Rais launches Visual Arts Heritage Fund

The Information Communication and Culture Ministry has launched the Visual Arts Heritage Fund with a an initial fund of
RM1 million.

Its minister Rais Yatim said besides giving a boost to the visual arts industry, the fund would also be used to encourage more people, school children, university students and young artists with strong determination and willingness, to develop their arts.

“We feel that if their struggles were not formalised, then they will continue to be left out in terms of recognition and in the memory of the public,” he told reporters after launching the National Visual Arts Development Board Act 2011 (Act 724) at the National Visual Arts Gallery here today.

Rais said the fund would also be used to carry out a total review on the development of art throughout the peninsula, Sabah and Sarawak, while at the same time, scouting for new talents in the field.

“We need to promote and convene a meeting with the relevant parties who are sympathetic with the art industry. So far, our efforts are limited, so, I will try to play a role in this campaign,” he said.

Meanwhile, Rais said the launch of the National Visual Arts Development Board had re-triggered the ministry’s desire to create “Jalan Seni” (Art Street) in the city to give visual artists a place to work, promote and sell their artworks, while at the same time, lure tourists to the area.

He said the ministry had three options for the implementation of the project, namely around Jalan Raja Abdullah, along the river banks near the old court building and the surrounding areas of Sultan Abdul Samad Building Complex.

If one of the areas were found suitable for the purpose, the ministry would discuss with the City Mayor to have the area reserved for development before end of this year, he said.

Earlier in his speech, Rais also expressed hope that the National Visual Arts Gallery would not become too elitist, but to go to the ground to search for new talents for its projects.

He said as the engine of development of art, the gallery should scout for new talents and provide a place for them to work and produce quality artwork.

– Bernama