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The Seasons of Art
26 February 2021

Holding an art exhibition to showcase his personal works is not just one of HCA patient How Son’s last wishes, but also a gift from the heart to HCA. Above: How Son working on a nature-themed painting.

By Toh Wei Shi, HCA Community Relations

For HCA patient Mr Lee How Son, art is an expression of life’s seasons. Despite having battled cancer four times, the former lecturer has chosen to channel his reflections into his artistic pursuits, instead of dwelling on life’s adversities.

Armed with a background in Building Science, How Son has always had a keen eye for aesthetics. Over the last two decades, How Son has completed thousands of calligraphy works and paintings spanning diverse themes, including majestic landscapes, animals and fruits.

Finding Inspiration

A loving husband to his wife Mee Fah and doting father to four children, How Son spent the bulk of his working life building an illustrious career in both research and education.

How Son and Mee Fah: a picture of love and loyalty.

After moving on from teaching, How Son went on to kick-start and manage the Tropical Village mini-world theme park in Johor, a prolific stint in which he created numerous statues and sculptures for the theme park, featuring historical landmarks, famous individuals and cartoon characters.

Following his retirement due to ill health, Mr Lee now devotes himself fully to his artistic pursuits and gardening, finding creative inspiration in every aspect of life. “In 2019, we visited our daughter in Shanghai,” Mee Fah shares. “Inspired by the scenic surroundings, How Son started working on a nature series after we returned.”

A Cherished Wish

How Son was referred to HCA in October last year. An affable and hospitable man by nature, How Son happily shared his extensive collection of artworks with Senior Palliative Care Nurse Miao Lan, Nurse Educator Amy Lim and Medical Officer Dr Luke Tan.

From left: How Son, Mee Fah, Dr Luke and Miao Lan at the family’s home.

Through their conversations on the first couple of visits, the team discovered that How Son was keen to showcase and share some of his works. While How Son was unable to speak, due to a tracheostomy he underwent, he readily shared in writing about his art and wishes. “He smiles readily and his spirit is simply amazing,” Amy says.

Due to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions on physical events, the HCA team decided to hold a virtual art exhibition to showcase 24 of How Son’s works. The virtual exhibition, titled “The Seasons of Art” is part of HCA’s “A Good Day” project, which was first launched in 2019 to commemorate HCA’s 30th anniversary. The project is a sincere exploration of what a good day means to HCA’s patients, which often includes simple but heartfelt wishes.

A sneak peek at The Seasons of Art Virtual Charity Exhibition.

The Seasons of Art Virtual Charity Exhibition comprises four distinct series of five works each: virtues, nature, fruits and poems, as well as four of How Son’s favourite artworks, which he has bequeathed to HCA for fundraising purposes.

If you would like to support The Seasons of Art Virtual Charity Exhibition, you may do so by purchasing one of the four paintings, making an outright donation at https://friends.hca.org.sg/HCA/Giving/MyGift.htm or simply spread the word with your friends and family.   

Stay tuned to HCA’s Facebook page for the official launch of The Seasons of Art Virtual Charity Exhibition!