International art and music festivals don’t happen by magic but the Kuching International Festival of Music and Arts is taking place between 18 November and 18 December, 2016. This would not have happened but for the vision and energy of Dr Geraldine Law Lee and her sister Grace as well as members of this International Music House in Kuching who are the driving force behind this first International Music and Arts Festival in Kuching; they’ve put a fantastic effort together to make it happen in such an enchanted place.
The opening night of the festival was upon us now and the Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg who is also the Minister of Housing and Urbanization, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Sarawak opened the festival.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg
Opening speech reflected a very impressive attitude towards music, arts and culture
He gave an outstanding passionate speech about how the arts and harmony were important to the community with sustained development that enhanced the aforementioned qualities he wanted to see flourish in the community. For example, the Borneo Post Newspaper reported, from his opening speech, that,
According to Abang Johari, music is a reflection of something intangible and it transcends boundaries. In realising this, the state government has revamped the council of arts and culture by giving positions to those who are passionate in and have a sense of direction to arts and culture.
The Old Kuching Museum
An example of how the minister’s passionate view appears to be manifesting itself is the new addition to The Old Kuching Museum that is being built on the River foreshore so families can enjoy the outstanding picturesque terrain by the river then go to the Museum.
As part of the Festival, the Wild Swans exhibition was set up in the old British Court House by the river, an interesting experience for this really was uncharted territory for Western Australian Artists and their artworks.
Professor Diana Davis from the Australian National University talking with audience members
One has travelled the world somewhat and Kuching, Sarawak as one viewed it whilst walking around and looking out the hotel window towards Indonesia, appears to be an unspoilt aesthetic jewel with a harmonious blending of cultures ancient and exotic, with architecture to match; it’s an outstanding place for any artist to visit or anybody else for that matter. One can only hope that this wonderful city continues to show its fantastic passion and aesthetic vision to the world and then, when the new museum is built, one believes it will be another jewel in the crown of the State of Sarawak, Malaysia.
Part Three: The exhibition coming soon