Thursday, July 09, 2009

Minister's Art Of Drawing Tourists Into Malaysia

The tourism minister has an art of drawing tourists into the country.

Beginning next year, Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen wants to use the National Art Gallery's works of art as the country's new tourism product.

She said the ministry was currently having discussions with travel agencies to propose 'art tourism' as a new form of luring tourists into the country.

"Art tourism is one of my new (tourism) products and I want to begin by promoting the National Art gallery," she said in her speech at the launch of 'My Collection: Mosaics of Malaysia' here Tuesday.

The exhibition showcases a collection of 100 paintings by Zhang Zhou of Liaoning, China, who is the resident artist of the Modern Arts Gallery owned by Tai Keik Hock in Sungai Petani, Kedah.

For the past seven years, the gallery has showcased the artist's collection which features landscape and Malaysia's cultures as a subject.

The exhibition coincides with the celebration of 35 years of Malaysia-China bilateral relationship which will be held for a month in July.

Later, Dr Ng told reporters that visual art was a hidden treasure which she wanted to develop.

She hoped to get cooperation from the education ministry to develop art education among children, from as early as five years old.

Ng said an artist could also become a millionaire as paintings had become collectible items which could fetch high prices if sold to art lovers worldwide.

Recently, she said, a work by a local artist was sold at US$46,000(RM162,845) at Christie's Auction House in Hong Kong.

Source : Bernama
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