Events StarMetro, Monday 4 February 2008
Article by Tho Xin Yi
Photo by wkimkiat

What happens when hundreds of rats ‘invade’ an art institution? 

We can assure you that no one went scampering about screaming and no pest controllers were summoned. It actually turned out to be a very calm affair.

These special ‘rats’ were merely sculptures created by the Top-Art School of Art and Design students aged 12 and below for their special rat-themed exhibition.

Their creative works surely got the attention of the visitors of the exhibition who were surprised by the unique and often funny depiction of the pesky rats.

Being the chosen zodiac for this Chinese New Year, the rat has been enjoying almost a celebrity status this year. And the exhibition is one of the many ‘tributes’ in honour of this little creature.

Top-Art founder Goh Ah Ang said that throughout the sculpture making process, the students also had the opportunity to learn more about the Chinese culture.

“We told them stories about the 12 zodiacs and they found it very fascinating,” said the 54-year-old.

Besides, art plays an integral part in a child’s mental and intellectual development, he added.

“It stretches their imaginations, improves their observations and trains them to be dexterous,” said Goh.

Eventhough the rats are often reviled, Goh and his teachers have been teaching the children to be kind to the little creature.

“Look at Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse, people often forget that it’s actually a rat. We should treat all creatures equally,” he said.

The choice of clay as the material to make the sculptures is significant as well.

“Clay is from the earth. We are able to produce beautiful things from it.

“Clay is soft when it’s wet and hard when it’s dry – this represents the yin and yang duality,” said Goh.

Goh pointed out that the three main features of the rats are its long tail, big ears and pointy mouth.

Goh said that with the basic information given to them, the children used their vivid imaginations to produce extraordinary sculptures.

“For instance, we told them about the story of a rat marrying a cat in the hope of ending their predator and prey relationship.

“One of the kids then made a rat and put it on a motorbike, saying that it is the bride’s ex-boyfriend and wants to catch up with the wedding troupe to win its love back,” said Goh.

Titled “Rat Says,” the exhibition tells the stories of rats through some adorable sculptures.

“Different colours generate different feelings. We let the children speak through the colours as well,” said Goh.

The exhibition is opened to public from 11am – 5pm daily until Feb 5. Top-Art is located at 43-B&C, Jalan Taiping, 41400 Klang, Selangor.

For details, call 03-33421753.


Proclaiming undying love: Will you marry me
Time to indulge: A family sharing a sweet corn.
Me first: Three little rats sharing the Chinese ang ku kuih.
It’s all about quality lifestyle: A family of rats enjoying a reunion.
Sharing the cake of development and growth.