Artisans in Kuching

Artisans in Kuching

by Irene Chan

Kuching was once a sleepy city mostly known for two things: as a transit point for those seeking to explore some of the world’s oldest rainforests, and as a haven for food-lovers seeking out a unique street-food experience borne out of a diverse melting-pot of cultures.

However, in the recent years, this melange of cultural influences has also become the driving force behind the burgeoning arts scene in Kuching, and with the recent introduction of the Small Town Art Market event, there has been increasing appreciation for local artisans.

Nia Latif is a self-taught artist who works primarily with black and white on paper and mixed media on canvas. She draws her inspiration from local culture, and her artwork reviews an intricate universe of patterns and captivating details. Through her art, Nia aspires to preserve the legends and legacy of Bornean culture and tradition, by making these cultural elements more accessible for the younger generation.

Her work also comes with a social awareness aspect – she is actively involved in volunteer work, fund-raising, art workshops, and contests. Her work can be viewed through her Instagram page.


Nia Latif and her works of art, inspired by Bornean culture and tradition

Similarly, Ceres Lau draws from nature and the cultural events of Malaysia as the source of her artistic expression. Ceres has opted to use traditional artistic techniques in her craft, which highlights the dichotomy of her work with the digitised nature of our modern lifestyles.

A big part of the appeal of Ceres’ paper-craft is the tactile quality of her preferred medium, which reflects her hands-on approach to her projects. Her fascination with paper stems from the possibilities found within it  – beautiful, complicated forms arise from the transformation of this humble, almost-mundane material, a process limited only by the breadth of her creativity.

Ceres’ work can be found online here and on Instagram.

Ceres Lau uses traditional artistic techniques in her paper-craft

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