Bruneian artists will soon be able to have their artwork exhibited in South Korea, following the signing of an agreement that aims to boost bilateral cultural exchanges through art.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Brunei Art Forum and the Korean Fine Arts Association is expected to be penned during the Korean Modern Art Festival here on January 15.

The signing of the MoU is a statement of our intent and keen interest to work together with theĀ Korean Fine Arts Association, especially in the area of fine arts, said president of Brunei Art Forum, Dato Shofry Abdul Ghafor said yesterday.

Dato Shofry is a strong believer in local talent:

There is better appreciation for local artists and their work compared to 10 to 12 years ago, especially among young people.

“There is no lack of talent in Brunei. The only problem is that we don’t have the space and venue to exhibit our artwork. Artwork is also subjective, when you talk about quality it is up to the individual to see whether a particular artwork is of quality or not. To me, that is not relevant as an artist. We produced artwork, it is up to the people to see whether it is of quality or not. Some people may like it and some may not,” he said.

Announcing the exhibition during a press conference yesterday, the president said the MoU is in line with the aim to enhance people-to-people relationships and cultural exchange through arts.

The Korean Fine Arts Association will be organising the 2018 Korean Modern Art Festival from January 15 to 18 at the Indera Kayangan Ballroom of The Empire Hotel and Country Club. The exhibition, which is open to the public, will feature 102 Korean artists representing the Korean contemporary art scene. The pieces will also be on for sale for art collectors. The exhibition is facilitated by Sinar Tour Sdn Bhd and is a collaboration between Brunei Art Forum, Creative Space and the Korean Embassy.

Speaking about the local art scene, Dato Shofry said while he is happy with the direction it is headed — with several art galleries popping up organising exhibitions — there is still a need to enhance the appreciation of arts in the country.

“There is better appreciation for local artists and their work compared to 10 to 12 years ago, especially among the young people. I would love to see each household in Brunei have their own local art piece. This will definitely help local artists, not only in terms of their work being appreciated but also the creative industry as a whole.” he said.