Individualism, Diversity and Tradition

Last night I attended a marvellous art reception at the residence of the Ambassador of the United States, where wonderful pieces of contemporary art created by many different people from various walks of life were proudly put on display.

I am always amazed of how much art costs. A small painting can easilly go as high as $5000. Yet, many people do actually dedicate their life to buying and collecting them. Here in Brunei the art scene (aside from the Quranic verses in golden letters and frames) is pretty much dead. I wonder if that will change sometime in the future.

Anyway, the pieces of art on display last night are mostly on loan from the ART in Embassies program and some were from the private collection of the Ambassador and his wife. Here are some pictures of my favorite ones (or rather, those with pictures that actually came out looking minutely presentable).

These are several close ups of my favorite painting, Glide, by Betsy Stirratt. I absolutely love the use of bright bold colours. To me, that is how emotions and anything to do with life should be displayed. It really stood out from the other simpler, more organic looking ones.

Pottery. I loved the cockle-like detail.

Baku pottery by Candone Wharton. The charmer’s snake is in there. I am kidding.

A bronze ship like structure.

This is a piece which was subjected to some juvenile interpretations by me. I don’t know. It just looked like…. a vagina. Dilated. It would be nice if some water was put inside to symbollise life. Life after all, came from the womb.

Another favorite of mine, Recoil by Gary Weisman. It was the first thing I saw when I entered the house and indeed I think it is the most powerful of all. However this was also the most difficult to photograph. The lighting did not do any justice to the sculpture and its smooth details.

Oh this one reminds me old grannies sitting in a home gossiping. Hihi.

Some guests made quite a fuss over this Arab inspired piece by Jacqueline Wilson. I love the colours used especially the blues. But I’m not very sure what message it is trying to put across. Seems like a lot of elements being put to use all at once.

A charming little piece from the Ambassador’s private collection.

By Lucy Arai. The dark and mysterious eclipse.

There are actually more pictures that didn’t turn up so nice so I won’t be putting them up. I will edit this post later to include the names of artists.

Enjoy for now!

Oh before I go, shout outs to the new Borneo Bulletin correspondent who was also present during the event which is also covered here.

7 thoughts on “Individualism, Diversity and Tradition

  1. awesome pics.. but yo.. the art scene aint dead.. i have been involved in quite a number of art workshops organised by the muzium.. and there are some really good Bruneian artists out there who are active.. i am one (although im not really active nowadays but thinking of exhibiting some works in UBD one day – – maybe)


  2. I painted the Arab inspired piece when I was in Baghad with Joe……….the base was a door from Mossoul.The message was simple beauty is every where even on old walls and on old doors. History they are.Just look at the colors and imagine…..


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