“I think progressive means being brave being bold, I think to be progressive is to not really worry about what people say what you can or cannot do. Progressive thinking is to visualise what you wanna do and make it a reality.”
How did you find yourself getting into art?
I have always been into the arts so when I took my degree, it was in painting. Art was and is a very obvious thing for me to take and continue doing – but I didn’t think that I would run a gallery. I was in Malaysia for about five years and worked in an art gallery there and the first art auction company. I have an eclectic taste in art so when I came back to Brunei, I felt like it didn’t have anything too exciting to offer…I am just one of those people who can’t wait for other people to start doing things, so I’ll just do something about it and that’s how I got involved with Kaleidoscope Studio.
Tell us, what does art mean to you?
Art is about diversity and perspective, which are both important to me. I liked a lot of the more creative subjects back then but what I like most about art is the fact that it gives you the freedom to do whatever you want. It is not something that can easily be judged because art is a very personal thing and it is always interesting to see how people express themselves within a particular theme in an exhibition. At the gallery, I pick particular artists and get them to make something based on a theme. It’s also exploring the minds in Brunei and to see how people think here and what the aesthetics are like. When I first came back, there were a lot of traditional art forms that dominated the scene – but there is so much more to it than that and we try to encourage artists to experiment and express themselves while doing so.
What was the inspiration for your gallery?
A lot of people have asked me what my goal or aim is, but I just want to have a place where artists can display their work and feel free to express themselves and also try to push the art scene to be more contemporary, rather than focusing on traditional forms of art like landscape or portraiture. The goal is to introduce to the people of Brunei new and different things – we’ve added music to the list. Now, we have also added a few of the minority creative groups into it…there’s a crafts group in Brunei so we want to include them too.
Where do you see Kaleidoscope in the future?
We are coming up to our 3rd year and the Brunei environment makes it quite difficult to envision where anything creative will go, it’s more of – we respond to what happens around us. So that’s how I take things, I see how things are going at present and I adjust ideas for the next one or two years. But I hope to have a bigger art space where I can house different kinds of art forms like theatre, plays or more music.