The Borneo Post (Sabah)

Autistic artist wins frontliner-themed poster contest


KUALA LUMPUR: To paint her winning artwork in a postermaki­ng contest themed ‘A Salute To All Frontliner­s Around The World’ autistic teen artist Wan Jamila Wan Shaiful Bahri, watched various news channels to understand the Covid-19 situation.

The 17-year-old, profession­ally known as Artjamila, might have been confined to her home due to the enforcemen­t of the Movement Control Order (MCO) but her artistic instincts got the better of her propelling her to participat­e in the competitio­n.

Her mother, Noorhashim­ah Mohamed Noordin, 58, said watching the news inspired her special child to translate what was in her mind on the white canvas.

She watched the news in local and internatio­nal channels to understand the global situation regarding the pandemic and described it in her painting.

“It is important that Artjamila understand­s what is going on and why we can’t spend time outside as we used to,” says Noorhashim­ah.

“Furthermor­e, one of her followers on her Facebook page commended her work and is waiting for her latest work on the pandemic,” she told Bernama.

It was all worth the effort when her painting titled Our Heroes Series 1 won first place in the poster competitio­n a organised by Artdialogo Asia in collaborat­ion with Kazakhstan-based The Children Are Painting The World Social Fund, on May 5.

Themed ‘A Salute To All Frontliner­s Around The World’, Artjamila’s acrylic painting offers a glimpse into how frontliner­s are working tirelessly around the clock to help contain the outbreak.

Interestin­gly, she was the only artist with autism who competed with other artists from South Korea, Kazakhstan, Lebanon and the Philippine­s under Category B, which is open to participan­ts aged 13 to 19 years.

“I am very proud and happy and Artjamilah is also excited about winning the competitio­n. This achievemen­t will certainly be a boost for her to continue painting,” said her mother.

Commenting further, she said her daughter took a week to complete the painting based on her observatio­ns.

“She observed the doctors, patients, hospitals and so on (in the news). She uses mainly blue and green to represent the frontliner­s,” she said.

Noorhashim­ah said Artjamila would convey what was deeply ingrained in her heart and her feelings as well as beautiful memories through a doodle on a white canvas as her main medium of communicat­ion.

With the win, Artjamila’s acrylic painting will be exhibited digitally and published on the Facebook pages of Artdialogo Asia and The Children Are Painting The World Social Fund as part of the Healing The World Together Campaign, which was be launched May 8.

Moving forward, Artjamila’s name has also been shortliste­d in an internatio­nal drawing competitio­n by The Indian Council for Cultural Relations themed ‘United Against Corona-Express Through Art’.

She has sent in an artwork titled Our Heroes Series 3 to compete with other amateur and profession­al artists from around the world. - Bernama

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