Do you often find yourself out of ideas on where to go or what to do over the weekends? Because that’s my weekly dilemma. Between having to drive to unfamiliar places, steering through unpredictable traffic, and the fear of having the destination not fulfil your expectations, more often than not, I end up just staying at home.
However, last Saturday, I decided to drive to KEDAI KL, MAHSA Avenue to pay Digital Art Gallery (DAG) a visit. If you haven’t heard, KEDAI KL is an artisanal marketplace located within MAHSA Avenue, which is a project run by MAHSA University.
Among the stores available in KEDAI KL is DAG, an art gallery by Filamen and MAHSA University that showcases the work of digital artists. This joint effort promises an effortless and easy entry for media artists interested in exhibiting their work without the traditional hassle one expects.
What primarily piqued my interest in visiting DAG was the ongoing exhibition, named The World Through His Eye: An Immersive Visual Experience By Rashwin. It ran from 7th June to 17th July - the poster caught my eye and eventually led me to visit the gallery.
As you draw the blackout curtains, you’ll be greeted by the digital gallery’s modest-sized exhibition space. Ambient music plays, setting the mood as you take in the kaleidoscopic visuals that envelop you from every direction.
It begins with single artworks that have been mirrored, creating a prismatic pattern that digitally paints every square foot of DAG. Towards the end, each piece is laid out in a collage, where visitors can have a macro view and admire how they differ from one another. A single sequence of Rashwin’s digital exhibition lasts approximately five minutes but it does, however, loop seamlessly.
Every art piece produced by the artist exudes youthful, carefree energy. Crayon-like strokes come together and create a series of interesting patterns in a multitude of different colours. Each design looks different from the next, yet all together, they’re thematic – radiating the artist’s vivid artistic abilities.
Although every artwork translates uniquely from viewer to viewer, the pairing of each piece with the soothing ambient music can easily transport you to a different realm. It becomes even more interesting as you learn about the person who has created the work you’re viewing.
Some may be surprised to learn about the artist behind the digital art exhibition. Rashwin, who will be turning 5 years old this year, was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder when he was just 20 months old. Rashwin’s mother, Krish, shared that her suspicions grew as he was progressing towards his milestones at a slower rate compared to others of the same age.
Rashwin was actually non-verbal until the age of 3 and instead could only make sounds or cry to express his needs. Early detection, family acceptance, and intervention laid a steady foundation for autistic children like Rashwin. He can, however, respond to calls for his name and speak his desires, understand yes and no, and follow simple instructions. He has created progress by being able to adapt to social cues and has an improved attention span, which is an obvious reason for celebration.
One of Rashwin’s notable wins is having his name recorded in The Malaysia Book of Records for being able to identify 198 national flags within a span of 10 minutes! He has a deep interest in digital art drawings, which he has practised since the age of 3, and has since had the opportunity to showcase them online and physically on Autism Awareness Day.
Krish hopes that Rashwin’s journey will continue to inspire other children on the Autism Spectrum as he, too, progresses his way through life as a child with Autism.
Kedai KL isn’t your run-of-the-mill shopping mall. It’s a small, ever-changing marketplace with small entrepreneurs, local businesses, and labels you may have never heard of.
Thanks to its aesthetically-pleasing, Instagram-alluring facade and design, you might have seen photos of your friends visiting Kedai KL on social media for shopping, dining, coffee, attending a workshop, or even getting their hair done.
If you’re looking to immerse yourself in digital art or are simply curious about the entire experience, consider paying DAG a visit. Visitors can pay for the RM8/pax entry fee via QR pay. There is also an open space car park across MAHSA Avenue for easy parking.
For more info on DAG, click here to visit their Instagram.