“Through Our Windows”
A view of the world through the eyes of autistic children

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Pameran Lukisan
Muhammad Salman Farisyi. (IO/Pebriawan)

Salman has only undergone this painting therapy for a year. However, Sofwan states that he is very proud of his son, and glad that the boy can create joyfully. Neither he nor Dina expected that their child could participate in many exhibitions. “Salman’s painting skills only became visible in April of last year. After that, his works were shown in Hadiprana Art Center in Kemang in November. Afterwards, he had the opportunity to paint on a Porsche in April this year, and the result was exhibited in Pondok Indah Mall for seven days. After that, his works were exhibited in the National Awakening Museum, here (in the MRT Stations), and in Ismail Marzuki Park. It all happened just like that,” he said. 

Dina said that Salman is currently concentrating on cherry blossoms. “That’s right, he keeps on painting these blossoms over and over. So he paints them for every exhibition, only using different colors and compositions,” she said. 

The involvement of Salman and his friends in these exhibition is inseparable from the efforts of their teacher, Timotius “Kak Toto” Suwarsito. “These 13-year-olds must constantly work on improving their focus and concentration. In Salman’s case, painting is still done as part of his therapy. He’s both the youngest participant and the one who started the latest in this exhibition. Like I said, he needs to train his focus and concentration. Therefore, I selected things that he can draw repetitively for this purpose, and painting cherry blossoms is definitely a great choice for him,” he said. 

Toto declares that he becomes involved in this exhibition because of his shared vision with kitaoneus.asia, which is to encourage the talent of autistic children. “As it happens, many of my students are autistic children with a sense of taste and dedication to their work. Therefore, I introduced them to Mbak Maria, who agreed to organize an exhibition for us,” he said. 

Toto has loved art all his life, even though he inherits no artistic blood from his family. He is a painting teacher active in several painting schools, ordinary schools, and private tutoring. He dedicates his efforts to grow the great artistic potential of autistic children. “I see a tremendous amount of potential here – one that people rarely want to grow, if any. Perhaps I’m the only person in existence who is both an active artist, who also guides special-need children in art. It is both a great challenge and a great chance,” he said.