"Speaking" in Colours Virtual Exhibition— the Untaught, Self-Guided Paintings of My Autistic Son
by Choo Kah Ying
"Speaking" in Colours Virtual Exhibition Series
For the longest time, even after the sales of Sebastien's paintings, I had struggled to see my autistic son as an ARTIST. Being someone with little understanding of the visual arts, I had long associated art and artists with art galleries and museums. I had also thought that "real" art was purchased by the rich who possessed the disposable income to "splurge" on such items.
Well, this has certainly not been our experience with Sebastien and his paintings. For his paintings aren't found in art galleries and museums. In fact, when we would participate in a group exhibition on occasion, I would always sense that what made Sebastien's paintings unique too often lost in the sea of paintings.
Thus, I have been doggedly persisted in selling Sebastien's paintings through A Mother's Wish so that I can share the story of their extraordinary creator and the unique role of of art for him. This is summed up in this passage in one of my blog posts:
...more than just an artistic "preference", Sebastien’s artistic instinct is inextricably intertwined with his endeavour to survive in our world. To survive, Sebastien turns to creative expression as a source of healing for him. It is a sanctuary, a space where he can express his emotions and release his fears. Painting is what sustains him in his challenging marathon of life.
I am delighted that most buyers of Sebastien's art are first-time buyers of art, because I get to be witness to the best of humanity. Moved by his story and the purity of his creative process, these individuals would step out of their comfort zone to contact me, a virtual stranger, in order to support him. Just as Sebastien is guided instinctively by his own emotions when he paints, the buyers of his paintings connect with him at various levels, be it through his story and/or the painting they have chosen.
In selling art directly to buyers, we have also been able to ensure that Sebastien's art is affordable, while ensuring that the earnings go to Sebastien (70%) and A Mother's Wish (30%). This is how Sebastien has been a philanthropist since 2013. A Mother's Wish has been most grateful for Sebastien's contribution to its good works as well.
A Mother's Wish Projects for 2022
Continue providing direct support to families with autistic individuals [in the form of free in-person and phone counselling, funds, advocacy (i.e., writing to helping agencies and schools), and customising solutions].
Feature families who have walked an extra mile in their endeavour to help their children and the special needs communities.
Develop a concise video series for caregivers and professionals working with autistic loved ones to help them learn how they can build empathetic and respectful relationships with autistic individuals, which will enable them to fulfil their full potential.
If you are interested to support us in our projects in any way, please contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.