We need to realise that we are the same people, with a common history, on the same island. Through art and music I believe we can bridge that gap, and tear down the political borders that separate our people.
Sang Tukang is an artisanal brand formed by indigenous Sabahan artists Adam Kitingan and Frida in pursuit of a cultural revival in Sabah, North Borneo – making metal jewelries, sculptures, traditional crafts and instruments since 2015.
During the interview with Borneo Art Collective, Adam stated that after long journeys to do researches and art documentations from craftsmen in the villages of North Borneo – he found that the designs are influenced by a few things: the resources available, methods on how to use those resources, the surrounding environment, daily life, beliefs, and interaction with foreign traders that made up this unique style.
According to Adam, each design has a long design heritage. To move forward and in order to have a revival takes place, we must cultivate and expand that visual vocabularies of the motifs and begin to express our own stories to mark his people generations in time.
“With the designs that I had, I also realised that not everybody could get a tattoo. So I decided to work with brass bracelets or “gohong” which is more accessible. Then one thing led to another – I met this collective of nomadic makers from home and ended up quitting my day job to pursue something more meaningful and fulfilling to me,” said Adam Kiting.
Maak Nu: during my stay in Malaysia, Sang Tukang team is active in introducing Borneo Art into the public. Many exhibitions and seminars held by the team in order to present their artworks and invite young generations to continue the North Borneo Art’s conservation.