The State Minister of Tourism, Culture, and Environment of Sabah, Datuk Christina Liew, graced the vibrant Street Strokes event held in Kampung Air today. This event marked the launch of a collaborative initiative between Cracko Art and DBKK with Nippon Paint Sabah Sdn Bhd as the official paint sponsor. The primary aim of this initiative is to enhance the city's aesthetics using the medium of graffiti art.
During the event, Datuk Christina shared her ambitious vision for Kota Kinabalu, expressing her commitment to revitalizing the city by beautifying 4 more areas through the contributions of local and international graffiti talents. These areas include Bandaran Berjaya, Sinsuran, Segama and Asia City. The project has already commenced in Sinsuran, with initial work including the repair and re-cementing of surfaces, removal of old piping, and repainting of walls.
Datuk Christina expressed her excitement at witnessing the transformation of Kota Kinabalu and emphasized the significance of these improvements for the city, which serves as the tourism gateway to Sabah. She intends to utilize her YB funds to implement such initiatives with the goal of making Kota Kinabalu a vibrant and culturally enriched destination.
In addition to the street art project, she also announced her plans to introduce artificial intelligence (AI) into the realm of digital tourism to promote Sabah on a global scale. This forward-thinking approach is expected to raise awareness and attract more tourists to the region.
In the wake of the recent cessation of MyAirline operations, Datuk Christina acknowledged the challenges faced by the local tourism industry. This cessation has resulted in a significant loss of 6,000 seats per week. To mitigate this setback, she pledged to work closely with the Sabah Tourism Board to bring in more direct flights to Kota Kinabalu, Tawau, and Sandakan, ensuring that Sabah remains a top destination for travelers.
The comprehensive efforts led by Datuk Christina to revamp Kota Kinabalu and support the local tourism industry promise an exciting transformation for the city and the broader region, bolstering its reputation as a vibrant and dynamic tourist destination.
In a remarkable demonstration of creativity and community spirit, the Street Strokes event has brought together graffiti artists from around the world to transform the landscape of Kampung Air. Spearheaded by Crig Francis, also known as Cracko, this project aims to break stereotypes and give the district a vibrant makeover that showcases the talents of both local and international artists.
The project received an unexpected boost when Mauy, a renowned graffiti artist from Thailand, powered through illness to complete his graffiti piece in just 15 minutes, leaving everyone in awe of his remarkable skills. Crig shared his hopes of fostering more of this incredible talent within Kota Kinabalu.
To achieve their artistic vision, Crig reached out to graffiti artist friends from countries such as Korea, Brunei, Thailand, Australia, Japan, and Vietnam, who all enthusiastically agreed to collaborate on the project. Notably, Nippon Paint Sabah Sdn Bhd sponsored the paints for the two-day event, underscoring the support and enthusiasm from the community and local businesses.
He emphasized the transformative power of graffiti art, stating that Kampung Air was often viewed as a "dodgy" place. However, with these vibrant art paintings on the shop shutters, the area now exudes an inviting atmosphere, making both the community and shop owners happier.
The Street Strokes event boasted the participation of 30 graffiti artists, with Crig stressing that specific talent is not a prerequisite for being a graffiti artist. Many of the artists are self-taught, driven by a passion for art. He believes that this mindset can revolutionize the local art scene in Kota Kinabalu.
Colin Profet, an Australian graffiti artist with 15 years of experience, mentioned that he typically charges 250 Australian Dollars per square meter for his work. However, for this project, he and the international artists came together to give back to the Kota Kinabalu community, painting for free.
Street Strokes is a testament to the power of art and collaboration in bringing communities together and changing perceptions, one spray can at a time. The public can explore www.kklovesyou.com, a new online guide platform offering information on local events for both Kota Kinabalu residents and tourists.