A formidable list of Sarawakian vendors will be displaying their wide array of products that range from rare antiques from a different era, to traditional accessories and fashion wear infused with tribal motifs.
Penan Women Project
This enterprising project aims to empower talented Penan women by utilising their weaving skills so they become self-sufficient. Innovatively turning to plastic strappings as a result of deforestation, these remarkable women create fashionable bags, mats and baskets.
A favourite destination among locals in search of gifts, this family-run company specialises in contemporary and traditional accessories. The mother-daughter team will be at hand to explain the significance of their beaded traditional and contemporary handicrafts that include rattan bags and textiles.
Idhani Art Scarves
Like a breath of fresh air, the vibrant rainforest flora is captured in contemporary shawls by this Kuching-based duo. Derived from their own watercolour works, the creator of Idhani expresses their passion for colours found in nature through a series of wearable shawls.
A self-taught artist whose ideas find expression in a variety of mediums, John’s recycled ‘washi’ paper creations blend a traditional Japanese technique using bark fibres from indigenous trees and plants. Similarly, his jewellery strikes a harmonious balance with traditional motifs expressed elegantly in silver.
Island Spice’s delectable range of dry ‘sambal’ is set to tickle your taste buds with the flavours of Borneo. Hot off the stove will be a limited range of Bidayuh actor Tony Eusoff’s mom’s Sarawak Laksa dry sambal recipe.
With 25 years of experience specialising in antiques and artifacts of Sarawak and the region, Borneo Artifacts lets us peek into the mysterious world of land and sea-based tribes, including the famed headhunters of Sarawak. Discover ingenuity infused with detailed craftsmanship in objects such as traditional baby carriers, carved boat paddles and panels, stunning ear pieces, and other body adornments, sculptures, masks, as well as basketry.
Mucow Books Company & Heidi Munan
With at least three decades of experience researching the indigenous communities of Sarawak, Heidi Munan’s passion for undiscovered stories makes for an engaging read. Her latest series of easy-to-read tales of the Iban, Melanau and Bidayuh tribes are not simply entertaining, but gives us a unique glimpse of the lesser known world of Sarawak tribes.
Left & Right Jewellery
Left & Right jewellery artisans are storytellers who translate every meaningful moment, journey, and experience of a person into wearable art forms. The Sarawakian brand’s concept comes from the belief in harmony between the logical left brain and the creative right brain. Their creations marry story and creativity with sustainability to create lasting art forms.
Ran & Nong Creations
Aiming to empower women through teaching, training and marketing, Ranong Peru and her husband have created a team of skilled artisans. Making a mark at the 2014 FIFA World Cup with their knitted scarves and hats in the colours of the Brazilian flag, their accessories uniquely combine the traditional and contemporary through contrasting a range of techniques, motifs, and materials.
‘EO’ by Edric Ong
Architect-designer Edric Ong has developed new designs with traditional Sarawak artists in the area of basketry, ceramics, fibres, wood and stone. EO focuses on eco-textiles crafted from natural materials infused with Sarawakian motifs. Their ready-to-wear collection of womenswear, menswear, as well as hand-printed and painted accessories such as shawls are comfortable, yet elegant.
Often referred to as a pioneer in Sarawak art circles, Ramsay Ong has explored diverse techniques and mediums for over five decades. Whether in batik painting, jewellery making, or upcycling materials, Ramsay believes in the importance of evolving with the times. His exuberant style of accessories defies categorisation and can best be summed up in the name of his gallery, ‘Artrageously Ramsay Ong’!
Society Atelier Sarawak with Abot Gudang & Heart Treasures
Society Atelier Sarawak is a registered voluntary organisation that aims to preserve and promote local art and crafts. Atelier organises and contributes to exhibitions both in Malaysia and internationally, one of which is Abot Gudang’s that consists of the painting of traditional motifs on rainforest materials.
Society Atelier Sarawak with Lucia Jan & Traditional Weavers
Atelier assists indigenous communities in Sarawak to value, revive, and market their traditional craft. With products such as baskets, mats, and hats, one will be able to see and appreciate the various natural fibres used as well as the weaving techniques unique to each community.
