Top local shutterbugs, artists awarded in national competitions
By Rosli Abidin Yahya

The pursuit of artistic excellence in the sultanate continued yesterday with a prize presentation ceremony for arts and photography contests to commemorate His Majesty's 60th Birthday.

Emphasising the importance of maintaining national identity through the preservation of the arts and other cultural heritages, the Minister of Home Affairs, Pehin Dato Seri Setia Awg Hj Adanan - the guest of honour - handed out prizes to winners of the arts and photography competitions.

Borneo Bulletin photographer Hj Mohd Said Arshad grabbed two consolation prizes in the Photography Exhibition Competition 2006, the prize presentation of which was held yesterday morning at the Bumiputera Trade Centre in the capital.

Representing the committees for His Majesty's 60th Birthday celebrations in arts and photography competitions, Dato Paduka Arkitek Hj Idris Hj Abas said the contests are platforms for local artists and shutterbugs to enhance their skills and profiles as well as to provide opportunities for young artists to show their talents, creativity and ability.

He added that the contests enabled the young people together with their experienced counterparts to manipulate their creativity in creating unique expressions.

In the arts contest, Marsidi Hj Umar, a full-time artist, was chosen by the panel of judges to receive B$4,000 in the "His Majesty's Portrait" category. The main prize of B$5,000 had no winner in the category.

Among the other winners were Hj Md Abidin Hj Rashid (Prosperous Brunei Open Category), Dk Siti Munirah Pg Hj Damit (Prosperous Brunei Secondary/Vocational Schools Category) and Mohd Amirul Aizat Hj Mohd Daud (Prosperous Brunei Primary Schools Category).

Meanwhile, in the photography contest, Musa Manggai won top prize in category A, Hj Samat Hj Abas in category B, Hj Jamaludin Hj Tengah in category C and Abu Hasrah Hj Abd Rani in Category D.

The organising chairman for the photography contest and exhibition cum the president of Brunei Darussalam Association of Photographers, Hj Shamsuddin Idris, said there had been an increase in quality and creativity at the photography contest this year.

"Our shutterbugs have shown that they can produce quality photographs, especially with modifications and additions through the advent of technology and photography software," he said. - Borneo Bulletin (27th July 2006)