KUALA LUMPUR: Spring cleaning your home can often turn up a multitude of long-forgotten items that you no longer use but didn’t have the heart to throw out. Some may even be so damaged they should be dumped.
Lau Jing Xi’s mother was deep in her spring cleaning one day when she came upon stacks of old and scratched CDs. There were many blank ones as well that were bought for digital storage.
With music streaming services and YouTube today, she figured there was no need for these any longer. But instead of dumping them, she turned to her daughter and said: “Why don’t you repurpose them?”
And that was the beginning of Lau’s venture into painting CDs and vinyl records. Putting her creativity to the test, she painted flowers and landscape designs that turned junk into artwork.
A collection slowly materialised over the next two years. As Lau documented her painting process on social media, people began asking if her works were for sale.
That gave her the idea to start an Instagram page called Imajingation, through which she began to sell her completed works and the tote bags they inspired.
“I liked doodling when I was little, but being a kid, I didn’t have the right tools or resources to do it as much as I would have liked; so it’s good that I can do it now,” Lau, a 26-year-old from Kuala Lumpur, told FMT Lifestyle recently.
She’s entering her third year of painting. Depending on how intricate she wants her final product to look, one small CD can take between a couple of hours and a few days to complete.
Last month, she and a friend concluded an exhibition at GMBB, the art mall in Bukit Bintang. It was her first exhibition.
“Last year, when I visited GMBB for an exhibition, a friend suggested that I plan one of my own,” she said.
She was sceptical at first, but when she revisited the idea last February, she decided to give it a try.
“It took about four months of planning,” she said. “We named the exhibition Escapism because we all do feel the urge to escape from our hectic lives sometimes. This was especially so during the pandemic, when it was easy to feel trapped in your home.”
Lau occasionally conducts CD painting workshops in which participants learn the tricks and skills needed to paint on such a small canvas.
“The current series of workshops I’m holding is Taylor Swift themed since she’s in the middle of her Eras tour and I thought fans of her music would like this theme,” she said.
Each CD set purchased from Lau comes with a curated Spotify playlist that you can access by scanning the code attached. You can ask for additional songs to be added to the list.
How does Lau feel about being a digital marketing manager by day and an artist by night?
“I feel it’s all about balance and time management,” she said. “I always try to squeeze in time to do some painting at the end of a long work day or week because I like how calming it can be.”
So, if you want to bring out your artistic side and breathe a new life into your old CDs and vinyl records, why not give Lau’s workshop a try?
Follow Lau Jing Xi on Instagram for more information on her art and upcoming workshops.