If you’re a budding art collector or are looking for unique pieces to decorate your home, several local studios will be holding a contemporary art fair from June 30 at the Seni Gallery at Dermaga Diraja, Waterfront.

Dubbed Art Vision, the event, organised by the Brunei Art Forum and the Department of Museums will run for a month until July 30.

Visitors can expect to view more than 100 pieces from 68 local artists, the majority emerging young talents as well as pieces from veteran painters.

The artwork will be divided into two categories: ‘Point of View’ comprising high-end contemporary artwork, and ‘Brunei Art Bargain’, a section offering affordable art under $1,000.

Director of Kaleidoscope Studio, Khalisah Ahmad, said that the ‘Art Bargain’ section was introduced to encourage a culture of collecting art in Brunei.

“For this first show, it was important for us to make it diverse as well as inclusive, to give [the public] an idea of what local artists like to depict, while at the same time inspire the artists to look forward to future exhibitions.”

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She hopes the event will provide artists exposure and opportunities to expand their portfolio.

“The very best artists are found through such events, therefore it is very important for us to start building our reputation and accreditation to become more visible on the international scene.”

Some of the artwork on display at the Seni Gallery, Dermaga Diraja for ‘Art Vision’, an art fair that aims to introduce affordable and contemporary art to the Bruneian market. Photo: Rafidah Hamit/The Scoop

The showcase will also feature forums, workshops and art demonstrations.

Osveanne Osman, managing director of Creative Space Art Gallery & Studio, said the public will be able to watch some of the artists at work.

“We’re making this a dynamic platform – for people to actually come and show off their practical skills.”

Those looking to get customised pieces can also approach the artist or get their contact information from the organisers.

Dato Paduka Hj Shofri Hj Md Ghafor, president of Brunei Art Forum and the director of the Rainforest Gallery, said he is proud of the event and finds the growth of young local artists encouraging.

“Even though the market [for art] here is small, we shouldn’t stop. Instead, we should see it as a challenge to grow further.”

“The veterans are happy to see the growing numbers and hope the local art community will continue to flourish in the future,” he added.

Dato Hj Shofri said he hopes the public will help support a culture of art appreciation and collection, in order to develop the creative industry.

As for future plans, Osveanne said they are looking into a five-year plan to attract regional galleries and curators to come to Brunei.

“We want to be able to foster a platform where our local artists will be able to offer something better and eventually create very good income for our economy.”

Art Vision is also in the midst of creating a database to archive local artwork.

Osveanne said this is to ensure better networking possibilities to push Bruneian artwork internationally.

The event will officially be launched on Saturday June 30 by the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, YB Major General (R) Dato Paduka Seri Hj Aminuddin Ihsan Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin.

The event is organised with the help of strategic partners such as Creative Space Art Gallery & Studio, Kaleidoscope Studio, Stain, Rainforest Art Gallery, Jo’s Art Gallery and Decor, Mizaty Gallery, The Birdhouse Studio and Arttralia.

(From L-R) Organisers and strategic partners from local art galleries, Dato Paduka Hj Shofri Hj Md Ghafor, President of Brunei Art Forum & the Director of the Rainforest Gallery; Fairuz Zaini, Founder and Director of Stain.bn; Osveanne Osman, Managing Director of Creative Space Art Gallery & Studio;  Khalisah Ahmad, Director of Kaleidoscope Studio; Ira Ali from Ira Ali Creatives and Hj Osman Hj Mohd, Vice President of Brunei Art Forum and Director of Creative Space. Photo: Rafidah Hamit/The Scoop