KUCHING: The Sarawak government fully supports putting Sarawak crafts in the International Craft and Art Map, says Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.
He said Kuching was conferred World Crafts Council International- City for Crafts on Nov 28, 2018.
“We are indeed proud that we are the first In Malaysia to be conferred this recognition, and join the ranks of other international and renowned cities like Jaipur, Isfahan, Jogjakarta and over 40 cities internationally,” he said at the launching of World Craft Cities Network Forum and 10th Biennial World Eco Fiber and Textile Forum (WEFT) at the new Sarawak Museum Campus yesterday.
“We are also fully committed in our obligation now as World Crafts City to host the Biennial Crafts Forum here in Kuching, linked to the WEFT Forum (World Eco Fiber and Textile) Forums that have been supported by Sarawak Government since it started in 1999.”
Thus, he congratulated the Society Atelier Sarawak for their dedication and tireless efforts to put Sarawak Crafts on the International Arts and Crafts Map.
The three-day forum themed “Dress and Cultural Identity’ includes exhibition and fashion show by delegates from 20 countries including Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, India, Bangladesh, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Oman, Iran, Japan, USA, Thailand, Taiwan, China, Laos, Britain and Australia.
Meanwhile, Society Atelier Sarawak president Edric Ong said the forum has expanded over the past 20 years with support from Sarawak government in conserving and sustaining the rich heritage of Sarawak crafts material culture.
“It is the passion and dedication, believing that the journey is worth it. It is not so much the craft itself, but what matters more is the people who make the crafts,” he said.
Also present at the event were Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah and the ministry’s permanent secretary Hii Chang Kee.