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Deaf artist hopes sponsors will help make Beijing invite a reality

NEW YORK: A Malaysian deaf artist here has been invited to hold an interactive art exhibition at the prestigious Central Academy of Fine Arts (Cafa) Museum in Beijing next month.

New York University (NYU) graduate student Leon Lim (pic) said he received an invitation from the museum recently to showcase his work “Silent Story” comprising a collection of four projected moving-image displays from July 10.

“I hope to promote Malaysian contemporary art in the Beijing museum, which has drawn much global interest for its state-of-the art architecture and exhibits,” said Lim, whose works have been exhibited at galleries such as the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington DC and the World Financial Center here.

Alor Setar-born Lim intends to leave for Beijing on July 6 to set up his multimedia installations but his plans may be derailed if he is unable to raise sufficient funds for the trip.

“I have written to numerous companies, government agencies and organisations in Malaysia for sponsorship but have not received any positive reply,” said Lim, who needs US$5,000 (RM17,500) for the trip.

Deafness is part of my identity. It is not an illness... LEON LIM

He added that the Cafa Museum was subsidising US$50,000 (RM175,000) on exhibition space for 25 artists to display their works and was also taking care of the shipping, installation and insurance costs.

“The museum has indicated it will be happy to promote any Malaysian organisation or corporation which is interested in sponsoring my travel and participation,” he said in an e-mail interview.

Those interested in finding out more about the exhibition can contact him at leonlim26@hotmail.com.

Lim, who is pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree in Interactive Communication at NYU, does not have any scholarship and supports himself by working part-time.

Aspiring to form his own company promoting art and film-making in Malaysia one day, he does not see deafness as a disability.

Born profoundly deaf, Lim said his parents only realised his predicament when he was two years old.

“Deafness is part of my identity. It is not an illness or disorder. I cannot hear or speak but I can communicate by writing or through sign language,” he added.

The former student of the Federation School for the Deaf in Penang first arrived in New York in 2000 to study at the Rochester Institute of Technology with three scholarships.

His multimedia installations and public artworks have been exhibited in the United States and South Korea. He has also been invited to exhibit his work in Russia and Italy.

Lim is also planning to hold an exhibition at Universiti Sains Malaysia’s Art Gallery in Penang soon.

The Star Newspaper:

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