KUALA LUMPUR: Djohan Budimulia Mohd Nawiah may come across as a quiet boy but the images in his painting that won him the first prize in the Merdeka Day Children’s Art Competition are powerful.
Djohan’s art piece entitled Evolusi 50 Tahun Merdeka won him RM300 and a hamper in Category C (ages 11 and 12).
“I am very happy,” said Djohan, 11.
His painting depicted Datuk Onn Jaafar in black and white riding a bicycle to the Merdeka declaration, with former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad in Proton Saga next to it, followed by a rocket, signifying astronauts being sent to space in the present era, he said.
Djohan, from Sekolah Rendah TDDI Jaya, Shah Alam, was one of the 1,300 children who turned up for the event yesterday.
The art competition, organised by the National Art Gallery and sponsored by ExxonMobil subsidiaries, with the theme Warnai Gemilang Merdeka was aimed at instilling patriotism in children.
They were encouraged to depict their understanding of Malaysia’s independence by using acrylic colours to illustrate landscapes, flora and fauna, buildings, figures and icons.
“I have been drawing and painting since I was five. It’s my hobby,” he said, adding that he likes the watercolour medium best.
“I like to paint scenery, especially the KLCC building. I have been there many times with my father to paint, said Djohan, whose ambition is to be an architect.
He was in Washington, the United States, in June to participate in the International Children’s Art Festival and was given the Creativity for Peace Award, said his father, Mohd Nawiah Kassim, 44, who is an artist.
Djohan’s prize money would go into his education fund for future use, he said.
The other first prize-winners were Tan Yi Qin for Category A (ages five to seven), Ng Hann Jane for Category B (ages eight to 10) and Batrisyia Ahmad Kushairi for Category D (special children).