Kuching Autistic Association turns room into art gallery to showcase students’ artworks, handicrafts

Dr Sim (centre) admiring the handicrafts by KAA students.

By Ling Hui

KUCHING, April 23: The Kuching Autistic Association (KAA) has refurbished a multi-purpose room in its educational centre into an Autism Art Gallery to showcase their students’ artworks, merchandise and handicrafts.

KAA president Dr Catherine Chen said the refurbishment cost RM29,800 which was derived from the funds contributed by the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) Foundation.

The bulk of the funds by LSEG Foundation, she added, was used for the production of artwork merchandise known as the Autism Art range consisting of KAA’s t-shirts, mugs, bags, coasters, notebooks, umbrellas, keychains, and magnets.

“In 2020, the sales of Autism Art merchandise generated more than RM75,000 for KAA.

“From January 2021 to January 2022, the sales of Autism Art merchandise raised more than RM104,000,” she said during the launch of the Autism Art Gallery at KAA Education Centre in Batu Kawa here today.

Dr Chen added that the idea of establishing the Autism Art Gallery was first conceived in 2018 when KAA was offered a space in the lobby of Hilton Hotel to set up an art gallery to display and sell their students’ artworks.

She pointed out that the gallery then was well received by the public and the designs as well as handmade items showcased then proved to be very saleable.

In December 2019, the gallery had to be moved to KAA’s own premises as the hotel was undergoing renovation. The aspiration to set up a proper gallery kicked off then and there.

The opening ceremony was officiated by Deputy Premier Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian and also attended by LSEG Charity Committee chairperson Voon Boh Ning, LSEG Charity Committee relationship manager Dayang Amydzweina, KAA vice president Cynthia Jee and KAA fund-raising chairperson Connie Yeo.— Dayakdaily