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Beauty at the Fingertips
31 December 2019

The HCA Charity Art Exhibition: Finger Paintings by Wu Tsai Yen was a fitting and grand finale to HCA’s 30th anniversary, raising more than $150,000 to date. Guest-of-Honour Ms Sim Ann, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Communications and Information & Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, graced the opening ceremony: (above, from left) Dr Chong Poh Heng, Medical Director of HCA Hospice Care; Ms Wu Mei Siang, daughter of the late artist; Ms Angeline Wee, CEO of HCA Hospice Care; Ms Sim Ann; Mr Wu Ee Lung, son of the late artist; Mr Lim Boon Heng, Patron of HCA Hospice Care; Ms Iris Wu, daughter of the late artist.

By Toh Wei Shi, HCA Community Relations

A deft stroke of ink here and a precise etch there – before long, an elegant painting of a bamboo emerges. It is hard to imagine that no external tools were employed – Mr Wu Ee Lung, son of the late finger painting artist Master Wu Tsai Yen, relies solely on his fingers and hands.

The demonstration by Mr Wu was a rare glimpse into the art of finger painting, for the visitors to the “HCA Charity Art Exhibition: Finger Paintings by Wu Tsai Yen”, as there are few practitioners of the art form left in Asia.

Mr Wu Ee Lung deftly paints a bamboo with his fingers.

Each painting embodies the artist’s unique signature, as no two fingers are the same. They differ in size and shape and some fingers may have calluses on them. The individuality of the art form sets the stage for an intimate interaction between the artist, paint and paper, creating a masterpiece that is nothing short of spectacular.

Art and Charity

Master Wu was an eminent pioneer in the art of finger painting, breathing life into nature themes. He preferred to utilise simple colours in showcasing the magnificence of various flora and fauna, such as plum blossoms, pines, goldfish and cicadas.

The late Master Wu favoured nature themes, showcasing the majestic beauty of flora and fauna through simple colours.

Eighty* of these finger paintings, kindly donated by the Wu family, were on display at the “HCA Charity Art Exhibition: Finger Paintings by Wu Tsai Yen”, from 13-15 December 2019, at the Visual Arts Centre. The opening ceremony was graced by Ms Sim Ann, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Communications and Information & Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth.

Ms Sim Ann takes a tour of the exhibition after the opening ceremony.

In her speech, Ms Sim said, “I am heartened to see the community partnering HCA for the greater good. A more caring home requires all of us – donors, volunteers, corporates, community organisations and government agencies – to work together.”

To date, a total of 18 paintings have been sold, garnering $153,000 – a testament to the solidarity of the community in advancing palliative care for patients with life-limiting illnesses.

*The paintings are still available for purchase – refer to HCA’s Facebook page for photos of the paintings and purchase details.