An ink painting of lotuses by Beijing artist Liu Yanshui raised $60,000 for the Singapore Chinese Orchestra (SCO) at its gala dinner and concert on Friday night, the first time an artwork has been auctioned at its annual fund-raiser.
Glorious Lotuses was sold through silent bidding among the 500 guests, who included guest of honour, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, and his wife at The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore.
Trans-Cab managing director Teo Kiang Ang was the successful bidder, contributing to the total $1.16 million SCO collected at the evening of good food and music.
Sin Hua Gallery owner Chan Kok Hua, 59, who donated the painting, said: "The artist visited the lotus pond at the Singapore Botanic Gardens in 2007 and painted it later in Beijing."
SCO chairman Patrick Lee, 67, said: "The art auction is a new fund-raising method and I thank Mr Chan for his donation."
In his message for the event, PM Lee said: "SCO will continue its role as one of Singapore's cultural ambassadors with concerts in Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur this month and in December respectively.
"But SCO's success could not have been achieved without the generous support of many individuals, the community, foundations and corporations."
At the dinner concert, Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong's wife Tan Choo Leng, who is a lawyer and SCO board member, sang four Mandarin songs to raise $180,000.
Also performed by SCO's 85-member orchestra were Dick Lee's Home and a medley of songs from local Mandarin TV drama serials and Independent Note, a symphonic poem by Singapore-based British composer Eric Watson, with excerpts from Singapore's late founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew's famous speeches narrated by actor Lim Kay Tong.