IN the spirit of Gawai this month, immerse in the culture of Sarawak’s ethnic groups at the Gawai Art Festival at Sarawak Plaza until Friday.
From afar, a soft tune of the sape can be heard all the way leading into the exhibition. The soothing music played by a talented musician named Sylvester resonates throughout the room, giving it a traditional ambience.
Brought to you by Galleria, this is the first art exhibition held outside the gallery.
“We want to bring the arts into the city rather than get people to come,” said Galleria owner Irene Lim.
She said the venue chosen also helped to attract tourists nearby to experience the art and culture of Sarawak.
Featuring 30 beautifully drawn pieces including crafts, the Gawai-themed gallery boasts different kinds of paintings for sale, including pastels, oil paintings and metal sculptures and locally-weaved baskets. Prices range from RM400 to RM4,000 for each piece.
All the artists are from Sarawak, including foreigners residing in the state. Coming from all walks of life and races, the gallery helps to unite them in the name of art. Lim said most of the works featured in the gallery were made by teachers and lecturers.
Among the artists whose works are exhibited are Meges Laoi, David Francis England, Mohammad Ali Zolkifli, Wong Neng Lee, Melten Kais, Sylvester Jussem, Awgko’ Hamdan, Sebastian Jong, Jackie Lane and others.
From the expertly-moulded turquoise bowl, intricate metal artwork to realistic animal painting of graceful sea turtles and the gentle Orang Utan or the peaceful fishing village at Mount Serapi, visitors at the gallery will surely enjoy and appreciate the passion that each artist put into their pieces.
Lim said the idea of the gallery was not just to promote art but also to showcase the talents of the local artists in Sarawak.
To add a touch of fun into the art exhibition, Galleria also put up performances in the weekend such as the traditional Iban Ngajat Dance and sape performance. A demonstration of making kuih jala was also held to allow participants to learn to make this traditional favourite.
The Gawai Art Festival is opened from 11am to 6.30pm at Sarawak Plaza.