New galleries help boost sales of local handicrafts

National 1 minute, 49 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THE BRUNEI Arts and Handicrafts Centre has seen an increase in sales since the opening of its new sales galleries in September 2014.

According to a sales representative at the centre, the seven new galleries have helped promote sales as they are now able to accommodate a larger exhibit compared to the previous gallery.

The layout of the new galleries are also more spacious, giving customers and visitors a more pleasant and comfortable experience when browsing through items.

The seven galleries each consist of a different themes including, tenunan (traditional cloth weaving), silver, seni ukir (wood carving), _keris _and tasbih, batik, songkok, basketry as well as a gallery for brass items.

According to the sales representative, all the items at the gallery are handmade by locals and made from high quality materials.

”The workmanship of the items we sell are also of high standards, making it an attractive selling point to customers,” she said.

She added that tourists are very keen on the items sold because they are “uniquely Bruneian” products.

“People buy our products because they are uniquely Bruneian and of high quality. One Chinese tourist bought $9,000 worth of our brass items.

“The brass we use to make our items is pure brass, which according to the tourist, can’t be found in China,” she added.

According to the Brunei Arts and Handicrafts Centre employee, among the most expensive items are the silverware and traditional woven cloths which can fetch up to $3,000 each.

“Peak season for us is during the fasting month where we receive the most orders for our songkok and kain tenunan and there have been cases where we had to turn down requests,” she said.

According to the staff member, all the designs are based on traditional Bruneian designs, handed down through generations and it is one of the objectives of the centre to preserve the art form by training young locals.

Hence, the centre continues to hold courses for locals in house to train them to make the handicraft items.

The course takes three years to complete and is open to youths aged 17 and above who have at least completed their secondary school education.

The Brunei Times