The nation’s arts industry needs a major overhaul: expert

PETALING JAYA: The arts industry in Malaysia needs a major overhaul. Artists find that Malaysian politicians don’t see art as important to the country, leaving the industry long neglected.

According to an expert, change can only happen if the government understands the true purpose of art.

Art lecturer Elias Mohd, 64, said there are many ways art can be incorporated into architecture.

“That’s what brilliant architects do, and I think they should draw on our culture and history. Culture is the identity whereby shared attitudes, values, knowledge and preferences are ascribed to overall behavior in a social group,” he said The sun.

“The government and private sector should invest more in arts if Malaysia is to become a developed country. To develop an inclusive framework for arts and crafts, the next step needs to be considered.”

Elias added that Malaysians are not sufficiently educated in arts and that is the biggest problem.

“Most parents have little interest in their children’s art education. We don’t have a proper channel for art, like magazines or TV shows about art and history. So we are lacking in so many ways to get the public interested in art.”

Elias said people are not well informed about the global art scene, the development of art, the latest major art exhibitions and Malaysia has been left far behind in terms of art.

He said that in order to invest in art, one must understand the value of a particular work and the artist’s background and be able to predict whether they could benefit from the work.

“You have to study the current art market. Like other companies, the art business is developing quickly.”

Elias, who is also a sculptor and art lecturer in Amsterdam, Netherlands, said that not all art is a luxury item.

“It is important to understand the distinction between ‘high’ and ‘low’ art, as we must first find out what this division is based on.”

He added that when an artist has achieved a certain level of fame, his name and work are accepted and recognized by the world, then his work becomes a luxury item.

Elias said it’s a long road to get there, but not every artist has the ability to reach such a high level of skill.

“Young struggling artists need to start from the bottom and sell their work at a price that ordinary people can afford.”

Elias said art is the result of visual expression or the application of human creative ability and imagination.

“Today, lighting is also seen as an art form. Art in general is to be valued for its beauty or emotional power.”

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