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Mentally-challenged artists show off talent

06-21-2012 09:18 BJT

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Twenty people with mental disabilities are showing off their artistic talent at an art exhibition at Shanghai’s Xuhui Art Gallery. WABC, an NGO organizing the event, provides arts training for people with mental challenges.

The child behind this colorful wall is 8-year-old Huang Yuyan. He was diagnosed with autism when he was two, after his mother worried that he had not started talking. And he still doesn’t talk much.

- I like green best, and yellow.

Yanyan cannot tell us why he decided to do the paintings, but his teacher told us that all of his paintings are quite abstract like these. And he is encouraging the kid to do more of this.

Miao Shiming, founder/art teacher of WABC, said, "One important thing is to respect the way he thinks, and then give him training. For example, Yanyan is quite good at abstract language. He likes doodling, with big lumps of colors. "

Twenty people with mental disabilities are showing off their artistic
talent at an art exhibition at Shanghai’s Xuhui Art Gallery. WABC,
an NGO organizing the event, provides arts training for people with
mental challenges.

So far Miao’s organization has recruited about 20 students with mental problems. 29-year-old autistic artist Bao Liping is the oldest. She has shown great talent in representational paintings, but her parents say she has yet to make a living from her art.

Bao Ai’Feng, Bao’s mother, said, "We hope that she can rely on herself someday. She still lives with us, but after all, we are getting older and older. Now her only income is the 700 yuan monthly subsidy from our neighborhood community. "

Twenty people with mental disabilities are showing off their artistic
talent at an art exhibition at Shanghai’s Xuhui Art Gallery. WABC,
an NGO organizing the event, provides arts training for people with
mental challenges.

None of the paintings on exhibition was for sale. Over the past three years, Miao’s organization has been relying on subsidies from government and companies, but he says that may change.

Miao said, "So far ten companies have shown interest in the art of our students, and are willing to buy the rights in order to make other products. That means the artists will be able to get money from that. It’s good news for them. "

Miao says his next goal is to open a store selling products derived from the paintings. The gallery exhibition will run for ten days.

Twenty people with mental disabilities are showing off their artistic
talent at an art exhibition at Shanghai’s Xuhui Art Gallery. WABC,
an NGO organizing the event, provides arts training for people with
mental challenges.

Twenty people with mental disabilities are showing off their artistic
talent at an art exhibition at Shanghai’s Xuhui Art Gallery. WABC,
an NGO organizing the event, provides arts training for people with
mental challenges.

Twenty people with mental disabilities are showing off their artistic
talent at an art exhibition at Shanghai’s Xuhui Art Gallery. WABC,
an NGO organizing the event, provides arts training for people with
mental challenges.

 


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