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Kota Marudu sculptor expresses “hope” through art

22nd December, 2017

Art is inherently beautiful. And art made by local artist contains invaluable intimations and perceptions of occasions, circumstances, and societies, writes Vesta Vanessa Jsol.

Visitors who visit the on-going ‘The 300 Exhibition – Chapter II’ at Sabah Art Gallery will definitely be amazed by hundreds of wonderful artwork, especially those ten tiny boat sculptures made from iron.

Neatly arranged around the exhibition hall on the first floor, the dark-silvered coloured sculptures seem like they are telling something – an untold story.

Curious to know what is behind those ‘boats,’ this New Sabah Times reporter decided to find and interview its sculptor, Rayner Goluhing.

“Hope,” the 29-year-old artist answered when asked about the theme of his creation.

Rayner who hails from Kota Marudu, said that those boats represent hope in people’s daily life.

“Every single day, each one of us might face different difficulties in our life. As an artist, I see that we (people) are swimming in the vast ocean, tired against the waves, longing for shelter and that boat will be our last hope to survive.

“I purposely create it in ten units with different sizes and shapes, symbolizing people’s hopes huge or small, strong or fragile.”

He took about a month to finish the ‘boats’ series. “It’s not that hard to produce, but it does take time to finish.” Currently, he is working with Sabah Handicraft Centre (Keningau).

His love of iron sculpture started since his childhood but only took it seriously in 2009 after he received an offer to further his studies in Bachelor of Creative Arts at a local university.

“These few years of my life were surrounded by pieces of iron, sprockets, barbed wire and fences that I turned into art. Some of the artworks were used as decorations in office lobbies, some hung here at the art exhibition hall and some ended up as house decorations.

“Sculpting is fun, especially with pieces which have been tossed out and deemed no longer of value. I found beauty in discarded pieces of metal.

“I thanked God for giving me a wife who loves art too,” he quipped.

Rayner and his two colleagues, Roslan Yusof, 42, and Alfred Paladius, 30, represented Sabah Handicraft Centre (Keningau) to exhibit their creations.

Roslan showcased batik painting themed ‘Sabah Nature’, while Alfred presented a series of drawings entitled ‘Valley.’

However, their artworks are just parts of the exhibition. There are more attractions that can be found by visiting the hall in person.

In the exhibition opening ceremony held recently, Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister, Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun said that locals need to support home-grown artists in order to ensure the continuity of the local art scene.

He said that the lack of support for local artists may hinder their motivation to create fine masterpieces.

“If we do not support our local talents, they will feel demotivated and our local art scene may face the risk of dying out. Give them encouragement so they can do better in the future and continue making art.”

Masidi added that locals should not only attend art exhibitions, but purchase the works of local artists as they are valuable in the long run.

“Many works produced by our local artists are of high quality. It is never a loss to invest in high quality artworks because its value only increases with time.”

He also reminded artists not to be easily demotivated by the lack of support, as it is all part of their journey in the field.

“We have a lot of talented artists, but we always underestimate their talents. We are more willing to spend thousands on foreign artworks when the quality of those artists may not be on par with our local talents.

“I urge local artists to always keep your heads high whenever people doubted you for they are road bumps that you have to face in reaching your full potential.”

Following the success of its first installation in 2015, The 300 Exhibition – Chapter II features 300 artworks of 30 local artists from around Sabah.

Themed ‘Bawah Bayu,’ featured artworks will be exhibited for three months at the gallery.

Sabah Art Gallery curator Jennifer Linggi said the theme was intended to promote Sabahan culture and heritage, which would inadvertently boost tourism in the state.

She also expressed hope that the exhibition will encourage more local artists to take part in Sabah’s art programmes to increase credibility in management and implementation.

“This programme also mirrors the determination of local artists in organising academic art-related events,” she added.

Artworks featured at The 300 Exhibition – Chapter II are for sale at RM300 a piece.

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