Saturday, October 24

First public bamboo art installation unveiled


Mohamed Najib signing a plaque to mark the unveiling of the bamboo installation.

KOTA KINABALU: The first public bamboo art installation in the state capital was unveiled near the old court complex here, yesterday, as part of Route to Biennale 2020 (RTB2020).

In a bid to uplift community arts nationwide, the National Visual Arts Development Board launched RTB2020, a tour programme held in conjunction with the second edition of the largest visual arts festival in the country, Kuala Lumpur Biennale 2020 (KLB 2020), to take place next year.

Designed by homegrown talents Tressie Yap and Melissa Lo, the installation stands at 14 feet high, 12 feet wide and 12 feet long. The structure, made entirely of bamboo held up by a steel frame, was meant to depict a large wind chime.

“Amongst the many beautiful things that Sabah is known for, bamboo is one of them. We’ve seen what Sabah is like, tasted the food that Sabah has to offer, but this is a large wind chime that will play the sounds of Sabah.

“The shape of the bamboo wind chime is inspired by the Linangkit motif, a traditional Borneo tapestry design. Walk into the installation, into the middle chamber, and momentarily disconnect from your surroundings and look up into the sky. It’s very therapeutic, we promise,” said Tressie.

The large “wind chime” comprises 900 bamboo sticks hung in a row at different heights. The bamboo was freshly harvested, still green and will start browning after a week or two, said Tressie. She added that the bamboo was not painted with any form of paint or lacquer to display its true and natural form.

“We had the huge privilege of being appointed by the National Art Gallery (NAG) to construct this exceptional installation from scratch. This is one of the precursors arranged by NAG for the Kuala Lumpur Biennale 2020, which will be an integral part of Visit Malaysia Year 2020,” Tressie elaborated.

The bamboo installation was also made possible by bamboo specialist Mukim Ulu Ecotourism Solutions and Technologies (MUKEST) Society, as well as Bristeel Corporation Sdn Bhd for providing the steel frame.

The installation was launched by former Director General and current board member of the National Visual Arts Development Board, Professor Dato Dr Mohamed Najib Ahmad Dawa.