Making Kuching a ‘city with soul’

By StoryPhoto YU JI

Kuching North City Hall director Dr Saadiah Abdul Samat (seated, left) signing a memorandum of understanding with UiTM Sarawak rector Datuk Dr Jamil Hamali witnessed by Datuk Bandar Datuk Abang Abdul Wahap Abang Julai )backrow right) yesterday.

KUCHING: The north city hall is partnering with Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) to create more artworks in Kuching, starting at the Water- front.

The university’s Arts and Design Faculty has begun works on a cat statue that will be installed at the western end of the esplanade along Jalan Gambier in about four months time.

Faculty head of programme Clement Jimel said the colourful statue of five cats will be made from scrap metal, which is being sourced from Kuching North City Hall (DBKU).

“For this piece, DBKU told us they wanted another cat statue. They also told us they wanted us to use discarded metal objects like traffic lights to send a message about civic mindedness,” Clement told reporters yesterday.

“On our part, we relish the opportunity because this is also a chance for us to promote our art programmes at the university.”

He added that the completed statue should stand about 7ft tall and 9ft wide and be worked on by a dozen lecturers and students.

UiTM Sarawak director Datuk Dr Jamil Hamali said future collaborations could include 3D murals. “We are ready to do more once the mayor tells us where,” he said.

The collaboration is part of DBKU’s Clean, Beautiful and Safe (CBS, which is also “Cantik, Bersih dan Selamat”) five-year masterplan.

“Kuching needs more photo spots,” said Datuk Bandar Datuk Abang Abdul Wahap Abang Julai.

“One of the most popular things for tourists to do here is to take photos in front of the cat statues we already have. With the new cat statue, we’ll be adding another photo opportunity at the other end of the inner city.”

Abdul Wahap added that the Sarawak capital should not only be economically vibrant, but also attractive, colourful and dynamic.

He reiterated the city hall would continue to emphasis on the 3Ps – public, private and people – on urban development and administration.

The goal was to instil a sense of belonging and collective responsiblity among residents towards a “city with a soul”, he said.

The artwork collaboration is the second with UiTM. Previously, the city hall and the university jointly collaborated on an orchid coffee table book.

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