Skip to main content

Advertisement

Advertisement

Teen artist raises S$55,000 for charity

SINGAPORE — Over the past seven years, teen artist Toh Bing Wei has been selling his artworks for charity, and the 17-year-old ushered in the new year by raising his largest amount to date — S$55,000 — during his first solo exhibition.

SINGAPORE — Over the past seven years, teen artist Toh Bing Wei has been selling his artworks for charity, and the 17-year-old ushered in the new year by raising his largest amount to date — S$55,000 — during his first solo exhibition.

Nearly half of the funds raised came from the sale, by auction, of one of his paintings, which was sold for S$25,000, the highest amount yet for any of his artworks. Named Red-Crowned Cranes, it was painted when he was only 10.

“I chose to donate this piece because it symbolises happiness. It is also about how the generous donation will help the talents in the programme take flight,” said Bing Wei.

“This is one of my favourite paintings,” he added, explaining that the innocence of the artist is shown through the piece.

Proceeds from the sale of this painting will go to the The Business Times Budding Artists Fund. The charity auction, attended by about 400 guests, was one of the highlights of Bing Wei’s exhibition held from Dec 23 to Jan 6.

The remaining S$30,000 came from the sale of his coffee table book, titled In Search of Charm: When a Brush meets a Palette, which was sold for S$100 per copy.

The money raised will go towards Life Anew!, a fund set up by Prisons Fellowship Singapore, an organisation that rehabilitates prisoners and supports their families.

Speaking to TODAY, Bing Wei said he started taking art classes since he was about five and he developed a fondness for using Chinese ink after taking up Chinese calligraphy when he was studying at Nanyang Primary School. In 2007, Bing Wei was a recipient of the UOB Most Promising Young Artist award.

Describing art as a hobby, Bing Wei’s focus has always been on philanthropy. He began donating his works when he was 10, starting with the sale of 20 artworks to raise funds for an event at his primary school.

He credited his parents for teaching him to give back to the less fortunate. “As a family, we will always go to the Assisi Hospice. Our family will have our own stall there on its fund-raising day ... So it was an inspiration to me,” he said.

He added that as he was an only child, “my parents always try to give me the best. I feel very fortunate and whenever I see the less fortunate, I feel inclined to help”.

The experience from auctioning his works for charity has helped him develop his personal style as an artist, added the final-year Raffles Junior College student.

Noting that Bing Wei wants to give back to those in need because he “realises he is a very blessed, privileged child” with a supportive family, Dr William Wan, Chairman of Prison Fellowship Singapore, said: “That kind of mindset is much needed. There are two types of people in the world: The givers and the takers. Bing Wei is growing up to be a giver.”

Read more of the latest in

Advertisement

Popular

Advertisement

Stay in the know. Anytime. Anywhere.

Subscribe to get daily news updates, insights and must reads delivered straight to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, I agree for my personal data to be used to send me TODAY newsletters, promotional offers and for research and analysis.