Creative arts allow for the expression of creativity and imagination, and are characterised by originality or inventiveness of thought. However, art is more than just painting a pretty picture. By combining various elements of design such as typography, colour and the right arrangement, a creative visual artist is able to harness art to convey compelling ideas effectively to the masses.
For Kendy Mitot, a lecturer from Tunku Abdul Rahman University College’s (‘TAR UC’) Faculty of Communication and Creative Industries (‘FCCI’), art is a visual language for creative expression that transcends time and may even be the primary means of exploring cultures that were never recorded in written documents. In other words, art is a method of recording visual data.
As an artist himself, Kendy’s artwork explores the traditional art of his native Bidayuh community. Through his art and research, he hopes to preserve traditional arts and culture which are in danger of becoming extinct in today’s modern society.
To do so, he uses contemporary arts to re-contextualise and share his community’s knowledge and values through creative storytelling, keeping such traditions alive as well as creating public awareness. His artworks have been featured at many exhibitions, most notably “Manah: A Living Legacy” which was hosted at Galeri Petronas in 2017. The exhibition featured a mix of artworks from indigenous artists from East Malaysia, recounting stories which have been passed down from generation to generation.
Besides using art as a method of preservation, Kendy also wishes to dispel the myth that art is just a hobby, and encourages young artists to not give up on their passion.
“In my opinion, art is more than just a hobby or a career. Art plays an integral part of our lives. If you have knowledge, passion and creativity, you have the means to change the world for the better.” he shared. “Contemporary artwork and the design industry in Malaysia has progressed over the years. Young designers and artists have started to explore and experiment with new ideas, concepts and mediums.”
“Malaysia is a melting pot of culture, in which each community’s heritage serves as an inspiration for design. There are now more opportunities for designers to showcase their work at medium scale events and activities related to arts, culture and design,” highlighted Kendy.
“Whilst the common misconception that a career as an artist is often unpredictable, the art scene in Malaysia has grown lively in recent years and with more people taking an active interest in art, there are now many new galleries and art spaces,” he added.
At TAR UC, design students are exposed to a wide range of design modules such as colour theory, typography, wet and dry media, packaging as well as design software application such as Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign.
Practical facilities such as multimedia labs, creative design workshops and studios provided by the faculty support the needs of TAR UC’s teaching and allow students to explore and develop their talents by supporting student’s hands-on learning in their respective programmes. For example, multimedia labs are equipped with Mac and Windows-based computers installed with up-to-date versions of industry-standard software.
Industrial training is also a compulsory part of the syllabus to provide students with industry experience and prepare them to hit the ground running after graduation. Apart from that, creative design lecturers also constantly update their teaching materials based on the latest developments in the creative industry and new trends.
Another highlight is V Gallery – an in-house art gallery managed by FCCI’s Department of Creative Industries. The space fosters diverse and experimental cross-over practices within the field of art and design, showcasing collaborations and student works from three main programmes – Graphic Design, Multimedia Design and Fashion Design. The gallery provides a platform for staff and students to showcase their artworks and projects through creative displays and curated exhibitions.
FCCI currently offers programmes in the fields of creative arts and mass communication at diploma and bachelor degree levels. To find out more about these programmes offered by FCCI, visit our website at www.tarc.edu.my for more information. Attractive scholarships are also available at TAR UC on the basis of academic merit,and there is also a sibling discount for qualified students.