We had the pleasure of learning more about the National Visual Arts Gallery’s (NAG) Young Art Entrepreneur Programme or YAE! (Pronounced YAY!).
Let’s take this tour and get to know 12 really cool artists setting the bar on another level altogether. We are loving what we see! #YAE
Maggie Tan Mui Theng (MTMT)
Founder and Painter of MTMT Designs & MTMT Studios
Instagram @mtmtdesigns / @mtmtstudios
FB @MTMT Designs
“During my teenage days, I’ve started doodling on my own school shoes. I enjoy being the odd-one-out when it comes to a restricted setting, which allows room for creativity when resources are limited. Colours and meticulous fine line precision plays an important role in the works I’m doing. The difficulty is to fit a big picture into a small space. When crafting my work, I create one-of-a-kind pieces. I seek for the humanisation of communication and I like to understand special details and requests because even the smallest dot could make someone eternally grateful. Even as a self-taught artist, I was told that my artwork sparks joy in people, and it slowly became the reason why I’m doing what I’m doing. Maybe my quest is for a sense of compassion, and by provoking the same feeling in the other, we can speak the language of art.”
Huda Nejim Al-Asedi (a.k.a Cikgu Huda)
FB Cikgu Huda’s Arts
“The eyes observe; the nose smells; the ears listen; the hands mould and the mind will find a connection to make it all a meaningful experience. Like an orchestral symphony, our senses are all engaged when taking part in a hands-on activity. I believe human interaction – whether through activities, workshops, or tours – is an avenue that allows people to widen their perspective and challenge ideas. It gives me the joy to see people interact with each other and make something together. We are all social creatures. People co-exist in communities and are always surrounded by art. Thus, I strive to highlight the art all around us to make people more aware of each other and to create meaningful moments out of our co-existence.”
Brad Yap Jun Hun
“I’m obsessed with multiple flat-coloured shapes that form endless possibilities of visual imageries. I’m amazed at how different we are and yet at the same time, similarities in our roots. With a few tools and elements come infinite possibilities of cultures and crafts. A dot, a line, a shape, a motif. These simple rules initiate a wide range of aesthetics each unique to its own, and yet the beauty that comes out of it is universal. I’m also interested in the imaginative realm of cultures and lore. Legends that were slowly forgotten have a fascinating appeal that I wish to explore in my work. By integrating traces of cultural myths into my work, I often felt like I’m providing these stories a home, an imaginative realm that continues to live on and fascinates, sparked by surreal tales of the old.”
The world that he creates is inhabited by unique creatures that evolve. They are based on his research of real ecosystems and explores its diversity, complexity and characteristics that imagined worlds might demonstrate. He plays with physiological elements of the creatures that may be contradictory which create a dilemma in imagining the origin and lifestyle of the creatures. Nazzrin’s creatures have an anthropomorphic attribute that is subtle and also not immediately apparent, creating a sense of unease within the viewer.
In the eyes of Amin Morris, he always finds himself visualising human beings living in a tiny little world made up of layers of beautifully written words – visual and design just like connective dots and lines, that are connected to each other. “A work of art, I believe must be produced with a touch of honesty and sincerity in order for it to have artistic and sentimental value. It is apparent through most of my artworks which definitely echo my emotional and aesthetic values that are pretty much relatable to the public.”
Linkedin Carabelle Cheong
“My passion for art grew watching my all-time favourite cartoon, Mickey Mouse since I was a kid. I was truly fascinated and amazed that art could make people happy. As a textile artist, I appreciate the traditional working process, which compliments the exquisite fabric details. From working with textiles, I have learnt to be a problem solver, a quick thinker and an innovator. The relationship between horizontals and verticals in weaving enables me to unleash my imagination – to create a slice of a contemporary approach with a traditional method in children wearing design. I believe design should be fun and creative; wildly imaginative, playful and with a hint of quirkiness – my handmade work is a way I express my perspective. This motivates me eternally to create more unique designs.”
FB Syukran Shakirah Artz
“Growing up in a village since I was a kid, surrounded by beautiful nature and having a mum that loves gardening really inspired me. It helped to awaken the artistic side within me. This underlies most of my art as they revolve around floral and a more naturalistic theme. Recently, I have also developed an interest in drawing architectural landscapes. Being a self-taught artist is definitely not an easy path, however, I don’t want to limit my potential as a creative person. I am constantly trying to build the courage to create more art pieces that would enable me to be a better explorer in this world. Every piece that has been created is a reflection of my thoughts. Hence, I can always see myself in each drawing and that is how I learn throughout this wonderful journey.”
