The Star Malaysia - Star2

Un­leash­ing the power of dreams


CON­TRARY to prag­matic in­cli­na­tions, dream­ing isn’t a bad thing. In the case of Martin Luther King Jr, his im­mor­tal “I have a dream” re­frain in­flu­enced mil­lions of peo­ple.

What­ever the cause, dreams, when shared, have the amaz­ing propen­sity to spur the hu­man spirit to new heights.

For Ivan Lam, a lead­ing con­tem­po­rary artist in Malaysia, the power of dreams ap­plies greatly to art, de­sign or even an­i­ma­tion. Dreams serve as the cat­a­lyst to big­ger things and great things hap­pen when­ever pur­pose­ful ac­tion comes into play. If the suc­cess sto­ries of Sal­vador Dali, Jimmy Choo, Saul Bass and Pixar An­i­ma­tion Stu­dios are any­thing to go by, for­tune cer­tainly favours the bold.

While not quite reach­ing Hol­ly­wood pro­por­tions yet, Lam’s works – some go­ing for more than RM50,000 per piece – are giv­ing him trac­tion in the lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional arts scene.

Hav­ing come good on his early prom­ise, Lam now seeks to share his dreams with oth­ers.

This burn­ing de­sire led him to De In­sti­tute of Art and De­sign (DIAND), a spe­cialised school for art, fash­ion and de­sign at UCSI Univer­sity.

Work­ing at the right univer­sity was im­por­tant to Lam and UCSI’s em­pha­sis on in­dus­try rel­e­vance – a fea­ture best re­flected in DIAND’s new of­fer­ings, namely the diplo­mas in 3D An­i­ma­tion De­sign, Graphic De­sign and Fash­ion De­sign sealed the deal.

Mov­ing be­yond dated white board lec­tures, Lam spices up classes with per­sonal ac­counts of his life as an artist; pre­sent­ing his ideas with his own blend of panache.

En­cour­ag­ing stu­dents and in­spir­ing col­leagues to outdo them­selves, while keep­ing his hum­ble de­meanour and ap­proach­a­bil­ity, Lam advo- cates that the pre­req­ui­sites of suc­cess are hard work and dis­ci­pline as “the rest” can be learnt along the way.

Lam’s phi­los­o­phy is shared by many, and DIAND is un­abashedly de­mand­ing when it comes to the dis­ci­pline and qual­ity of work it ex­pects from its stu­dents.

An­chored on in­dus­trial rel­e­vance, DIAND’s pro­grammes pro­vide as­pir­ing de­sign­ers with av­enues to show­case their work.

In ad­di­tion to groom­ing stu­dents to be the crème de la crème of the creative crop in terms of at­ti­tude and in­spi­ra­tion, the new diploma pro­grammes are also de­signed to help stu­dents put to­gether a sub­stan­tial port­fo­lio by the time they grad­u­ate.

Ac­cord­ing to Leroy Fong, a DIAND tu­tor, stu­dents are guided to present their port­fo­lio with their own de­signer’s sig­na­ture. “In this in­dus­try, your port­fo­lio rep­re­sents you. That’s the first thing em­ploy­ers look at and, if it does not cap­ture their at­ten­tion, it is the last thing they will see.”

If dreams are the cat­a­lyst of great things, then the abil­ity to change is the key for great things to en­dure.

To en­sure its stu­dents will ride the waves of change and not be swept away by it, DIAND con­stantly in­vites some of the most cut­tingedge names in the creative in­dus­try to gauge the stu­dents’ works.

Whether sweet praise or ego­b­ruis­ing crit­i­cism, stu­dents are not co­cooned from the high ex­pec­ta­tions of the in­dus­try’s finest.

Stu­dents are also taught that it takes a cer­tain kind of courage to take some­thing that has worked for the in­dus­try, for per­haps the last two years, and change it com­pletely, for the bet­ter.

To find out more about De In­sti­tute of Art and De­sign at UCSI Univer­sity, con­tact 03-9101 8882 or e-mail www.uc­si­u­ni­ver­ my/on­li­neen­quiry

Al­ter­na­tively, drop by dur­ing its Info Days on June 8 and 9 (9am-5pm).

 ??  ?? Lam (left) and Fong (right) of De In­sti­tute of Art and De­sign are firm be­liev­ers that hands-on ex­pe­ri­ence is key in help­ing stu­dents make their mark in the creative in­dus­try.
Lam (left) and Fong (right) of De In­sti­tute of Art and De­sign are firm be­liev­ers that hands-on ex­pe­ri­ence is key in help­ing stu­dents make their mark in the creative in­dus­try.

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