A charity art exhibition has raised $350,000 for children with cancer, with the sale of 78 out of 120 paintings by students of master painter Lin Lu Zai. A collaboration between Viva Foundation for Children with Cancer and Aspiration Fine Arts society, the fund-raising drive exceeded the initial target of $100,000 with the support of the Tote Board's matching grant. The exhibition displays Chinese ink and oil paintings, as well as ikebana or Japanese flower arrangements. The art society took up the exhibition opportunity when a student of Mr Lin's, former MP Cynthia Phua, who is also a board member of Viva Foundation, approached Mr Lin about it. Minister for Communications and Information Josephine Teo, who officiated the opening ceremony last Tuesday (Nov 16), said: "Art has the ability to uplift spirits and unite communities. That is the added contribution of the charity art exhibition, beyond raising funds to support Viva Foundation's Life Program for child cancer survivors." The exhibition was open to the public from last Wednesday to Sunday.
Mr Lin told The Straits Times: "I'm really heartened the paintings did so well, thanks to the hard work of the students to create and promote their works to their family and friends. "It was very heartwarming to see the students coming together to prepare for the exhibition and raise funds for the cause. We're lucky to be able to give back to society while improving ourselves through making art." One of his students, Ms Cheryl Yeong, managed to sell 16 art pieces at the charity exhibition. The freelancer, 29, said: "I was studying mass communications in university and things were not working out. Feeling lost, I decided to take a gap year in my second year to figure out what I want to do. I was desperate to do something, so I tried something new - sketching classes. It sparked my curiosity, and I decided to take a chance and take the entrance exam for fine arts in NAFA (Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts). It was quite a big and stressful decision to go off the beaten path, but I thought 'why not? This is something I can do, and I'm young.'" Ms Yeong said she is passionate about children's charities and is a lifelong donor of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. "There's not much we can do for kids with cancer, but I'm glad I could do something to help. I'm really thankful people are willing to buy and display my works even though I'm not a professional artist. One of the best things to do with something you're good at is giving back to society."
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