KUCHING, March 23 — Sarawak Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Minister Datuk Seri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah today said his ministry will study the set-up and management of the Singapore Art Gallery as a model for the state’s art gallery.

He said he will lead a delegation this year to see how Singapore has set up and managed its art gallery.

“We need that kind of thing because I want to have a body of our own just to handle arts.

“We already have a body to look after the development of crafts in Sarawak,” he told reporters after a preview of a painting exhibition by Lundu-based 58-year-old artist Bong Shin Siong at La Promenade in Kota Samarahan.

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Karim said he had been given the green light by Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg to convert the former Kuching Resident and District Office building at Barrack Road here as an art gallery.

“But looking at the number of artists we have and the kind of items they have, I don’t know whether the premises will be big enough for the gallery.

“But we will try to see,” he said.

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Karim said if the building is not enough, then his ministry will look into a few more buildings to be turned into art galleries in the city.

“So, give us a bit of time to renovate the building,” he said.

He added that his ministry has not decided how much allocation is needed to set up the art gallery and that it depends on what kind of renovation work is required.

Karim said the Sarawak Museum will have its art gallery, using the former Japanese Kempeitai headquarters at the museum garden.

He said his ministry will convert the old Resident and District Office building in Miri to an art gallery.