Uphold value of handmade crafts and arts — Abg Jo

Abang Johari beats the gong to open the forum.

By Wilfred Pilo

KUCHING, Nov 8: Work of arts and crafts in Sarawak should continue to uphold the value of its craft culture and beauty of the handmade.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg suggested that all future work of arts and crafts in Sarawak should be created by hand to maintain authenticity.

This was in line with the key slogan of the World Craft Council (WCC), “The Future is Handmade”.

“The state is all out to support and collaborate with the WCC International and WCC Asia Pacific Region on their various projects and exhibitions,” he said when launching the World Crafts Cities Network Forum and 10th Biennial World Eco Fiber and Textile Forum (WEFT) at the new Sarawak Museum complex, here, today.

Abang Johari (7th right) poses with other distinguished guests at the opening of the forum.

Abang Johari said the state government was proud that Kuching became the first city in Malaysia to be conferred by the WCC as an “International City for Crafts” on Nov 28 last year.

With such recognition, Kuching City joined the ranks of other international and renowned cities like Jaipur in India, Isfahan (Iran), Jogjakarta (Indonesia), Dongyang and Dehua in China, Sakon Nahon (Thailand) and over 20 other cities around the world.

Abang Johari said Kuching is not only known as the “Gateway to Borneo”, but also renowned for its cultural attraction and destination for international art collectors looking for the best of Sarawak and Borneo crafts.

“Last year, the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture with Society Atelier Sarawak organised the Exhibition on Sarawak Living Legends of Crafts and Craft Masters. The Emerging Craft Communities had formally presented Certificates of Recognition to our Master Crafts artists.”

In this regards, the chief minister said a list of “Living Legends and Youung Masters” will be produced. The list will continuously be updated with new, emerging personalities.

Abang Johari said the state will also support a coffee-table book and video documentations projects by the Society Atelier Sarawak on the crafts and arts.

Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, Society Atelier Sarawak president Edric Ong, who is also president of the Asean Handicraft Promotion and Development, were present. — DayakDaily