Breaking autism boundary through art


Jamila and Abdul Fattah giving the final touch to the mural.

ONE autistic teenager is breaking all stereotypes and is determined to create a benchmark for herself.

Seventeen-year-old Wan Jamila Wan Shaiful Bahri, who is known professionally as “Artjamila” and has sold over 90 original paintings to collectors in Malaysia and Switzerland, is the mastermind behind the mural at the Pusat Kecemerlangan Intervensi Awal Genius Kurnia, Sentul.

The art piece was made possible through the collaboration of Malaysian National Co-operation Movement President (Angkasa) and student volunteers from Universiti Technology Mara, Kedah.

Angkasa president Datuk Abdul Fattah Abdullah said the initiative was undertaken to acknowledge the autistic by conducting a “Coop Care” corporate social responsibility (CRS) programme at Genius Kurnia.

Genius Kurnia is an institute that helps autistic children aged six and below develop basic skills.

More than 25 volunteers from UiTM and Angkasa painted a beautiful assimilation of the major ethnic groups in Malaysia with all of them performing the Zapin with the Jalur Gemilang fluttering in the wind in the background.

This was done in conjunction with the National Day celebrations.

Wan Jamila’s mother, Noorhashimah Mohamed Noordin, 58, said her daughter was selected to be an artist for the Putrajaya Sculpture at Putra Square this year.

The mural, she said, was illustrated on canvas by Jamila and the final-year students from the Art and Design Faculty then visualised the artwork onto the wall.

“The painting which portrays unity and patriotism among the country’s multiple races is Jamila’s interpretation of the Malaysian way of living,” she said.

Student volunteer Iman Aisyah Hisham Nor, 20, said she was honoured to be part of this meaningful effort.

“The whole process took about five days to be completed and although we had a tough time due to the weather, we took it as a challenge to fulfil the given task,” she said, adding that the final touches were done by Genius Kurnia students who placed their fingerprints on the wall. — By JEGATHISWARY SUNDRAM

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