World Crafts Cities forum in November

Nur Ashikin Louis

KUCHING: This year’s World Crafts Cities (WCC) Network Forum will take place from Nov 8 to 10 at Pullman Hotel here in conjunction with the 9th Biennial World Eco Fiber and Textile Forum, Exhibition and Fashion Show.

At the WCC forum, they will be discussing subjects such as Crafts and Tourism; Crafts and Education; Crafts and Cultural Conservation as well as Crafts and Marketing.

The state government through the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry together with the Society Atelier Sarawak will also be presenting “Dress and Cultural Identity” to highlight the role played by handcrafted textiles, jewellery and other crafts, especially headdresses.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg is expected to officiate at the forum.

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah stated that invitations had been sent out by the World Crafts Council and World Crafts Council Asia Pacific to the various governors and mayors of WCC throughout the world.

“To date, the organisers have received the confirmation from the following delegations — Jogjakarta and Gianyar Bali from Indonesia; Khon Kaen and Sakon Nakhon (Thailand); Jaipur, Mamallapuram and Mysore (India); Dongyang, Dehua, Anxi, Xianyou, Fuxin, Hui An and Donghai (China); Bornholm (Denmark) as well as Isfahan and Lalejin (Iran).

“We are also awaiting confirmation from Mashhad, Marivan, Sirjan and Kalporgan from Iran; Tripoli (Lebanon); Hebron (Palestine); Madaba (Jordan); New Hebrides (Scotland); Cuba as well as Rari, Chimbarongo, Donihue and Liguine from Chile,” he pointed out.

Abdul Karim (third left) and Ting (fourth left) with the models who will be participating in the event.

Abdul Karim further added that the three-day programme would see sister cities from all over the world bringing in their own crafts for the exhibition.

“Hopefully with the convergence of these arts lovers, we will be able to promote our own local products and Kuching as a whole,” he told a press conference at his Baitul Makmur building here yesterday.

The three-day forum and workshop is expecting the participation of 30 internationally renowned scholars, community leaders and fashion designers of traditional costumes and fashion while the three afternoons will have break-out workshop sessions with the Sarawak Cultural Communities and Associations.

At least 500 delegates will attend the forum with 300 international and regional delegates from the 10 Asean member countries of Asean Handicraft Promotion and Development Association as well as 200 Malaysian delegates comprising community leaders and members, the public and students.

Meanwhile, the International Exhibition and Crafts Bazaar Costumes and in particular the headdresses from the 10 Asean members will be exhibited together with the Asean Plus countries such as India, China, Japan and Korea.

From Sarawak, the variety of headdresses and costumes of the various ethnic groups such as the Ibans, Bidayuhs, Malays, and Orang Ulu will be the main attraction.

The event will also showcase headdresses and costumes from Sabah and Peninsular Malaysia — completing the collection from Malaysia.

The exhibition venue is at a new gallery space at the Hills Mall.

Simultaneously, an International Crafts Bazaar will be organised at the same venue for all participating WCC, fashion designers and Sarawak craft artists and organisations.

The International Gala Dinner and Fashion Show is one of the highlights of the event to be held on Nov 9 at Pullman Hotel, showcasing 28 international designers, including renowned Malaysian designers.

Also present at the press conference was the ministry’s assistant minister Datuk Sebastian Ting and the permanent secretary Hii Chang Kee.

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