Crossing borders through arts

James Kon

Fine arts learning centre Atelier Huifong Ng will soon embark on a collaborative cross-border project with a teacher from Argentina.

This project was announced by the centre’s founder Huifong Ng at the opening of the ‘Our Abode of Peace, Brunei Darussalam’ art exhibition at the Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Complex in the capital yesterday.

She said, “We will be working with Rosana Zeballos, a theatre teacher in Argentina, who works as a librarian with kids in the small town of Campo Grande.

“In Argentina, the quarantine measures have been in place for seven months, and lessons are done online.

Many children cannot afford Zoom; therefore, most lessons are carried out through the WhatsApp messaging application. This can be very challenging.”

Visitors view the ‘Our Abode of Peace, Brunei Darussalam’ art exhibition. PHOTO: BAHYIAH BAKIR

She added, “This won’t be a huge project. It’s a very personalised project, where the students in Argentina wrote about what they want. Our students in Atelier Huifong Ng will draw out what the students in Argentina have written about.

“Art has been proven to cross the boundaries and barriers of language and culture, because art is the language of the soul. I hope that our students will be looking forward to this project.”

The one-day exhibition featured 90 paintings by students aged six to 14, covering genres such as portraiture, abstract, still life, animals, scenery and free expression, while the mediums included pastels, acrylic, charcoal, pencil and mixed media.

Deputy Permanent Secretary (Tourism)at the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism (MPRT) Wardi bin Haji Mohammad Ali and officials from the MPRT also attended the event.

A highlight at the exhibition was a portrait of Her Royal Highness Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah binti Pengiran Haji Salleh Ab Rahaman by Pengiran Seti Amanina Wafiqah binti Pengiran Anak Haji Abdul Wadood Bolkiah.