Saturday Jan 25

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The Brunei Art Forum Exhibition

Napoleon Bonaparte rightly said that "a picture is worth a thousand words." This is a simple truth. Imagine with me for a while. I would like to tell you about a double chocolate souffle. When prepared correctly, it has a subtle crunch on the top, a bitter-sweet cocoa after-taste and a devilishly gooey core. I could spell out the ingredients, tell you how yummy it is, I could even pretend to speak like Jamie Oliver for you if that's your fancy! Or, I could just show you a picture of if. Your mind fills in the blanks. Your imagination kicks into overdrive and you can somehow...already taste it. How much deeper the experience once you actually taste the double chocolate souffle for yourself.

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                                                  Source: MyRecipes.com

Speaking about experiencing things for yourselves, three days ago I attended the launch of the Brunei Art Forum (BAF) exhibition at the Waterfront Art Gallery in Bandar Seri Begawan. According to the press release, the BAF exhibition is "a showcase of artwork by BAF members, and it is supported by the Brunei Museum Department...The Exhibition brings together approximately 90 pieces of artwork by more than 35 local artists from various disciplines. It is a celebration of the emerging local voices and expressions in art". The Waterfront Art Gallery is open to the public until February 2012 and visitors are "encouraged to step into the gallery, relax and explore the individual artwork, which includes batik, abstract art, portraits and installations."

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At this point, let me just say this. I was very impressed. I walked away inspired. I walked away happy to know that there is an art scene in Brunei. I will go as far as to say I walked away a prouder Bruneian. It was my first time at the Waterfront Art Gallery and (this sounds strange to say but) it felt like I was in a different country. Of course I say that respectfully, but it is just that these sort of exhibitions are far and few between. The Art Gallery was properly lit, it was cool and it was spaced out professionally. There were a few recognisable pieces, interactive installations and pensive local artists wandering near by. I also was lucky enough to spend some time speaking with local talent Sam Siren (www.SamSiren.com) and she shared abour her immersive installations and art pieces.

Details about the exhbition are below but trust me on this one. Just mark it down into your diary as a "must do" and experience it for yourselves. Artists, photographers and you folks who love your mobile photography sharing (users of Instagram, MyTubo, PicPlz, Facebook, etc) - just go and thank me later. It has a similar vibe to the Cluster 6 exhibition in July 2011. Here are some photographs from my visit.

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You might also like to know that most of the displayed pieces are for sale. Interested buyers can contact Fatimah Jaafar on 8668244 or Ampuan Siti Ramlah on 8918806. It is open to the public from Sunday to Thursday and Saturday - 9.00am to 4.30pm, and Friday - 9.00am to 11.30am / 2.30pm to 4.30pm. To find out more, you can also connect with the BAF on Facebook here.

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