LOCAL artists yesterday held the country's first outdoor art exhibition which was staged as part of Francophonie week, an annual event organised by Alliance Francaise.
Eighteen artists showcased their artwork for the first time at the open environment of the Bandar Seri Begawan (BSB) Waterfront Promenade, attracting crowds from all levels of society and introducing a new platform for art enthusiasts. Stephane Nineuil, one of the French coordinators for the Franchophonie week in an interview said that the theme for the exhibition was 'Solidarity and Link' which was also the basis of the artists' pieces.
They were given a selection of 10 words advocating the theme of solidarity and link such as 'hand', 'network', harmoniously' and others; the artists were required to create an artwork from them and demonstrate their own definition behind the words.
She said that the only challenge for the artists was the weather during the preparation process, adding that "they took it up well even though it was difficult."
"They used different mediums like cement, wood, graffiti, and plastic bottles. It is a good way (for them) to explore an outdoor area as well as it is rare in Brunei," Nineuil added.
When asked about the choice of location for the exhibition, Nineuil said that it is the centre where the Brunei river is on one side and the city on the other, and showcased "the best of both worlds".
She also said that the BSB Waterfront was ideal for the exhibition because it holds the only most noticeable artwork present for the public located in the capital and owned by the government.
To introduce new Bruneian artists, she suggested the establishment of a link with the government to officially recognise them for their efforts and talents.
"It is very eclectic becuase we have several generations of artists such as professionals, art teachers, art students and I think its a good meeting point."
Armacester Hj Arsad, a 29-year-old art teacher, showcased one of her works from the words 'hand' and 'strings' which included the colour scheme of the French flag.
She said her work was a fusion of both French and Bruneian culture which she believes the exhibition represents and hoped that one day Brunei will have its own art gallery in the Old Customs building, a historical building strategically situated between the Brunei River and the capital.
The Francophonie Art Exhibition is open to the public with free admission until Sunday afternoon.
Nineuil hoped that more Bruneians would satisfy their curiousity for art and encouraged them to visit the exhibition.The Brunei Times