Colourful look at the past and the future

Aziz Idris

When the COVID-19 pandemic started, it affected organisations’ operations as well as individuals – both employed and independent – across the sector.

It also had a substantial impact on the arts industry worldwide, including the creative community in Brunei Darussalam.

In an attempt to revive the local contemporary art scene, Creative Space Gallery in Sengkurong is showcasing an original installation artwork from three local artists – Faiq Airudin, Yasmin Jaidin, and Ian Chan. The theme of the exhibition is Contoh.

The three artists worked together and came up with an exhibition that explored Brunei’s manufacturing process; in the past and future.

Faiq Airudin, an advocator for sustainable creative art, has created two pieces of artwork, namely Berapa semeter? and Contoh. The latter is composed of 48 enamel-painted hangers with baju kurung, assorted cloth and threads hung on the wall.

His instillation depicts finished items in a tailor shop ready to be picked up. “We usually bring samples (contoh) to create new items of clothing.

“When we bring a Contoh, it makes us think if we actually know what an authentic baju kurung or baju melayu looks like?”

Art installations by Faiq Airudin. PHOTOS: AZIZ IDRIS
FROM LEFT: Yasmin Jaidin, Faiq Airudin, Curator and Manager of Creative Space Gallery Osveanne Osman and Ian Chan

Yasmin Jaidin’s work is called Titih. The installation, replicating a paddy field, was made from tulle, a lightweight fabric.

“Right up to the ’70s, my parent’s generation grew their own produce. The land near the current Berakas Secondary School was a community farm. Villagers grew paddy, vegetables, and fruits on that land,” said Yasmin.

“Brunei’s economy shifted between the 1960’s to the ’80s when oil was discovered. This changed our nation’s way of life.”

Yasmin hoped that viewers can appreciate and reflect on how the local community evolved through this installation.

She used light fabric for her sculpture, which represents the idea of convenient logistics. It also gave a sense of continuous voyage. The translucency and colour of the medium gives the sculpture an ethereal ambiance.

Meanwhile, Ian Chan’s installation dubbed Setin Santan, featured a video projection of Bandar Seri Begawan. In front of the projector was a tub, filled with water and oil, with a leaking faucet that drips into a basin.

Ian said that his piece illustrates the societal heterogeneity of Brunei, which the oil and gas has indirectly created.

The Curator and Manager of Creative Space Gallery Osveanne Osman hopes to provide the public an opportunity to witness an extraordinary art instillation on par with those of museums and art galleries abroad.

In an effort to encourage the public to experience the local contemporary art, exhibition has been extended to August 9. The public is encouraged to book their slots on the BruHealth app and adhere to the rules and regulations set by the Ministry of Health.