Filipino Canadian painter with special needs launches Vancouver solo art exhibit

VANCOUVER — Karissa Narukami was diagnosed with moderate to severe autism spectrum disorder at the age of 2.

Around the same time, Karissa’s parents also discovered her extraordinary talent for painting.

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

“One day she just started drawing, and my mom noticed that it was a bit different.”

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 with ink and watercolor as her medium.

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

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

Karissa’s family expressed their support for this 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,” said her sister Aiko.

“No matter what we love you. We’ll always love you,” said Dennis.

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