The difficult art of raising artists

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The Kuala Lumpur College of Art existed for 34 years before closing down in 2002. The recent reunion of its staff and students raises the question of art education, and the triumphs and failures of art schools.

In the merriment of laughter and songs, the most pressing question was not pushed to its crisis. Everything was hunky-dory on that October 18 night of the reunion of the Kuala Lumpur College of Art (KLCA, 1968-2002).

These classmates and lecturers had not met for decades, not in such numbers anyway. It was just a happy-happy gettogether in a restaurant in KL, not a reinterment of the pioneer art institution. Still, why there hadn’t been such a celebration since its 30th Anniversary in November 1996 is mystifying.

So this occasion was a time of catch-up for the lost years: to reminisce, and to regale one another about their youth when they brimmed with ambition and were poised on the cusp of new careers and new lives.


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