Study on developing policy for public art to be embedded in public, private projects

Teo sharing her views and ideas to further develop the creative industry in Sarawak at the event.

By Karen Bong

KUCHING, Dec 2: The state government is studying the feasibility of developing a policy for public art to be embedded in public and private development projects as it recognised art and culture as valuable components to the growth of Sarawak.

Hence, relevant ministries and agencies have been tasked to undertake a study on procurement and inclusion of local artworks into the fabric of public and private infrastructures and planning developments in Sarawak.

“It should be looked into at the policy level and making it mandatory for new buildings.

“Rebates could be given to private buildings that incorporate local art or works from the creative industry.”

The Sarawak government highlighted this in a written reply to a questioned raised by art curator and lecturer Wendy Teo during “Sunday with CM: Dialogue Session with Young Entrepreneurs in Sarawak” held on Sept 28 this year.

Due to the constraints of time, which caused many questions unanswered, DayakDaily had forwarded the questions that were yet to be answered to the relevant authorities who came back with the answers recently.

The state government also proposed for new crafts centre to be set up to provide not only space for the crafts industry to showcase their creations and products but also as an avenue for exchange of skills and knowledge.

“There are plans to provide spaces, both physically and digital, to content creators to exhibit, promote and perform their creative arts in the future.

“Currently, available spaces are at the Sarawak Steamship Building operated by Sarawak Craft Council (SCC). Other spaces include the Old Court House and the upcoming Borneo Cultures Museum and Performing Art Centre.”

“The Sarawak government stressed that it was serious in matters pertaining to arts through establishment of Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MTAC), Sarawak Arts Council, SCC and other relevant agencies to monitor and develop the creative arts and culture industry in Sarawak.

“In addition, Old Kuching Smart Heritage (OKSHE) was initiated which focussed on four areas of development – kampung heritage, historical building heritage, riverfront heritage and business heritage.”

The state government thus encouraged Teo to engage in activities and programmes coordinated by the ministries and agencies from time to time.

Meanwhile, Teo raised that government can encourage developers to channel a certain percentage of their construction budgets of public buildings or development projects for the procurement of community art project or public artwork.

She shared that in certain countries, the percentage ranges from four to six per cent depending on their respective policies.

This way, she emphasised, will help not only to nurture the creative industry to grow with the city but also contributing to the making of urban places.- DayakDaily