World Art Day: Rainbow Centre Students Find Their Voices Through Art

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World Art Day: Rainbow Centre Students Find Their Voices Through Art

STORY: Nicholas Yong
15 April 2022
Artworks by (from left) Chew Ling Xi Janevi, Aiman Syafiq, and Muhammad Rifky Shauqi Bin Md Ricky Famie from the Rainbow Centre Artability Programme.
Artworks by (from left) Chew Ling Xi Janevi, Aiman Syafiq, and Muhammad Rifky Shauqi Bin Md Ricky Famie from the Rainbow Centre Artability Programme. | Images: Rainbow Centre

Students who are not accustomed to expressing themselves verbally may find a voice through art to tell their story. It also gives their caregivers, educators and supporters some insight into what matters to them, and how they interpret the world around them.

The above excerpt from Rainbow Centre Singapore's website best describes the organisation's inspiring art programme for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder and/or multiple disabilities.

If that sounds familiar, it might be because you read our feature about "Beauty of Art" in February - a collaborative exhibition with cosmetics company Shiseido Asia Pacific featuring artworks by student artists who used upcycled cosmetics as mediums to produce some truly outstanding work on canvas.

Artwork by Daniel Terence Lagman, 18, from the Rainbow Centre Artability Programme.
Artwork by Daniel Terence Lagman, 18, from the Rainbow Centre Artability Programme. | Image: Rainbow Centre
 Artwork by Tan Khai Sheng Tyron, 17, from the Rainbow Centre Artability Programme.
Artwork by Tan Khai Sheng Tyron, 17, from the Rainbow Centre Artability Programme. | Image: Rainbow Centre

This World Art Day - an international day celebrated every 15 April by UNESCO to promote the development, diffusion and enjoyment of art - we turn the spotlight on student artists of the Rainbow Centre, and how they have been given a voice to express themselves through the power of art.

Artwork by Mohammad Fadhlurrahman Bin Mohammad Zulkarnean, 17, from the Rainbow Centre Artability Programme.
Artwork by Mohammad Fadhlurrahman Bin Mohammad Zulkarnean, 17, from the Rainbow Centre Artability Programme. | Image: Rainbow Centre
Artwork by Yap Jia Hui, 18, from the Rainbow Centre Artability Programme.
Artwork by Yap Jia Hui, 18, from the Rainbow Centre Artability Programme. | Image: Rainbow Centre
Artwork by Lee Yong Yee Javier, 17, from the Rainbow Centre Artability Programme.
Artwork by Lee Yong Yee Javier, 17, from the Rainbow Centre Artability Programme. | Image: Rainbow Centre

What is the Rainbow Centre?

According to its website, this social service agency says they envision a world where persons with disabilities are empowered and thriving in inclusive communities.

Through practical education, support, and training programmes, they provide opportunities for people with disabilities to maximise their potential and meaningfully engage in society.

Artwork by Ashley Yan Wing Yan, 15, from the Rainbow Centre Artability Programme.
Artwork by Ashley Yan Wing Yan, 15, from the Rainbow Centre Artability Programme. | Image: Rainbow Centre
Artwork by Chew Ling Xi Janevi, 16, from the Rainbow Centre Artability Programme.
Artwork by Chew Ling Xi Janevi, 16, from the Rainbow Centre Artability Programme. | Image: Rainbow Centre
Artwork by Khairul Safari Bin Razali, 17, from the Rainbow Centre Artability Programme.
Artwork by Khairul Safari Bin Razali, 17, from the Rainbow Centre Artability Programme. | Image: Rainbow Centre

How did art become integral to the Rainbow Centre?

Art is important to the centre – it is part of the curriculum for all students, from the Early Intervention programme (for children up to the age of 6) to the Special Education course (SPED; for those up to the age of 18). SPED students can opt to add “visual arts” as a CCA too. 

