According to a press release issued by the Sarawak Tourism Board (STB), the event, which is set to take place from May 6th to 14th, 2023, aims to promote Malaysia’s diverse craft traditions, including a variety of Sarawakian craft emblematic of the region’s unique cultural and ethnic heritage.

Sarawakian artisans Shirley Vilin, Ros Salleh, Senia Jugi, and Helena David Kalum will be given the opportunity to demonstrate their skills to an international audience through live demonstrations of Keringkam embroidery, Pua Kumbu weaving, handwoven crafts and basketry, and beadwork.

The exhibition, which will be held at The Malaysian Hall at The Malaysian High Commission in the United Kingdom, is expected to attract over 3,000 international visitors who will be able to learn about the history and significance of each craft to Sarawak’s diverse ethnic groups, spanning a diverse range of materials such as ceramics, embroidery, and hand-weaving.

This initiative aims to raise Sarawak’s visibility and showcase its distinct crafts and cultural heritage to the rest of the world, aligning with Her Majesty’s vision of telling Malaysian people’s stories through the language of craft.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to showcase Sarawak’s exceptional crafts and rich cultural heritage to an international audience at the London Craft Week 2023.

“The patronage of Her Majesty has given our talented artisans the chance to demonstrate their skills and raise awareness of Sarawak’s distinctive identity.

“This event aligns with our efforts to promote Sarawak’s capital city Kuching as a ‘World Craft City’”, said Sarawak Minister for Tourism, Creative Industry, and Performing Arts (MTCP) Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah in the press release.

As one of the gateways to the Bornean region, Abdul Karim continued, the arts and crafts of Sarawak are a magnificent representation of the region’s identity and cultural legacy, which comprises its 31 ethnic groups.

Sarawak’s participation in the London Craft Week 2023 aims to leverage this recognition and increase the region’s visibility as a centre of cultural excellence.

Leading the delegation will be Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg, whose presence strengthens the government’s commitment to promote Sarawak’s cultural heritage and reputation as a leading craft destination. — DayakDaily