Art Talk

Pieces of Joy
By Swee Chin PAN


3 PM
I have said it before, and I shall say it again – I for the life of me, can neither paint nor draw. Attending the opening at Artemis Art that Sunday afternoon, and seeing the artworks of children and young adults with learning difficulties, blew me away. The talent there is just so amazing and the youngest, Suen Yi, is only 7 years old!

 Suen Yi (7)

8 of the 9 artists, namely, Bernard, Fitri, Jason, Zahra, Zahirra, Suen Yi, Nadiah and Ling Yee are all students of artist, Tan See Ling, the founder of Thumb Art Studio and its Tutti Art Club. And this is See Ling’s second exhibition – another result of her hard work for the past 9 years teaching art to children with learning difficulties. What dedication! Well done, See Ling!

 See Ling with the 9 artists

Bernard (17)

Fitri (17)

Jason (28)

Ling Yee (21)


Zahirra (14) with 2 of her works

Zahra (12)
The 9th artist, Yuli, is mainly self-taught and he graduated from the University of Curtin, Australia in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in Graphic Design. Here he is photographed with his favourite piece, Ji Misuto To Ki. As you can see, he loves anime.

 Yuli (26) with Ji Misuto To Ki

Before the short speech by Yang Mulia Tengku Marina Tengku Ibrahim, the founder of Pink Jambu who officially opened the exhibition, Ms. Lee Kuan Shin (Clinical Psychologist) and Mr. Simpson Khoo (Educational Psychologist) were on hand to give words of encouragement to all present. I love this quote (Anonymous) shared by Kuan Shin:
Children are like butterflies
Some fly high
Some fly low
But they all fly in their special way
It rings so true, yes?

 Simpson Khoo (extreme left), Tengku Marina & Lee Kuan Shin (extreme right) with their gifts

Simpson shared that he himself suffers from Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and yet he has succeeded in obtaining his degree in educational psychology. As he rightly says: Each child is a like a treasure box. You only have to find the right key to unlock it. You do not need 10 As to succeed in life. He went on to give an example of a 17 year old who is either dyslexic or autistic (sorry, memory failure here), who is now earning a good living teaching drums.

Tengku Marina

Yes, it is all very heartening for these budding young artists. Here is a big ‘thank you’ to Artemis Art and See Ling for raising awareness about people with learning difficulties and for channelling most of the proceeds from the sale of the artworks back to these youngsters - both as a form of encouragement and also to help them continue with their artistic endeavours.

Geke Boersma & Jaycee Koh

Leili & Ali

Salwah, Bernard, Ervan, Nina & Laif

Syafika, Nabila, Soo Leng & Karen

 UC, Jamal & See Ling


Pieces of Joy will on at Artemis Art until Sunday, 21 October 2012
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