The Sabah Art Gallery recently invited Louis to be one of the 5 judges for the Sabah Annual Art Award 2012. Every year, the Art Gallery invites local artists aged from 13 years onwards to submit their artwork for the Award. Hundreds of drawings, paintings, photographs and sculptures pour in from all over the state.
While the judges were looking at this year’s entries, I had a quick chat with Sabah Art Gallery Curator, Jennifer Linggi.
LPS : So many entries here today. Where are they all from?
Jennifer : This competition is open to all villages, towns and cities of Sabah. We’re getting entries from the interior towns, from northern town of Kudat, from Sandakan, Tawau… lots from Kota Kinabalu.
LPS : Who are these artists sending their work in?
Jennifer : They are students and working adults. There are 3 categories: “A” for lower secondary school children, “B” for upper secondary school students & “C” for adults. The ones that are being judged today have gone through the preliminary divisional judging and they are now competing at state level.
LPS : You said earlier that this award was just recently opened to artists from the interior towns. How do they find out about this award?
Jennifer : Through art teachers teaching in schools in their villages/towns. You know, some of these teachers in the interiors are truly amazing! They are so dedicated, I hear that they buy materials like paper and even paints for the children to use for competitions, using money from their own pockets. Not only are they imparting knowledge to the children, these teachers are using their own resources to encourage the children! Very inspiring.
(Wow….where were THESE teachers when I was growing up??!)
LPS : Do they have to pay to take part in this competition?
Jennifer : No. It’s free. A majority of these artists live in smaller towns and they’re not well-to-do. Some can’t afford canvases or the right kind of paper. Some have no access to bigger sized papers. I’ve even seen one artist tape two pieces of A4 paper together to qualify for the “C” category….
Winners stand the chance to win cash prizes from RM300 to 6,000. We’re announcing the winners in October 2012.
LPS : I hear the art gallery is moving into its own premise soon.
Jennifer : Oh yes! The Art Gallery was established way back in 1984 but we’ve never had our own building. Other government offices have been kind, they’ve let us use some spare spaces around town. We’ll move into our very first premise this September. It’s near Luyang Perdana. The four-storey building costs RM15 million to build and it’s the first government building with the Green Building Index in the state.
LPS : Tell us a little more about the art gallery.
Jennifer : For now, we’re situated in the Museum Complex, on the 1st floor of the Science Centre. Open daily from 9am to 5pm. There are ongoing art exhibitions all the time. Drop in!
There is even free art classes for adults and kids here every Saturday morning, from 9am to 12pm. Classes are taught by the renowned artist, Richard Lim, who used to teach art at a local private school. He’s a U.K.-trained mural artist.
(For more information, here are the gallery’s contact numbers: 088-268806, 088-268798. The Art Gallery has many plans for its future – we at Louis Pang Photography are excited and happy for them! Let’s all support the arts. Visit the art gallery – entrance fee is just RM2 for each Malaysian adult & RM15 for the non-Malaysian. Free entrance for students in school uniforms, disabled persons, senior citizens and taxi drivers)
Below: Curator Jennifer Linggi (far left) give a briefing before judging begins. Judges seen here are (facing the camera, left to right) Louis, local architect Mr. Cheong Kok Ann & Professor Madya Dr. Ismail Hj. Ibrahim, Dean of the School of Arts Studies, University Malaysia Sabah. Back to camera: Professor Awang Damit Ahmad, lecturer at the Institute Teknologi MARA.