Making a difference for autism with art
By Jude Toyat
Members of the public are invited to come and show support at the ‘Amazing Colours Art Exhibition’ held at The Spring Shopping Mall from October 2 to 4.
Organised by the Kuching Autistic Association (KAA), the inaugural public art exhibition will start from 4pm to 10pm on October 2, while on October 3 and 4, it will start from 10am to 10pm.
According to its fund raising chairperson Sheila Kho Ting Ling, the exhibition is a platform to create awareness on the ability of their children with autism and raise funds for the operation of KAA training centre.
“The aim of this exhibition is to showcase the artistic talent of these children.
“It is also one of our ways to give something back to society,” she said when met by The Borneo Post SEEDS during the opening ceremony held at The Spring Shopping Mall on October 2. It was officiated by Chief Minister’s wife Datin Patinggi Datuk Jamilah Anu.
She pointed out that this exhibition helped boost the children’s morale and confidence as they now believe that they are capable of doing things that they can be proud of. Some ten children are involved in this exhibition.
“We have been collecting these artworks since four years ago, allowing us to finally have enough to do an art exhibition,” she said.
In this exhibition, there are more than 40 painted artworks and 30 beadwork made by children with autism being displayed and sold at the same time. Prices range from RM500 to RM1500 per artwork.
“We hope that the public can contribute to a good cause, and they will always remember and support us in the future with our activities. It really means a lot to us,” she added.
There are also paintings from renowned local artists including Raphael Scott Ah Beng and his daughter Josephine June Ah Beng being displayed for sale at the exhibition.
For June, the chance to be part of the exhibition meant a lot to her.
“I am happy that I am able to be part of this exhibition, as I got the chance to do art for a good cause.
“This exhibition will somehow help to educate these children in future to be a bit more professional in giving their ideas on what art should be like from their perspectives and I believe art should be something that everyone should have in them to portray what you are really made of in this world as humankind,” said the 44-year-old Bidayuh lady from Singai, Bau when interviewed after the officiating ceremony.
Art is something that has grown in her family for many years since her dad is an artist too.
“My dad has nurtured me well in art since I was just five years old and it has become a natural thing for me to do art too,” she said, explaining that she had always loved colours from young.
“I think that it is a great thing to fall back on once I retire and I seem to see that things are coming into place now for me as I never thought that I could do something for the children of Kuching and give back to the society,” said June, she who also works in a real estate company.
On where she gets inspiration for her art, June said, “I am rather a happy person, so I love shoes, fashion, high heels, happiness, colours, and laughter, all things that makes me happy. So, I incorporate all these things that keeps me feel young and happy on my canvas.”
June is displaying two of her artworks at the exhibition called ‘Love Unbashed V’ and ‘Secret Garden’.
“Me and my family have always been fascinated by flora and fauna and we tend to incorporate them in our paintings. My love for colours, fashion, and all the beautiful things also can be seen in my artworks, especially my signature, high heels.
“I hope these can help to create a better and happier environment for these children, through art,” she added.
Apart from going to the exhibition, June also invited members of the public to pay them a visit at their gallery located at Kampung Tanjung near Batu Kawa.
KAA centre is located at Desa Wira, and currently the association have 27 teachers, and 72 students aged 3 to 34 where 10 of them are active in art.