The creative industry is one of the most dynamic sectors in the world economy, with sectors such architecture, visual and performing arts, film and television, computer animation, web design and music linked to the industry. In order to develop the country’s technology and creative industry, two industrial parks have been earmarked, namely the Digital Junction and Anggerek Desa Technology Park.
There have been more calls for more people to step into careers related to the creative industry, as this could further spur the country’s economy.
A working committee to oversee the development of the creative industry in Brunei is also being tabled by the government. The committee is responsible for how the industry can generate economic opportunities for young people, especially to leverage on technology. It will also help establish policies for a conducive ecosystem for local enterprises to make them competitive on the international stage.
Several initiatives have been launched in recent years to develop the creative industry’s contribution to the country’s economic diversification.
In September 2020, the Fashion Designers Alliance Showcase was launched, highlighting the works of local fashion designers. The alliance brought together individuals from various backgrounds, achievements and specialties as part of efforts to unify and develop the fashion industry in Brunei Darussalam.
Collectively, members of the alliance won the Islamic Designs and Fashion Council Award in Dubai, participated in international fashion shows abroad, and some have been featured in British Vogue.
The need to create a fashion ecosystem to aid in the country’s economic diversification was highlighted by Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin at the showcase. As a governing body, the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports looks forward to supporting the alliance through a Fashion Designer Council in the country, said the minister.
There have been more calls for more people to step into careers related to the creative industry, as this could help further spur the country’s economy through their contributions generated from their knowledge and skills and vast backgrounds. As such, there has been a steady rise in activities related to this industry.
The Fashion Designers Alliance Showcase was launched, highlighting the works of local fashion designers.
Apart from government initiatives, the private sector is also working hand-in-hand to generate more interest, especially among young students, to take up diverse options in the creative industry.
Higher learning institutions are among those actively engaged in promoting programmes related to the industry. In 2017, Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) launched its BA in Design and Creative Industries, offering a wide range of interdisciplinary disciplines in the areas of art, design and media, innovation and technology, and business and management.
Meanwhile, private institution Kolej International Graduate Studies (KIGS) actively promotes the creative industry through its programmes and showcases. Through its annual VIBE exhibition, the college showcases the final and major projects for the Degree, Foundation, Diploma and Certificate students in both Art and Multimedia Design concept, where the students come up with their best design products and interactive multimedia designs for their final project, as they prepare to embark on their professional careers in the creative industry.
Brunei has also seen notable progress in the creative industry over the past few years with a number of talented individuals and youth surfacing into the limelight, be it in photography, video, arts and crafts, music, design, fashion, film, performing arts or several others. The number of students interested in following programmes and courses related to the creative industry has also seen been increasing.
Before the global COVID-19 pandemic, events such as Malam Minggu Pusat Belia (MMPB) drew large numbers of visitors to the venue for each edition, until it was put on hold due to the coronavirus outbreak. Art exhibitions, either solo or by local art studios, have also seen a boom and further helped promote the creative industry during the past year along with other creatives such as those involved in documentaries, film and photography.
The government’s initiative of establishing a working committee to oversee the development of creative industries in the country will look into how the industry can provide opportunities for youth to generate and spur the nation’s economy particularly in leveraging on technology. It is also hoped to assist the nation in setting up policies for a conducive ecosystem for the local enterprises, which will help them to be competitive, both locally and on an international platform.
The creative industry is frequently related to innovation and entrepreneurship, setting the framework for self-employment, start-ups and collaborations.
The creative industry has shown how it can promote a kind of social integration, social values and culture as a source of information and knowledge with the characters creating other kinds of industries in periods of uncertainty, and the value of a product is higher based on its originality, uniqueness, performance and appearance.
The creative industry nowadays is also a tool for innovation. This can be implemented in many other industries, creating synergies with creative industries itself or with other sectors. Creative artists can thus contribute to the public even during the pandemic in an innovative way. Based on the digital revolution, it can mean reorienting as an artist to reinvent what audiences need and could lead to new business opportunities to create new market environments.
The creative industry is frequently related to innovation and entrepreneurship, setting the framework for self-employment, startups and collaborations. Bruneian youth are urged to pursue careers in the creative industry to assist in developing the Sultanate’s economy through their skills and knowledge.
There are a number of platforms available for creatives in the country. One of them is the Progresif Media app, Brunei’s first digital media streaming platform launched by Progresif Sdn Bhd. Progresif Media provides major possibilities for the local media and content industry, as creators will have a ready-made channel to host their content and earn revenue from their works. The app showcases the best local content alongside the best of Hollywood and the region.
The Knowledge Hub (KHub) is another platform intended for the development of the creative and multimedia industry in Brunei through programmes and activities run in partnership with companies such as Microsoft and Sesame World Technology. KHub is located at Anggerek Desa Technology Park, next to the iCentre which serves as an incubator for budding technopreneurs and product innovators.
The Origin Original Productions (OOPs!) is a free online platform on YouTube that shows original Bruneian content, with the vision of standardising quality of content on multiplatforms. It has produced a number of notable web-series such as Babu-Nya and Bintang Search by Origin Artistic.
Other platforms include Mahakarya Institute of the Arts Asia, Brunei’s first filmmaking college; Creative Space Art Gallery and Studio, which has hosted numerous art galleries; and Relentless Academy of Performing Arts, which aspires to provide performing artists a venue to practise and perfect their art.
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