‘Serumpun: Crafts Across Borders’ launches at Borneo Cultures Museum

‘Serumpun: Crafts Across Borders’ launches at Borneo Cultures Museum

A collaboration between UK and Malaysia organisations on Pan Borneo crafts research

KUCHING – Malaysia and Indonesia are sometimes considered “serumpun”.

This means they are of the same root despite their respective multicultural features. It also implies how the craft knowledge, ecosystem and material cultures are all connected across Kalimantan, Sarawak and Sabah.

‘Serumpun’ is the title for the collective exhibition contributed by the 11 communities across Borneo tomorrow at the Borneo Cultures Museum.

The team hope to present the stories they co-created across borders and show the public how crafts were used as an instrument to maintain identity, drive activism and gain unity.

‘Serumpun: Crafts Across Borders’ exhibition is an out-reaching programme of the collaborative project Cultural Assets and Vernacular Materials (C&VM) fuelled by Borneo Laboratory and Glasgow School of Art Innovation School.

The project is a cross-regional, multidisciplinary event showcasing crafts, research presentations along the lines of film documentation, exhibition, and workshops.

The year-long research project seeks to enable 11 creative practices related to crafts throughout Borneo to define, develop and refine the model of sustainability within the creative ecosystem that they have been in.

This community betterment project is funded by the International Collaboration Grant by the British Council. The project research, reaching out and featuring will predominantly take place in Kuching (the Borneo production base is at Think & Tink).

With the Cultural-Assets and Vernacular Materials (C&VM) project, C&VM engaged craft practitioners and communities to use the time and exchange from the funding channelled to them.

They had to develop a project that contribute to the sustainability challenges that are faced by the community.

Their outcomes, be it a book, a workshop, a competition or a product series, were produced, carried out on their own journey of conversing with their respective communities.

“The British Council is proud to support the C&VM project as it supports the capacity of creative practitioners and communities to develop a more sustainable creative economy in their region.

“We look forward to seeing more innovative solutions from them to overcome the sustainability challenges that they are facing”, said Florence Lambert, head of arts and Creative Industries at the British Council in Malaysia.

“Cultural-Assets and Vernacular Materials (C&VM) and the inaugural Exhibition ‘Serumpun: Crafts across Borders’ has been transformative for artisans across Borneo’s Indonesian and Malaysian borders in Kalimantan, Sabah, and Sarawak.

“These craft practices are located in specific cultural contexts yet are universal in the immediacy of their embodied language and capacity to connect across geographic borders building creative confidence and supporting craft skills with practitioners that will have a lasting impact within these communities and leave a ‘living legacy’”, added Professor Dr Lynn-Sayers McHattie, Professor of Design Innovation at The Glasgow School of Art.

“Facilitating closely with craftsmen, understanding their wants and restrictions has enabled us to bridge them up with a variety of collaboration potentials with others. It is certainly heart-warming to see how these different forms of collaborations across Borneo resulted in many in-depth exchanges and life-long friendships.

“Looking forward, I can see this serving as a pilot of many meaningful journeys to come”, said Wendy Teo, the creative director of Kuching based Borneo Laboratory.

source – The Vibes


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