While the term ‘culture economy’ may be a new word to some, the branch of economics that studies the relation of culture to economic outcomes could be a potential income source in the coming years.
Professor Michael Mel, a professor in the creative arts, presented on the cultural economy and the importance of preserving culture during yesterday’s PNG Fashion Week workshop.
He says that culture as an industry can provide for many but there is much to be done to develop it.
“Culture as an industry can provide but there is much that needs to be done.
“We currently have stadiums for rugby but none for culture, where can our culture be presented, while we spend millions on rugby stadiums we would like to believe in Hagen and Goroka [that] stadiums can be built just for cultural presentation,” he said.
Professor Michael Mel stressed the fact that PNG cultural items were being showcased in museums and galleries around the world, but unfortunately for PNG we had not realised the importance of this.
“While our cultural arts are shown around the world, where is the place here in PNG where we can showcase our culture?” he asked.
During his presentation he showcased priceless paintings and artifacts from PNG found in galleries around the world, but sadly none in PNG. One item was a piece of bilum wear from a museum in New Zealand.
The ‘Bilum Meri’ designer Florence Jaukae says that she agrees with Professor Mel saying she does not understand why some of her first bilum wear creations are not in museums when there are so many overseas.
“I have items in museums in New Zealand and London and I can’t understand why we cant preserve what we are doing here in a PNG museum,” she said.
While Professor Mel was quiet adamant on the need for cultural preservation and museums to present our culture, he was hopeful that the cultural economy, once recognised, could provide for all especially those who have the talent in creating cultural items.