‘Paint Me a Garden’ showcases artworks from aspiring adult artists


I LOVE art in all its form and I’ve always wished that I was gifted in painting and such. One thing I’ve wanted to do is take up a beginner art class and now I am able to do that with a course offered under the Malaysian Institute of Art (MIA).

The Drawing and Painting Class for Adults is guided by an experienced instructor, Liew Kwai Fei, a professional artist who has been practicing for more than 10 years. The class is offered under the Extra-Mural Studies Department of MIA Enterprise Sdn Bhd.

The creative outputs of the latest crop of students is currently on show at the “Paint Me a Garden” art exhibition at The LINC KL in Kuala Lumpur (KL) till March 26. The group exhibition showcases 91 pieces of artworks by 28 students who have participated in the Drawing and Painting Class for Adults. There is abstract art and digital art, illustration and paintings of street scenes, still life, portrait, imagination, a dog and others.

Flexible Mode of Teaching

According to Lieu, the purpose of the exhibition is to let everyone, including the students, see each other’s artworks because each of them was doing their own work during class using different methods. Hence, the exhibition allows the students to see others’ artworks and be inspired.

“What I provide to my student is a training platform or opportunity for my students to express themselves freely through art as each of them has a different upbringing, talent, artwork intention and comes from diverse background,” the instructor told The Malaysian Reserve. 

He said it is quite enjoyable to teach an adult art class, not hard at all, but his teaching method has to be flexible instead of just sticking to one medium or one way of instructing. Thus, the only challenge comes from needing to constantly change his teaching method or find one that suits the individuals from different age groups. Lieu has been at the MIA campus for almost nine years.

Aspiring Artists

The youngest student in the group, Sara Lee Xin Yi, 17, contributed five pieces of artworks to the exhibition. Two of her paintings were inspired by “Spiriting Away”, a Japanese animated fantasy film.

Sara Lee started taking classes at the MIA at the age of 14. At first, she joined the online watercolour class during the Movement Control Order (MCO) in November 2020. Upon completing the three sessions, she sent over 10 paintings to get MIA’s special approval to join the weekend class, which basically only university students or adults can participate. After the MCO ended, the physical class sessions are held monthly at the MIA campus on Jalan Ampang for RM100 per session.

The aspiring artist’s favourite mediums are using watercolour, colour pencil and arylic, as well as oil painting. She cites her lecturer Lieu as her inspiration and plans to further her studies in art.

Sara Lee has five artworks on display, which are available for sale from RM350 to RM600. The “Paint Me a Garden” art exhibition is open to the public from 10am to 10pm till March 26, 2023, at the Event Space on Level 2 of The LINC KL. Entrance is free.