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Visual arts to help drive tourism and economy

by Rosli Mansor

In addition to promoting a diversity of cultural uniqueness, the visual arts industry is able to be the main catalyst for the growth of the country’s tourism and cultural sectors.

Realising this fact, the Ipoh City Council (MBI) together with the National Visual Arts Development Board (LPSVN) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the Contemporary Visual Arts Programme.

Mayor of Ipoh, Dato’ Rumaizi Baharin @ Md Daud said the development of the country’s visual arts industry is now getting more and more attention, especially with the involvement of the new generation, who are able to drive the sustainability of the visual arts ecosystem in a sustainable way.

“This visual arts industry will become a new tourism product that has the potential to help increase the local and national economy.

“An Action Plan and Branding of the Greater Ipoh Tourism Region has been created with the aim of making the Greater Ipoh tourism region a competitive, inclusive and sustainable international destination through a ‘clustering’ approach.

“It covers four Local Authorities (PBT) which are the Ipoh City Council (MBI), Kuala Kangsar Municipal Council, Kampar District Council and Batu Gajah District Council.

“MBI also introduced the 3H concept which is Heritage, Hipsters and Health. Through this concept, we are trying to develop the National Visual Arts Centre in Ipoh, Perak,” he said in a press conference after the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Signing Ceremony for the Contemporary Visual Arts Programme between MBI and LPSVN at the Travelodge Ipoh Hotel today.

Also present was Director General of the National Visual Arts Development Board, Amerrudin Ahmad.

Meanwhile, the Secretary General, Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Datuk Hajah Saraya Arbi said that through the MOU, a more organised plan has been formed for the development of internal infrastructure and the layout of the exhibition space.

“When the renovation works are completed later, this building which was previously known as the Ipoh Old Post Office Headquarters will be known as the Ipoh National Art Gallery which acts as a centre for art industry activists in promoting contemporary visual arts programmes especially in Ipoh City.

“Through the support and cooperation of local and foreign art entities, it is my hope that the Ipoh National Art Gallery can become a popular art hub for the implementation of contemporary visual art programmes,” he said.

The renovation of the entire historic building will take 18 months from 21 November 2022 until May 2024.

The history of the construction of the Ipoh Old Post Office Headquarters building began in 1913 and was fully completed in 1916.

This building was initially the British Commissioner’s Office and later served as the Post & Telegraph Office from 1928 to 1983.

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