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OKU talents showcased through ‘sensory’ exhibition

One hundred and forty-six artworks by persons with disabilities (OKU) are on display until December 27 as part of the ‘Art for All’ exhibition at the Brunei Energy Hub Dermaga Diraja.

Organised by the Community Development Department (JAPEM) of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS) in conjunction with International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2023 celebration, the exhibition was launched by Acting Permanent Secretary (Community) at the MCYS Dr Siti Norkhalbi binti Haji Wahsalfelah yesterday.

The artworks include paintings, mixed media, crafts, furniture and sculptures.

JAPEM’s Acting Director Fauziah binti Md Salleh said, “This year’s exhibition is themed ‘sensory’, as the human senses consist of seven parts: touch (tactile), vision (visual), hearing (auditory), smelling various scents (olfactory), taste (gustatory), balance (vestibular) and proprioception (sense of position).

“For OKU, sensory is important because all senses function as information providers. For example, our skin has the sense to touch something; it gives information about an object.”

Acting Permanent Secretary (Community) at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports Dr Siti Norkhalbi binti Haji Wahsalfelah takes a closer look at an artwork. PHOTO: JAMES KON
Some artworks on display. PHOTO: JAMES KON
ABOVE & BELOW: A visitor writes a personal message; and Dr Siti Norkhalbi looks at a mosque sculpture made from recycled papers. PHOTO: JAMES KON
PHOTO: JAMES KON
Dr Siti Norkhalbi studies an artwork. PHOTO: JAMES KON
ABOVE & BELOW: JAPEM Acting Director Fauziah binti Md Salleh delivers her remarks; and sign language interpreter Dayangku Hajah Razainah binti Pengiran Haji Daud. PHOTO: JAMES KON
PHOTO: JAMES KON
Visitors at the exhibition. PHOTO: JAMES KON

“The exhibition is special because we not only witness amazing works of art, but also support the artists who are OKU.”

The exhibition is divided into three sections: ‘They Create’ showcases the artists’ unique inspirations and expressions; ‘Their Feelings’ is a corridor to the emotions experienced by those with disabilities in handling emotions and focus; and ‘Our Inspiration’ presents artworks reinterpreted and inspired by the genuine works of OKU artists.

The exhibition showcases a collection of creative works from Pusat Bahagia, Lambak Kiri Secondary School, Sayyidina Ali Secondary School and associations such as Pusat Ehsan Al-Ameerah Al Hajjah Maryam, the Society for the Management of Autism Related issues in Training, Education and Resources (SMARTER), La Vida, the Paralympic Council of Brunei Darussalam (PCBD) and Brunei Volunteers.

Additionally, it aims to create a stimulating environment for OKU to engage in art, promote social integration, raise public awareness on disability and enhance appreciation for the artistic talents of OKU.

Dayangku Hajah Razainah binti Pengiran Haji Daud from Pusat Bahagia Brunei-Muara District has been invited as a sign language interpreter to encourage inclusive information for the hearing-impaired community. – James Kon

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