His art show is expression of hope despite pain

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(19 April 2016, Tuesday) Nafa grad, 23, prepares for exhibition even as he battles Stage 4 colorectal cancer.

Mr Muhammad Khairul Ikwan, a Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (Nafa) graduate, was diagnosed with Stage 4 colorectal cancer last year. At age 23, the young man has lost much of his vision, hearing and hair, and no longer parties as he once did with friends. But instead of wallowing in despair, he is launching an exhibition of 87 art pieces, titled Hope, at the school on Thursday, which represent his experience battling his illness. He said: “I want people to see that hope can be anything – even negative things, like illness, can become positive things as well. I don’t want people to see pain as a hindrance to stop them from what they want to do in life.”

Jointly organised by Nafa and HCA Hospice Care, the exhibition fulfils one of Mr Khairul’s greatest wishes under the Star Pals palliative care programme for youth with life-limiting illnesses. Apart from paintings, Khairul is also exhibiting mixed media works with synthetic hair, photographs, a video and a fabric piece. Calling art a therapeutic outlet, he said his role model is Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, who uses her artwork as a way to express her mental illness.

The exhibition, which is free, will be at the Nafa on-air gallery from April 21 to 25.

Media: The Straits Times, Page B4

Full article here:
http://www.nafa.edu.sg/media/2016/TheStraitsTimesHome19Apr16.pdf

南洋艺术学院 Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts
http://www.fsi.com.my/nafa/

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