Sparking Change Through Art

Launch of RHB Art with Heart 2022 exhibition at Bangsar Shopping Centre in Kuala Lumpur —SHAARI CHEMAT /The Star

UNVEILING hidden talents and stories, the RHB Art with Heart exhibition returns this year, showcasing the works of 60 Malaysian emerging artists and offering each artist’s unique perspective on change, diversity and inclusivity – values that resonate deeply within RHB.

The RHB Art with Heart exhibition was launched by RHB Banking Group in 2016 to unearth hidden talents in Malaysia’s visual arts scene. The project celebrates the creativity stemming from the country’s diverse culture and traditions, allowing emerging creative talents to share their unique stories.

Norazzah Sulaiman, RHB Banking GroupNorazzah Sulaiman, RHB Banking Group“Our visual arts community flawlessly translates these stories, where some create out of passion, while others use it to express their thoughts and emotions, as well as ignite the sparks of change among the younger generations,” says RHB Group chief sustainability and communications officer and RHB Foundation chief executive officer Norazzah Sulaiman.

“Unfortunately, many of these artists do not have the opportunity to showcase their creativity for various reasons,” she says.

This initiative allows artists to exhibit their masterpieces – reaching partners, customers, art buyers and collectors. Over the years, the exhibition has brought to the forefront and celebrated over 100 local artists and displayed over 400 exceptional artworks. Almost RM1mil in art sales has been generated, with 20% of proceeds channelled towards various community outreach programmes spearheaded by RHB Foundation.

This year’s theme Sparks of Change continues the tradition, featuring a diverse line-up of artists including young and emerging, established and special needs individuals. RHB Art with Heart 2023 boasts its most extensive artist line-up from different backgrounds, including artists with autism, ADHD, and Asperger’s Syndrome.

“The theme is in line with our sustainability aspirations of promoting diversity, equity and inclusion within the workforce as well as across the community, and it pays tribute to National Day celebrations – emphasising the power of art to drive positive transformation and progress for all,” Norazzah adds.

Curator Iz Sulaini will weave these “sparks of change” stories, spanning various mediums such as paintings, mixed media, installations and sculptures. These stories, told through 156 artworks, invite visitors to immerse themselves in diverse narratives and extraordinary journeys expressed through visual art.

Participating artist Wan Jamila Wan Shaiful Bahri, driven by the desire to contribute positively to the community, says the exhibition is a platform for emerging artists to showcase their creativity while making a difference.

“RHB Art With Heart demonstrates a strong commitment that aligns art with social responsibility. It can potentially make a meaningful impact in the art community and the lives of underprivileged individuals,” she says.

Fellow artist Zulaiha Zukapli echoes this sentiment, further emphasising the importance of expanding and sharing the realm of art. She sees exhibitions as an opportunity to introduce painting to those interested but still need to figure out where to start, thereby exposing art to a wider audience.

Gabriel Cheah, a recent entrant to the art world, creates to inspire hope. Participating in the RHB Art with Heart 2023 exhibition allows him to support others through his art, aligning with his life’s motto.

“I am proud that I can do my part in helping and supporting others through my art by participating in events like this. It makes my journey as an artist more meaningful,” he says.

RHB invites members of the public, art enthusiasts and collectors to support local creative talents at the Art With Heart 2023 exhibition which will take place from Aug 29 to Sept 3 (10am-10pm) at the concourse area of Bangsar Shopping Centre in Kuala Lumpur.

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