As the festivities wound down for the National Craft Day celebrations, the Citra Dewangga night organised by Kraftangan Malaysia proved to be one of the show-stoppers of the week-long handicraft extravaganza.
YAB Datin Paduka Seri Rosmah Mansor receiving her Citra Dewangga Award from YB Datuk Dr. Ong Hong Peng, Chief Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia. Photo courtesy of Kraftangan Malaysia.
The primary highlight of the evening was the presentation of the first-ever Citra Dewangga Award, which was bestowed upon Yang Amat Berbahagia Datin Paduka Seri Rosmah Mansor – wife of the Prime Minister of Malaysia – for her service in helping to push the development of the billion-ringgit craft industry.
“This award is meant to honour and appreciate the individuals who contribute greatly towards the development and expansion of the local craft industry – especially textile works – at both the local and international levels,” said the Director-General of Kraftangan Malaysia, Dato’ Mohd Kamil Mohd Ali.
Performers entertaining the audience with an intricate traditional dance
Also celebrated that night were twelve recipients of the Master Craftsman/woman award, which is an acknowledgement of an individual’s experience, expertise and technical knowledge in a particular area of craftsmanship – the sixth time such an honour had been bestowed by Kraftangan Malaysia since 2010.
A talented craftsman hard at work perfecting his creation
There was great diversity among the well-deserving recipients in terms of age and place of origin, ranging from as young as 26 years old to over twice that number at 54 years old. Each was honoured for a different craft that was unique to Malaysian heritage such as shadow theatre, beaded decoration, rotan weaving and more. For their efforts, they each received a plaque of appreciation and a cool sum of RM10,000.
It wouldn’t be a craft convention without the opportunity to pit your skills against other talented craftspeople, and the National Craft Day Craft Competition provided just that platform. The three-day competition saw entries from 115 craftspeople over the four categories of Forest Resources, Textiles, Metals, and Ceramics, numbering 156 in total as each participant could submit two entries.
Interested shoppers browse through a wealth of handicraft products at National Craft Day 2015
The judging was done based on criteria such as originality, innovation, retail value, material choice and being environmental-friendly. Winners received trophies, certificates and sums of between RM500 to RM5,000 in prize money.
Some of the stunning fashion pieces on display
Also entertaining guests that night was a songket fashion show which displayed ten choice pieces from the collection of the Tuanku Nur Zahirah Foundation. Joining them on the catwalk were 54 of the best batik pieces in various styles from all across the country, created by local designers who worked together with batik craftsmen to produce the final pieces – all overseen by notable Malaysian designer Yang Berbahagia Datuk Radzuan Radziwill, who has had his collections exhibited in international fashion shows.
For more information, visit www.kraftangan.gov.my or call 03 2162 7533 / 2162 7459.