Prof. Yvette S. Malahay-Kim

Prof. Yvette S. Malahay-Kim

Splashing Colors on Life 

 Image“Imagine life without color. It would surely be dull living in a world that is monochromatic, monotonous!” says this artist.  

She comes off as someone whom you can easily get along with. Her aura and simplicity draw you towards her. “Curious”, “adventurous” and a “dreamer” are three words she uses to describe herself. 

 Her curiosity about everything that meets her eye stimulates her creativity. “What I see, what I feel from seeing it, drives me to do art. Be it a painting, a photograph, a mixed media art or any other medium I want to experiment with,” she says.

She adds that colors play a big factor in her life as they drive her to carry out almost everything in every day. Colors even influence her choice of grocery items. “Colors can also drive my mood or emotions. If I see a lot of blue around, I will likely feel, as the song goes, ‘bluer than blue’. If I see red dominantly, I feel fired up on something!”

She thrives for outdoor adventures: hiking, biking, taking a road trip, or exploring places she hasn’t been to. Her idea of a relaxing day includes hanging out in the “beach, lounging on a chair with an ice-cold drink or be on top of the mountain and just gazing at the glory of God’s creation”. Even her art creations emphasize her adventurous side. “Eclectic” is how she describes her art style, believing that it is better to have many styles, for that’s how artists discover their elements and that’s how they grow.

And just what exactly goes behind a dreamer’s mind? Perhaps dreamers can see things beyond what is visible to the naked eye. “Most people think that it is only when we open our eyes and look at objects, we see colors. But the fact is, even if we close our eyes, we still see colors. This is of course a physiological phenomenon. Even in my subconscious life in dreams, colors are big players in it,” she says.


Prof. Yvette S. Malahay-Kim, “Ivy” to friends and colleagues, is the Chairperson of the Fine Arts Department of the College of Performing and Visual Arts. She joined Silliman in 1995 as a lecturer teaching Fine Arts 51, an Art Appreciation subject. (During that year, the University started working on its Bachelor of Fine Arts curriculum.) But her career with Silliman was cut short; her passion for the arts remained strong though. In 1996, Ivy married Korean Taekwondo instructor Mr. Joshua Kim. During her married life, she gave birth to her two kids (Bezalel, now 14, and  Zuriel, now 6) and explored other interests (music, outdoors, sports, photography, video, crafts and food).

It was a year after she completed Master of Fine Arts at the University of the Philippines-Diliman that she reunited with Silliman and is now on her fifth year, taking on other responsibilities as member of two committees: Cultural Affairs and Campus Beautification. Ivy is proud to have served as adviser and mentor to the first batch of Bachelor of Fine Arts students who will graduate in 2013. 

As to teaching art, she lets her students discover their own style in art making. “I treat students’ canvas as sacred, that they are the only ones who have the right to touch it. With that, respect grows from each party.”

Let’s get to know Ivy more outside the four walls of the classroom.

Describe yourself in three words. 

 Curious. Adventurous. Dreamer.

What is your mantra in life? 

“You reap what you sow”, and “less is more”.

What makes you laugh/cry? 

I laugh at jokes, funny stories from family and friends, funny movies and TV sitcoms. Family, friends are in pain, sad movies or TV series and when I get so frustrated and so stressed-out about something are the things that can make me cry.

What’s your favorite time/day of the week and why?

My favorite time of the day is dawn/dusk because it is when the Creator flaunts the beauty of this world through the various colors seen in the sky. It also shows us the binarism in our world that while the day begins, it also ends in another part of the world. Inversely, as the day ends here, it begins in another part of the world.

I like Saturdays! No work. No need to wake up early.

ImageWhat do you love doing when not working? 

I love taking a hike, riding a bike to the outdoors, explore places that I haven't been to, take a road trip (by driving) via car or motorbike, make an artwork, hang-out with friends, watch a movie or do marathon runs of my favorite television series.

What is your favorite hangout place in the University?

It’s the corner of the 3rd floor of Guy Hall facing the Administration building. My first office (1995) was located there. It’s my best spot because it has the view of both the mountains and the sea and the Silliman church as well. I also love the row of acacia trees. It has the most majestic view.

What makes you blush? 

When I am talked about and I am there hearing it!

If you were an actor/actress, who would you be? 

Funny that even if I like to watch movies and TV, I didn't find any that captured my interest enough for me to read about his/her life. But if I could rephrase the question, if I were a performer, who would I be? Then I would answer BONO or Paul Hewson of the Irish band U2. I admire him for his artistry and how he uses his popularity to engender his advocacy and his faith in God. Not many artists can do so and remain in show business for more than 3 decades!

Tell us a fact about yourself?

I am a hard worker.

What’s your favorite game growing up? 

Many games such as patintero, bulan-bulan, kayokok, takyan, chinese garter and piko.

What is your idea of a relaxing day? 

A day that would be spent outdoors, from the beach lounging on a chair with an ice cold drink or could be on the mountain top and just gazing at the glory of God's creation.

What one thing would people be interested to know about you? 

I used to have long hair too! Way back in high school and college. 

What song best describes the YOU and the life you have now? 

“I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For” by U2 and “All I Ever Have To Be” be Amy Grant.

What is the first thing you do right after waking up in the morning? 

Thank God that I am still breathing, thus I am still here for my family, friends and my work.

What’s your idea of a family? 

My idea of a family is that all members of this unit are physically together, not remotely. It could be bound by blood or by good relationships tested by time and trials.