Brunei’s current artistic scene can hardly be called an industry regardless of the large pool of talents it continued to produce every year.
Despite having its own line-up of master painters, the sultanate still faced problems when it comes to providing a proper marketplace for local artists to showcase and sell their artworks – making it difficult for them to prosper if they only depend on their talents.
In most cases, artists would have to shelve their artistic pursuits off as mere hobbies, as they look for things that can guarantee to feed them and their families.
One local firm however strove to overturn this scene.
Banding together artists nationwide, Creative Space Art Gallery & Studio is now looking to create a stronger network of painters to create a database that could boost their profiles up, both locally and internationally.
The local firm garnered overwhelming support under its new Manager and Curator Osveanne Osman, who took up to the post two-years ago after finishing her art studies overseas.
Under her management, the creative studio which was established by her father in 2011 hosted numerous art galleries and gain overwhelming support from painters and art enthusiasts nationwide.
But it was also Osveanne’s experience abroad that has helped her identify what needs to be done to lift Brunei’s art scene up – and one of them is a proper documentation of local artists and their artworks.
The documentation which is to be presented in a form of a database will profile each local artist and their respective artworks, which will then be used as an instrument to market their products to both local and international art enthusiasts.
The database, said Osveanne, can also be used to further educate Bruneians to understand the value behind individual artworks, and appreciate those who spent their time to produce them.
The manager and curator said documenting art-pieces could bring the local art scene to a more formal and organised setting.
“At the moment, the informality among artists especially where intellectual property rights are concerned is a challenge – as their expression, ideas and strokes can easily be copied which completely struck away the uniqueness of the art,” she said.
“It is also because there is a lack of policy and regulations to govern the art scene, which is reflected on the standard of the aesthetic and the quality of the art market in the country,” she added.
Despite all that, Osveanne said the artistic scene to Brunei is still an untapped area.
“It is still a source that could give substantial economic impact to the country,” she said.
“So now it is up to us to make a change – to transform our practice so we can make art a sustainable career, and produce pieces that are more relevant and competitive against our international counterparts,” she added.
The Bruneian | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN