Painting of phoenix among artworks by special school students at National Gallery

(From left) Singtel Group chief executive Yuen Kuan Moon, Second Minister for Education Maliki Osman and President Halimah Yacob at the Expressions Through Art exhibition at the National Gallery on Aug 17, 2022. ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

SINGAPORE - A phoenix rising out of a bed of ashes reminds Canossian School student Rex Chan to be brave.

The 12-year-old brought the scene to life in a painting titled The Invincible Phoenix, which is now on display at the Expressions Through Art exhibition at the National Gallery Singapore.

Launched on Wednesday (Aug 17), the exhibition, which features 120 paintings and sculptures by students from the 21 special education schools here, will be on display until Aug 28.

It is organised by Singtel and is the first such exhibition in Singapore.

Rex's acrylic painting - his first art piece - was inspired by the phoenix Fawkes in the Harry Potter films, which could be reborn after bursting into flames.

The deputy head prefect at Canossian School, who has a hearing impairment, said: "I drew it to remind myself that I should always stand strong and face all the difficult obstacles, and find solutions to tackle them.

"Drawing actually helps me to relax and free my mind so that I can lay down my burdens."

The school's art club teacher, Ms Serena Lee, 49, said her students love to express themselves through art.

"Some of them may not be doing well academically so when they do well in music or art, they can find an identity," she said. "They are more confident and their self-esteem goes up."

Canossian School student Rex Chan poses with his painting titled The Invincible Phoenix, on Aug 17, 2022. ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

President Halimah Yacob, who opened the exhibition with Second Minister for Education Maliki Osman, said she hopes more companies will support the less privileged.

She added: "As we grow as a nation, it is important that we continue to embrace diversity, leaving no community behind."

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