UBD’s Banar Tah Tu Installation Art

AN ART exhibition aimed at expressing the “identity” of Univer-siti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) stu-dents will be opened to the public during Universiti Brunei Darussa-lam’s (UBD) Pesta Konvo 2011.

The Banar Tah Tu installation art exhibition, the name of which borrowed the Bruneian saying of confirming the truth, featured 15 art pieces created by students of the various clubs at UBD.

Many of the students were not artists to begin with, the exhibi-tion’s Creative Director, Dr Chris Woo, told The Brunei Times yesterday. The senior lecturer of Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences explained that they hoped to showcase “their spirit as students of UBD”.

“It’s not their artistic value that is most important. It’s their identity as students here,” Woo said.

Housed in the Student Affairs Section’s bookstore, the exhibition used special lighting against a black wall where the art pieces were featured upon. Guests would have to navigate through the twisted corridor to look through exhibits, some of which were behind sliding doors that can be opened to view one exhibit at a time.

The students have been working for the last weeks “from concept” on the art pieces, which included Spanish and Korean dresses complemented with photographs of members of the respective clubs, a wall of graffiti art, a hanging cage-like structure and a small house filled with drawings made by children of impoverished families in Brunei.

His Royal Highness Crown Prince Dr Hj Al-Muhtadee Billah is anticipated to view the exhibition, when the crown prince launches the Pesta Konvo 2011 tomorrow, in his capacity as Pro-Chancellor of UBD.

Among the works that His Royal Highness will see then will be a piece by Woo himself. An array of jumbled, multi-coloured string, fixed to the wall, which later becomes more orderly, represented a student’s journey to life. At one point, the strings are pinned over a chalk drawing of a man, which Woo called Dancer in Flight, represen-ting the “visceral and raw energy of an artist”.

“Everything starts from chaos. Students face a lot of pressure, such as time, but must discipline themselves to make sense of it all,” the creative director said.

In the next space of the corridor is a wall full of graffiti by Bruneian artists studying in the United Kingdom. “This is (in support of) UBD’s aim towards building partnerships and friendships internationally,” Woo said.

The rooms with the sliding doors on the opposite side showcased work by the various clubs. The creative director said the mechanism of the doors made it so that students from the different clubs had to work together on each other’s projects.

“(Likewise) the audience will have to cooperate to view the art pieces.”

At the Korean Culture Club’s exhibit, Club Leader Nurulaini Hj Bakar and Vice-Leader Arshianny K Salim explained how they incorporated the Hanbok, or the female Korean traditional dress, to show how their club has grown since its establishment in 2006. The dress’s pyramidal, wrap-around skirt had photographs of the club’s activities and members.

The Silat club created a cage suspended from the ceiling with metal chains. Inside the cage, which was actually made out of wood but made to look like metal, were mirrors with words such as “envy” and “anger” written on them.

“The visual aim of this installa-tion piece explores the concept of self-control; an important quality that should be mastered by every Silat practitioner,” a placard on the exhibit said.

The Student Community Outreach Team (SCOT) created a small wooden shack, where they posted pencil drawings done by children from the poor families the group has visited. The children were asked to draw the things to express themselves, Woo said. Among the drawings were pictures of fruit and a skull.

Source: The Brunei Times
Author: Ubaidillah Masli
Published Date: 7 September 2011

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