It all started when GC Mah was at McLaren’s showroom in Glenmarie. Being a fan of 3-time Formula 1 Champion, Ayrton Senna, he was instantly drawn to a painting of him that was on display.
Upon closer inspection, to his surprise, the picture which he thought was a print due to how realistic it looked, was actually hand-painted. After some probing, it turns out that the painting was the work of a local artist from Ipoh.
Her name is Karwai, and having spoken to her briefly through the phone, here’s her story.
Ever since she was a child, Karwai always had a passion for all things art and paintings, and at the tender age of 14, she sold her first piece of art for SGD500 (approx. RM1,500) and it wasn’t of a car! Her first big break, however, came a few years ago when a painting she drew fetched up to SGD 2,888 at an auction in Singapore.
Given the exposure, she started receiving countless enquiries from car enthusiasts and collectors for paintings of their personal cars. It was then she started taking an interest in all things cars and has not looked back since – with a series of ultra-realistic motorsport-inspired paintings including the recently crowned Formula 1 Champion Lewis Hamilton and Sebastien Vettel.
It’s no easy feat as you’d imagine, with some commissioned paintings taking more than a month to complete. Patience aside, you’d better have deep pockets before getting in touch with her as some of her paintings will easily set you back RM40,000!
Not wanting to limit herself to just automotive and motorsport-inspired art pieces, Karwai has also painted potraits of royalties and landscapes but that’s not all. At the present time, her clientele stretches far and wide across the region, with clients all the way from Sydney, Australia.
With a heart as pure as her smile, Karwai donated five paintings just recently which were sold for RM1 million each. All of the proceeds went to assist our local Covid-19 frontliners, with the initiative receiving high praise from our Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.