KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 28, 2014:
Art Expo Malaysia (AEM) 2014, held at the Matrade Exhibition and Convention Centre in Kuala Lumpur, features 400 artists from 31 countries.
Among them is a very talented young artist, Ong Yong Da, from Malaysia.
Ong, 17, has limited speech (autism), yet is armed with a cheerful smile. He has a way of using shapes and colours to express his creativity.
Josephine Woo, 47, his mother, quit her job as an accountant to set up a studio for her son and other aspiring artists.
She said she was inspired by her son’s love for drawing.
“He doesn’t speak much and it would be quite difficult for him to explain his art work,” she said when The Rakyat Post caught up with her at a booth there.
She said her son was able to use any image or photo he likes into works of art.
“He uses shapes as the basis of his drawings because he has always been fascinated by them since he was young.
“He loves squares. If you look closely at his art, you can see squares in the background.”
Ong began to draw when he was young and spent hours doodling with crayon and colour pencils. He started acrylic painting when he was 10.
He participates actively in many exhibitions locally and internationally in the “Special Artist” category and also those organised by the Parents Support Group of Autism, Rotary Club and other charity foundations and non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
He helps raise funds for children of special needs and also to sustain himself.
In 2014, Deloitte Malaysia had showcased his artwork in their reception area and meeting rooms.
AEM 2014 is into its 8th year and even features “the Embassy Zone” of artists.
The Embassy Zone features Argentina (Ernesto Morales), Austria (Mario David Fischer), Belgium (Gina Frias), Brazil (Andre Mendez), Cuba (Nelson Dominguez), Ecuador(Ramon Piaguarje), the Netherlands (Timo Kreeft), Iran (Fathollah Marzban), Italy (Giuseppe Nora), Mexico (Armando Romero), Mongolia (Batmunkh Darmaa), the Philippines (Clarence Eduarte) and Romania (Otilia Andrei).