|Abdul Karim (second left) presents the first prize to Wong. Also seen are Chung (second right) and Chan (right).|
KUCHING: Sarawak Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports wants to see more arts incorporated into the development of Kuching to make the city livelier.
“We want Kuching to develop, not to be a concrete jungle of squarish buildings, but to have art elements in the design and architecture,” said its minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, as reported by The Borneo Post, during a prize presentation ceremony for the second 'Kuching For Me' contest.
Abdul Karim (back row, third left), Chung (back row, fourth left), Chan (back row, third right), Abang Abdul Wahap (back row, left), guests, local artists and contest winners pose for a group photo.
He added: “It is good to see developers have this kind of feeling and passion for art incorporated into their development projects.
"This contest also serves to nurture the local artists’ talents and let them showcase their talents for everyone to enjoy.”
Karim said that artistic buildings will make Kuching a city with a soul, more liveable, and attract tourists to come and visit.
Meanwhile Saradise Group chief executive officer (CEO) Datuk Chris Chung disclosed that the contest was one of the company's many initiatives to cultivate artistry, innovation and nurture local talenys in Kuching and Sarawak.
"We will build a strong local brand for promoting Kuching and Sarawak,” he said.
“We have already incorporated the ideas gathered from our first edition of ‘Kuching For Me’ into our development, Saradise Kuching. For this second edition, we will curate these new creative ideas from some of our contestants into our township.”
He hinted that the launch of Saradise Kuching is scheduled to be held in October this year. The property development company dreams of building a place which can reflect the soul, spirit and identity of Kuching.
“Saradise’s vision and commitment is to ‘Live the Sarawak Dream’. We want to transform the quality of life of Kuchingnites and Sarawakians through unifying our identity, ecology and arts. It is for this reason, that we have conceived the idea of Saradise Gallery as our own platform to promote local arts, crafts and design,” he said.
First prize was won by Wong Neng Lee for his sculpture titled ‘Harmony In Kuching’. Second place went to Loh Kei Yee for her light installation themed ‘Reborn’ while Claudia Song Mei Ling took third prize for her art piece ‘The Beauty of Kuching’. They won cash prizes of RM5,000, RM2,500 and RM1,000 respectively. Twelve other winners took home a RM100 consolation prize each.
‘Kuching For Me’ is a signature event created by Saradise with the aim of inspiring Kuchingnites and lovers of Kuching City to think and reflect about what this city means to them, their aspirations for the city and encourage them to share their personal journey and opinions through various forms to propel Kuching towards a brighter future.
The first ‘Kuching For Me’ contest held in 2015 recognised achievements for literary works. The second one this year, themed arts and design works, received 77 submissions.
Kuching North City Commission Datuk Bandar Datuk Abang Abdul Wahap Abang Julai, Kuching South City Council Mayor Datuk James Chan, and Saradise Sdn Bhd director Datu Michael Ting were present at the event.
During the function, Saradise also showcased its line of Stella the Cat merchandise. Comprising creatively designed and Stella-themed t-shirts, diaries, luggage tags, and phone casings, the merchandise aims to promote a distinctive and unique Kuching identity. The collection of products will allow anyone who would love to have a small part of Kuching in their lives to do so.
Saradise Gallery is introduced not only as a venue to showcase Sarawakiana arts and culture, but also as a comfortable place where both the public, artists and designers can interact with one another, sharing ideas and knowledge pertaining to Sarawakian identity, arts and culture.
Saradise Gallery is located at Level 1, Titanium Tower, Brighton Square. Opening hours are from 9am to 5.30pm on Mondays to Fridays. -@ybkarimsays