Fund Raising Through Love and Art from The Valley of Hope
by Tan Ean Nee
Photo by Steven Liew, Liew Mun Hong & Fun Sayuri
Since July 2017, we encouraged the residents to paint, with the intention of exhibiting their artwork at our future Story Gallery. Although the old folks have no drawing basics and have never gone for any drawing classes, but we managed to get an art teacher to come here to teach them how to draw. Since the first art class, volunteers have come in from time to time to accompany the old folks to draw and ask them to tell the stories behind each painting. After compiling their stories and paintings, we uploaded them to our website so that their stories and art work can be shared widely. I discovered that the old folks enjoy the drawing process as they are free to express their ideas through their paintings.
I feel very touched with each of their artwork because it reflects their thinking, emotion and life experience. All their art work are simple, down-to earth and indeed priceless. As the Sentul Buddhist Temple will be organising a charity fair, I encouraged them to draw and contribute their paintings for the charity sale. All of them did not think that their paintings could be sold and they thought I was joking with them.
I told them that I was not kidding and explained to them the purpose of the charity fair. When they realised that they could actually help to raise money to help the temple to run an old folks home, education aid, diapers aid, free medical aid to the poor and etc, they were more than willing to help.
Initially they were worried that the people would doubt about their abilities and they were concerned that I would be embarrassed if their paintings are not able to sell.
As you can see now, there is no doubt that their art work is appreciated by many people, many of their paintings have been sold even to Taiwan, Hong Kong and China. Their paintings managed to raise RM5600 for the temple! It therefore proofs that they have the ability to help others despite their own limitations. I really hope that they can keep up the momentum and continue to draw more, and if possible contribute again to those who are in need.
My sincere thanks to Mr Tan Poh Chuan for conducting the first art class to get the ball rolling and Mr Eugene Lim, the director of Great Substance Sdn Bhd for sponsoring their art materials. Also, thanks to all the volunteers who have contributed their time and energy to accompany and encourage the old folks to draw. Last but not least, to all of you who have purchased their paintings, your supports have given all of us great encouragement! Thank you very much!