(SEMASA) Ekuinas Empowers Creative Talent and Promotes the Sustainable Development of Malaysia’s Art Ecosystem Through Specially Curated ILTIZAM Seni Art Residency Programme

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KUALA LUMPUR, 21 May 2024: ILTIZAM, the corporate social responsibility (CSR) arm of Ekuiti Nasional Berhad (Ekuinas), concludes the inaugural cycle of ILTIZAM Seni Art Residency Programme (ILTIZAM Seni) with the unveiling of ‘First Chapter’, an art exhibition showcasing over 25 artworks at Galeri PUTEH. This landmark event, attended by distinguished art connoisseurs, collectors, and enthusiasts alike, celebrates six months of intensive development and creative exploration by seven talented young Bumiputera artists.

At the official opening of the exhibition, Dato’ Syed Yasir Arafat Syed Abd Kadir, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ekuinas, highlighted the importance of the arts on society, “At Ekuinas we believe the arts are not just a cultural asset but a driving force for economic growth, and social progress. By recognising and investing in the creative potential of individuals and communities, we can unlock new pathways to sustainable livelihoods, prosperity and build a brighter future for generations to come.”

The ILTIZAM Seni Art Residency Programme Cycle 1/2023 which commenced in October 2023 in collaboration with Galeri PUTEH is a holistic programme that aims to uplift and profile young Bumiputera fine arts graduates from low to middle-income households committed to forging careers in fine art. Supported by Ekuinas, the programme provided these artists with accommodation, studio space, all necessary art supplies, and a monthly allowance, allowing them to dedicate themselves entirely to their craft. The training provided was designed to not only enhance artistic skills but also to build essential competencies for a sustainable career in the arts, with modules on self-development, financial management, personal profiling and branding, presentation, and communication skills. This personal develop training was conducted in collaboration with Coach-2-Success (C2S).

The exhibition offers a professional platform for ILTIZAM Seni’s resident artists to showcase and commercialize their work, fruits of their six-month residency and carve their names in the competitive arts industry. The ‘First Chapter’ exhibition is open to the public until 26 May 2024. All exhibited artworks are available for purchase, the proceeds will help these young artists springboard their careers.

Dato’ Mutalib Alias, Board Member of Ekuinas and Chairman of Ekuinas CSR Committee presented certificates to the residents artists commemorating a graduation for the seven ILTIZAM Seni Cycle 1/2023 residents artists: Aimman Hafizal from Johor, Alya Nabihah from Selangor, Ayue Juman from Sabah, Azim Rodi from Kedah, Fudhail Said from Kedah, Ridhwan Yusof from Pulau Pinang and Shahnaz Azlin from Kedah. Their work spans a wide range of styles, from still life and self-portraiture to Japanese pop culture and pop art using diverse mediums, each exploring personal narratives, culminating into vibrant collection.

Dr. Jalaini Abu Hassan, a renowned contemporary artist and Professor of Fine Arts, was appointed as the mentor for ILTIZAM Seni. Reflecting on the significance of the exhibition, Dr Jalaini said, “This exhibition stands as a testament to ILTIZAM Seni’s commitment to nurturing young talent. It also reflects the success that arises when the dedication of various parties, including Ekuinas, Galeri PUTEH and the seven resident artists, acts as a catalyst for change. Truly, this convergence of aspirations has the potential to drive dynamic shifts in both artistic and economic development.”

“‘First Chapter’ showcases a rich harvest of artistic talent. To our seven resident artists, continue to dream boldly, create fearlessly, and push the boundaries of your imagination. With dedication and perseverance, there are no limits to what you can achieve. Having successfully graduated from ILTIZAM Seni Cycle 1/2023, we invite you to continue your journey with us by lending your expertise to future cycles, inspiring and empowering those who will walk the path after you,” said Dato Syed Yasir, in sharing a message of encouragement to the graduating artists.

ILTIZAM Seni stands as a flagship initiative within ILTIZAM’s Community pillar, alongside other programmes such as ILTIZAM Advance and ILTIZAM Catalyst which aims at developing and upscaling entrepreneurs under ILTIZAM Entrepreneurship pillar, and the Professional Development Programme (ILTIZAM PDP) aimed at empowering unemployed graduates under its Education pillar.

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