The Rainbow Centre also identifies student artists with potential to join the “Artability Programme” which provides them with dedicated coaching and training, and introduces students to new creative techniques, to help them develop their own particular styles. The centre then collaborates with a variety of stakeholders to display the students' work in public.

Artwork by Peh Jia Rong, 9, from Rainbow Centre Yishun Park School
Artwork by Peh Jia Rong, 9, from Rainbow Centre Yishun Park School | Image: Rainbow Centre
Artwork by Sie Qing En, 13, from Rainbow Centre Yishun Park School
Artwork by Sie Qing En, 13, from Rainbow Centre Yishun Park School | Image: Rainbow Centre
Artwork by Bryan Oh, 16, from Rainbow Centre Yishun Park School
Artwork by Bryan Oh, 16, from Rainbow Centre Yishun Park School | Image: Rainbow Centre

“Artability” has served more than 35 art apprentices since the programme was introduced in 2018.

All of the masterpieces you see throughout this article were created by students from both the Visual Arts CCA in Yishun Park School and “Artability programme” apprentices.

Artwork by Aiman Syafiq, 18, from the Rainbow Centre Artability Programme.
Artwork by Aiman Syafiq, 18, from the Rainbow Centre Artability Programme. | Image: Rainbow Centre
Artwork by Nur Sabrina Binte Rahim, 17, from the Rainbow Centre Artability Programme.
Artwork by Nur Sabrina Binte Rahim, 17, from the Rainbow Centre Artability Programme. | Image: Rainbow Centre
Artwork by Kuah Hui Wen Rachel, 17, from the Rainbow Centre Artability Programme.
Artwork by Kuah Hui Wen Rachel, 17, from the Rainbow Centre Artability Programme. | Image: Rainbow Centre

Why is art is so important and beneficial to the students?

According to the centre, through the power of art, many of the students have developed stronger motor skills (such as using a paint brush), gained social skills (through collabs with others), acquired organisational skills (by planning an art piece), learnt discipline (meeting deadlines) and grown in confidence.

The “Artability Programme” aims to develop art skills in these passionate kids who possess creative flair so that it is possible for them to engage in art-related work opportunities in the future.

Click here to look back at some of the students’ past artworks. Many of them have a story to tell too.

Artwork by Nurin Farisha Binte Abdullah, 16, from the Rainbow Centre Artability Programme.
Artwork by Nurin Farisha Binte Abdullah, 16, from the Rainbow Centre Artability Programme. | Image: Rainbow Centre
Artwork by Mark Rojan Montenegro Tupas, 17, from the Rainbow Centre Artability Programme.
Artwork by Mark Rojan Montenegro Tupas, 17, from the Rainbow Centre Artability Programme. | Image: Rainbow Centre
Artwork by Muhammad Rifky Shauqi Bin Md Ricky Famie, 17, from the Rainbow Centre Artability Programme.
Artwork by Muhammad Rifky Shauqi Bin Md Ricky Famie, 17, from the Rainbow Centre Artability Programme. | Image: Rainbow Centre

How can I support these artists?

All of the artworks by "Artability Programme" apprentices you see in this article are for sale. Simply email artability@rainbowcentre.org.sg if you’re interested to purchase any of them.

You can also become a volunteer mentor to these budding artists and help them pursue their artistic journey.

Follow the Rainbow Centre on their socials so you can be the first to know when their next art exhibition (like the “Beauty of Art” held in The Fullerton Hotel Singapore) will be held.

Artwork by Rajendran Thilak Laxman, 17, from the Rainbow Centre Artability Programme.
Artwork by Rajendran Thilak Laxman, 17, from the Rainbow Centre Artability Programme. | Image: Rainbow Centre
Artwork by Quiana Kristen Rapisura Dela Cerna, 17, from the Rainbow Centre Artability Programme.
Artwork by Quiana Kristen Rapisura Dela Cerna, 17, from the Rainbow Centre Artability Programme. | Image: Rainbow Centre

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TAGS: Artist Behind The Art , Arts , Local talent
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