Contact +6013-2318533 firstname.lastname@example.org
Instagram @pinopin.official / @izzatbahiki
FB Pin O’ Pin
“My mission is to fuse fine arts together with digital arts into one platform, and I hope to create a community of artists from different backgrounds to collaborate with one another. Art shouldn’t be exclusively for art lovers only, but it should be inclusive for everyone. Since I started video making and digital drawing, I feel that it has more excitement compared to the traditional arts. If I were to continue to make artwork without the digital input, I feel it is lifeless. My desire is to create art that we can react to, touch and interact with. What is most interesting to me, is to be able to engage and witness how people react to my artwork, whether it is my videos or my souvenirs.”
“I believe food culture is the only thing on Earth that does not discriminate anyone, no matter their race, religion, gender or appearance. I want to educate people and be educated by people on love, respect and acceptance of our differences through food culture in art. As I grow older, I try to delve deeper into a global environment that is culturally diverse but not often discussed within families as it is seen as taboo, including discrimination, racism, sexism, LGBTQ and many more for a much broader audience. My art varies from post-impressionism to pop art. My aim is to educate families about important social issues through my writing and illustrations. Food culture in the art can be used as a means to unite people and solve global environmental social issues. My conceptual art projects bring fun to the table for both children and adults alike.”
Purple Ling by Tan Jee Ling
FB Purple Ling Studio
“Clay isn’t just earth or mud, but a medium that can turn your imagination into a beautiful reality. When I first started creating artworks from clay, I fell in love with it wholeheartedly. Clay is my chosen tool to transform my enthusiasm and imagination into a different form or dimension. My goal is to share my artwork; my creations; my love for clay with the world, locally and internationally.”
Ichie Imran (Dgku Norhidayah PG Imran)
Instagram @sukkaproject / @ichieimran
FB Sukka Project
“I find comfort in the long hours, struggling to get an artwork done. Be it in a diorama, from creating piece by piece and sculpting it into something spectacular; or in the love and hate relationship with silkscreen, for every single time I move the squeegee across the screen, that makes me say, “…you better be good this time”. I want people to feel it whenever they look into my artwork. I want them to feel its soul; I want them to feel something.”
POTTERY MAN by Muhammad Aimanuddin bin Kasman
Contact +6010-6567045, email@example.com
FB Muhammad Aimanuddin
“Everything on this earth has its own purpose. I feel that my purpose is to make something from the land. I have always wanted to make art, to do something with my hands that is both meaningful to me and to others. My ceramic adventure started with my mentor who inspired me to use clay to mould and shape my ideas. Clay comes from the earth, which can always be shaped into a new form, even when I make a mistake, I can still reuse the clay to make something new. Nothing is lost. Dealing with ceramics has been a challenge, but it continuously fuels and heals my spirit. It encourages me to keep making new things out of my past experiences. At low points in my life, clay is more than just a medium of my craft, but also a mediator of my emotions and reasoning.”
How it all began?
When Najib was in his early twenties, his life was following a trajectory that would probably have resulted in being depressed about life or just homelessness. As a struggling young artist peddling batik paintings on the streets of Kuala Lumpur, he wasn’t sure if he was making good decisions, but he eventually made a choice that changed everything.
He made his way to pursue fine arts at Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), followed by a master’s and doctorate overseas and now he is none other than the Director General of the National Visual Arts Development Board, National Visual Art Gallery (NAG), YBhg Prof. Dato Dr. Mohamed Najib bin Ahmad Dawa. Given an illustrative and admirable career, he had the vision of setting up a career development scheme that would prepare art entrepreneurs to set their own enterprise with the right skill set. Hence, the birth of YAE!
Already in its 4th year, YAE! is a seventeen-week preparatory course on entrepreneurship that focuses on required skills needed to succeed as art entrepreneurs. Artists are provided with a studio space, and they are also guided by dedicated mentors and experienced coaches to develop the required mindset, knowledge, and skill set to aid their transition from being an artist to becoming more of an entrepreneur.
They will be taught skills like conceptualising a business idea, understanding how to start a business, crafting a business plan, sourcing finance for their new ventures, hiring and training support staff, managing as well as growing their own enterprises. At the end of the four-month training, participants may choose to be art professional or owners of art businesses or a combination of both. Via its Art Depot, this programme would house resident artists that would eventually become a tourist destination where art lovers congregate to find handcrafted products made in Malaysia for the world. #supercool
If you want to know more about YAE! and how you can participate, click here