Efforts from the federal government to bring more tourists into Malaysia through the use of contemporary art have been talked about in recent weeks. Following these initiatives, the state of Sabah could well be one of the most suitable places to ride along the popularity. This is because according to the director of Tourism Malaysia, Dato’ Seri Tengku Dr. Zainal Adlin bin Tengku Mahmod, the state has the potential to become a destination for art lovers.
This is mainly because tourists who visited Sabah in the past has showed that they are appreciators of the state’s art and crafts. They visited Sabah not only for its rich flora and fauna but also because of its unique cultures. This would expose them to the local contemporary art scene indirectly while enjoying the nature of Sabah. He said that naturally, people who loved nature (especially for the dive sites and adventures) are those who love art.
Tengku Zainal launched the 1MCAT (1Malaysia Contemporary Art Tourism) Festival Sabah 2012 at the Jesselton Point Waterfront recently which is into its third year which is part of the larger and federal level 1MCAT organized by the Ministry of Tourism. As part of the festival, there were 11 satellite art venues around the city where contemporary art works of local artists were exhibited with the ‘Art Hunt’ theme last year. The Sabah Tourism Board is set to continue this success this year with the 1-week exhibition that will expose local artists to the art-loving public that will include other related events and activities as well.