KI INTERNATIONAL DEAF ARTIST EXHIBITION 2018 launched in Kuala Lumpur
Maybank Foundation launched the International Deaf Artist Exhibition 2018 at Balai Seni, Menara Maybank on September 24, 2018.
Being the first international deaf artist exhibition held in Kuala Lumpur, it showcase the diversity of culture, tradition and heritage. This is a gathering of talented deaf artists from around the world such as Korea, Vietnam, India, France, Italy, Russia and Malaysia.
‘Rentak Seribu Warna’ (Rhythm Of A 1000 Colours) has been carefully selected as the theme to portray interpretations of life, people, culture and local sceneries from various countries. This exhibition also feature a few artists from ‘Nukilan Jiwaku’, a project that aims to aid people with disabilities that has a flair in art to be economically independent.
Challenges Media met up with the CEO of Maybank Foundation, Shahril Azuar Jimin who graciously consented to the short interview.
“As the Corporate Responsibility arm of the Maybank Group, Maybank Foundation has a mandate to positively impact communities in the markets where Maybank operates. It’s a big call for us and we focus on 6 key areas; Arts & Cultures pillar being one of it and we have a total of 6 core pillars. The others are Educational, Community Empowerment, Environmental Diversity, Healthy Living and Disaster Relief,” said Shahril Azuar Jimin.
“For the Arts & Cultures, our focus is largely in 2 areas; we have a regional artists program called, ‘Kata-kata’ and the ‘Balai Seni Art Series’ whereby here, we showcase works of art in various themes and artists throughout the year. We just launched this particular program this year. The idea is to rejuvenate Balai Seni Maybank which was very well known awhile ago. Many top artists today have started out by exhibiting their works here. Through this platform we are giving a big opportunity toward the disabled artists to showcase their works here and also be given that recognition and hopefully, gain more awareness of these people,”
He added, “One of our flagship program ‘RISE’(Reach Independence & Sustainable Entrepreneurship), whereby we train and empower disabled people to be successful entrepreneurs so they can be independent, financially empowered and financially appreciated. Today, the program is running in 4 countries. Our work with disabled people is not new and giving them a conduit through the arts like what you see here is an extension of what we do in Arts & Culture and also to support the disabled community.”
In terms of projects, Shahril shared, “Most of the works for the disabled are community empowerment in terms of entrepreneurship. For Arts, we will maintain the space. We have been developing a program, ‘Nukilan Jiwaku’, whereby we support the disabled people and we partner with University Malaya which have a certification program for them to be at least recognized,”
“We live in a world that comprises of multi-talented people and we should appreciate each other’s talent. We hope that this exhibition will help to share the skills, talent and beauty of special artists with Malaysians and humanize financial services,” the CEO of Maybank Foundation concluded.
The works of art that were showcased were truly amazing. Zulaiha Zukapli, President, Deaf Artist Malaysia who is also a talented homegrown artist, expressed her nostalgic works inspired by nature and sceneries from her childhood, The sound of wind, the flow of water and the chirping of the birds disappeared completely since she lost her hearing at the age of 5.
The expressions of her works are based on memories of her childhood which she missed growing up as a normal child.
As the Project Manager of this KL World International Deaf Artist Exhibition 2018, the objectives of this exhibition are: to encourage disabled artists to be more brave and confident to showcase their talent; and to create awareness for OKUs not to waste their talents, as they are able to change their fate and standard of living for the better.
Zulaiha is also the President of Deaf Artists Malaysia. Her hope is to give a positive impact to all parties, especially the disabled and that the OKUs be given more opportunities in various aspects of development and career participation in exhibitions and engagement in international competitions.
The International Deaf Artists Association President, Kim Bong Jin shared that this exhibition which first started in Korea has been ongoing internationally. He has personally done 3 solo exhibits and won 2nd prize at the Korean Art Grand Prix. His fine arts that were showcased, is an expression of his appreciation to nature. Communicating through the interpreter, Rose Ng, he expressed that the sea is where we work and it also provides us the sustenance. He feels the waves as expressed through his works has the strength and how we can also withstand the storm. The painting on the white roses expresses the beauty and his love for nature.
Among the exhibits displayed were creative and imaginary expressions of a few special artists from ‘Nukilan Jiwku’ project, which aimed to aid people with disabilities who has a flair in art to be economically independent.
ARTISTS Showcased at the Festival include both local and international artists:
Kim Bong Jin
Lau Yok Ung
Nguyen Thi My Duyen
Nguyen Thi Thanh Thuy
Park In Hee
Park Yang Su
Prasad Prasanna Kumar
Lee Weng Choong