Beauty of the mind


(From left) Yeoh, Kok Xuan, Sunway Group Brand Marketing and Communications general manger Sharzede S. Askor, Beng, Juairiah and Sunway University Art and Design faculty head Augustine Wong. — Photos: LOW BOON TAT/The Star

YOU can lend support to 15 students from Generating Opportu-nities for the Learning Disabled (Gold) by viewing their soon-to-be- exhibited artworks at Sunway Pyramid.

Themed “Beautiful Minds”, the Gold Art Exhibition 2015 is a collaborative effort between Sunway Group, Sunway Institute for Social Entrepreneurship and Sunway Pyramid.

Foong Kok Xuan, one of the students, showed off his painting “F for Ferry” which features the letter “F” filled with various objects starting with it.

The letter was chosen as the subject of his piece because it represented his surname’s initial.

Another student, David Beng Keong, chose to use abstract art for his piece, “Night Beat”, to fuel his interpretation of a city at night.

“Painting allows special needs students an avenue to express their feelings and conversely a window for us to better understand them,” said Gold founder Juairiah Johari.

Gold aims to help special needs children to maximise their potential in society and started off as a class at SMK Bandar Sunway in 1990.

“Back then, I realised that my class was short on volunteers and funds required to run my activities.

“Thankfully, Sunway Group took notice of my cause and has been supporting it ever since,” said Juairiah said, adding that the non-governmental organisation was formally registered in 2006.

She also said that Gold’s syllabus, following the guidelines set by the National Curriculum for Special Needs, comprised academic subjects such as Bahasa Melayu and English Language, while the remaining modules focused on soft skills development, painting being one of them.

The painting lessons were brought to the attention of Sunway University Art and Design department head Augustine Wong, who believed these students had the potential to further hone their artistic skills.

“A thought occurred to me that if the university was to train them, why not go a step further and help them achieve public recognition?

“By the fourth week of class, I was pleased to know that their attention span had increased.

“Therefore, I proposed that more advanced techniques be taught to them so that they could showcase their works an art exhibition,” Wong shared.

Sunway University lecturer Yeoh Kean Thai said he designed a learning environment that encouraged students to engage in interaction and imagination because these two elements were vital for any aspiring artists.

“Normally, they will come in front of the whiteboard and try to visualise an object that I name.

“Later, I will present them with my visual interpretation for comparison,” Yeoh said while also pointing out that the students, for the most part, were left unguided.

Taking place from Dec 17 to 20, the exhibition will held at the Lower Ground 2 floor in the shopping centre’s West Wing.

If you are an art collector, you might be interested to know that some of the exhibited artworks are for sale, priced between RM880 and RM1,000.

Admission is free.

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