Roselyn Lah of Livan Handicrafts received the World Craft Council (WCC) Award of Excellence in 2016 due to her efforts in promoting economic development through craft-related activities, exchange programs, workshops and exhibitions. Her beaded necklaces in the ‘Kabo’ and ‘Livan’ styles are based on traditional beadwork of the indigenous ‘Orang Ulu’ community.
Senia Anak Jugi and Bengkel Pembuatan Beg
Another World Craft Council Award of Excellence recipient is Senia Anak Jugi who is skilled in traditional handweaving using various natural fibres such as rattan, bemban, bamboo, and bark. She has successfully combined her weaving skills with bag-making to produce contemporary bags. Another of her initiatives is an incubator project and training centre called ‘Bengkel Pembuatan Beg’.
A non-governmental organisation working to bridge the rural-urban gap in Sarawak through various programmes, Barefoot Mercy assists communities by buying their produce and wares at a fair price with profits from sales in urban centres ploughed back into their funds. Their hand woven ‘Ajat’ bag from a Penan village that was a recipient of the WCC Award of Excellence will be at the markets, as well as unique products such as ‘Bakelalan’ natural iodised salt and ‘Kelulut’ honey.
Tanoti and Long Lamai Community/ UNIMAS
Boutique songket atelier Tanoti houses a community of master weavers and designers in Sarawak dedicated to the traditional art of songket handweaving. They received a WCC Award of Excellence for their sampin, a men’s accessory woven with traditional motifs. In collaboration with the Long Lamai community and University Malaysia Sarawak, they developed a range of rattan coiled platters that were also awarded the WCC Award of Excellence in 2016.
Quality and originality are words that perfectly describe the brand that is The Ranee. Must-have items are fruit or ornamental bowls handwoven in strapping plastic which belie its humble origins.
Chapter & Star
Annette from Chapter & Star is an artisan bookbinder from Kuching who does open spine bindings and leather books that are beautiful yet functional. A winning combination of whimsical and minimalist style, her books’ designs have sold worldwide.
Individually crafted, Borneo Soaps combines the therapeutic properties of their natural ingredients with modern bath and beauty elements. All products are enriched with vitamins to provide a luxurious cleansing experience, making them rare gems to be treasured and enjoyed daily.
The Borneo International Beads Conference
The bead culture of Sarawak is rooted in centuries of tradition. The Borneo International Beads Conference aims to link the indigenous tradition with the bead cultures of the world. There will be a selection of works for sale by its members.
Renowned as a master weaver in the traditional ikat or tie-dye pua kumbu fabric, Nancy Ngali has been awarded the World Craft Council (WCC) Award of Excellence twice and has exhibited internationally.
Florence, a bead maker for over ten years, has managed to successfully combine her jewellery- making skills with her knowledge of ceramics to produce unique beaded jewellery using the Japanese ‘Raku’ ceramic technique.
Malek Batek Craft
Abdul Malek is a batik artist with 27 years of experience. Inspired by nature, he has conducted workshops with the Malaysian Nature Society. He will bring a selection of works depicting Sarawak’s flora and fauna.
Rainforest World Music Festival
An annual three-day music festival in Kuching since 1997, The Rainforest World Music Festival celebrates the diversity of music and cultures across the globe.
Sysul Book Shop
Tucked away in a shopping mall together with money changing facilities is Sysul Book Shop. From the Malaysian Heritage series to fiction and non-fiction, there will be something for everyone.
Kelvin Gallery is a treasure trove of tribal arts and craft. Situated along the riverfront on Main Bazaar Road, the gallery is filled with artifacts that have been procured from around Borneo.
This social enterprise aims to help and train single women and rural communities supplement their income through their artisanal skills. Every item is hand-crafted by their collective of indigenous artisans.
Johns Gallery specialises in vintage and contemporary tribal pieces. With two galleries on Main Bazaar Road filled with quality artifacts, there is a range of collector pieces as well as carved furniture.