Filipino-Canadian painter with special needs launches art exhibit

Cecile Docto, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 10 2019 09:29 PM

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VANCOUVER—Karissa Narukami was diagnosed with moderate to severe autism spectrum disorder when she was 2.

About the same time, her parents also discovered her extraordinary talent in painting.

"One day she just started drawing, and my mom noticed that it was a bit different," says Aiko Narukami, Karissa’s sister.

The family also found out that Karissa has topographic memory, which means she remembers the contour, design, shape, or structure of places, persons and objects.

The 21-year-old painter, who has no formal art training, has been offered a scholarship by Emily Carr University of Art and Design.

Karissa loves painting people, animals and flowers in a highly detailed manner, using ink and watercolor as her medium.

Her father, Dennis, says her moods are reflected in every color, style and stroke in her paintings.

It was Karissa who thought of "The Edge" as the title of her art exhibit.

Karissa’s family expressed their support for the young artist.

"I'm very proud of her. She has worked very hard to get where she is now and I know that she’ll continue to go far as long as she keeps doing what she’s doing," Aiko says.

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