New Gardens by the Bay display to feature paintings by special needs artists

The display, titled Hydrangea Holidays, features 50 paintings by 27 artists. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO
Artists featured include Mr Chen Zhiyu (left) and Mr Shoban Pillai. PHOTOS: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - Visitors to the Gardens by the Bay's Flower Dome from now till Aug 14 will find artwork by special needs artists interspersed with a new floral display, in a first for the venue.

The display, titled Hydrangea Holidays, features 50 paintings by 27 artists who were inspired by scenes from the Netherlands and Gardens by the Bay, in a collaboration between Gardens by the Bay, Touch Community Services and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Singapore. It was launched on Friday (June 24) by Minister of State for Home Affairs and National Development Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim.

Mr Shoban Pillai, 46, whose painting is among those featured, said he was happy that his work was showcased at the venue.

Said another artist, Mr Chen Zhiyu, 38, whose painting depicted a cow: "I want to go to the Netherlands to see the animals there."

The artists are part of Touch's Journey initiative, which aims to harness the talent of people with special needs and to help them be more independent.

Touch's chief executive James Tan said: "This is a wonderful collaboration, because we are opening up the art pieces to the public at large, and we are able to take a look at what these artists can produce."

In addition, all the paintings are for sale via a silent auction for the duration of the display. Each artwork has a corresponding QR code underneath it, which the public can scan to submit their bids. The proceeds of the auction will go to the artists, and Touch for its programmes.

Mr Mihkaail Ng, the display's designer and the venue's assistant director of conservatory operations, said: "Through this collaborative process, we wanted to showcase the incredible talents and the unique creativity of the artists, and we hope that they will be able to generate funds through the silent auction."

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