Pillars of Sabah arts project can help boost KK tourism, says minister

Jared Abdul Rahman (centre) presenting a memento to Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Jafry Ariffin (right) during the unveiling of Pillars of Sabah 3.0 on Sunday, Dec 20, 2020.

KOTA KINABALU: The Pillars of Sabah community arts project can be another tourism product for the state capital, says Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Jafry Ariffin.

During the unveiling of Pillars of Sabah 3.0 on Sunday (Dec 20), he said such initiatives to highlight local talents are much welcomed.

"It is proof that our local talents can produce good artworks.

"I hope it will become another attractive spot in the city centre.

"I urge the public to visit and appreciate the views of local artists, which also highlighted Covid-19 issue... this shows we are not lacking in artistic talent," he said.

Pillars of Sabah is a street art project held annually, where local artists paint their pillars at the ruins of a colonial building downtown.

Pillars of Sabah 3.0 curator Jared Abdul Rahman, who co-founded the project in 2018, said they had 30 artists for 30 pillars in the past two events, but this year they added another artist to complete the 31 pillars.

"This year, we focused on the interpretation of virtues and values that the community should strive for as we faced a world changed by a pandemic," he added.

One of the youngest contributors, Hwong Ka Ming, 17, said she got the theme "Fairness" and decided to paint various faces to show fairness is for everyone.

The student who is pursuing graphic design said this is her first time doing a mural as she normally draws with markers on paper.

"Some days I spent from 9am to 6pm, even up to 10pm to finish my piece," said the lass, who completed it on Friday since starting last week.

The oldest participant, 57-year-old driving instructor Loriot J. Moujing, was the first to complete painting his pillar with the theme "Resolve".

Loriot said he wanted to highlight face mask usage and physical distancing in his piece, and used a blue background colour to pay tribute to healthcare workers worldwide.

"There are water droplets to show hygiene by washing hands frequently, and I also put a symbol of medicine on top of the pillar, to remind us it is a global pandemic," he said.

Meanwhile, poet Nelson Dino took a different route with the theme "Passion" given to him, choosing to go for cultural representation.

He came up with a Suluk geometric motive to show appreciation to Suluk women, who traditionally weave the pattern in garments for their men.

"I never made murals, only digital graphic and it took me nine days to finish it," he added.

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