Seeking art to help Sichuan kids build schools

Published on ChinaView.cn, April 8, 2009.

BEIJING, April. 8 – It’s been nearly a year, but the horrible Sichuan earthquake still haunts like nightmare, especially for the children who lost their families.

A major charity art auction, including masterpieces by Xu Beihong and Zhu Ming, will run from May 30 to 31 to raise money to “build nine schools and help child survivors of the Sichuan earthquake,” according to Chongyuan Art Auction House, the local co-organizer.

The sale will offer at least 170 works, including traditional ink-wash paintings, sculptures and canvases from many artists and collectors both in Shanghai and Taiwan, says Ji Chongjian, owner of the local auction house.

More works are welcome and the support of businesses, collectors and individuals is encouraged.  “Besides the money raised from this charity auction, we will also donate our commission to aid those children,” says Ji.

Works received to date include a scroll jointly painted by famed local artists Chen Jialing, Xie Chunyan and others.

The auction is organized by the Tzu Chi Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded in 1966 by Dharma Master Cheng Yen in Hualien, Taiwan.

The charity art auction will be the first major exposure of the Tzu Chi Foundation Shanghai.

In May last year, Tzu Chi donated 500 million yuan (73.53 million U.S. dollars) in financial assistance to Wenchuan, the earthquake epicenter.

In the immediate aftermath, Tzu Chi provided support, including hot food, for survivors and rescue workers.

“Most important, we try to comfort people and help them heal from the trauma,” says Master Cheng Yen.

Volunteers took frightened children to tents and soothed them through talking and massage.

At hospitals volunteers served as “good listeners for the exhausted medical staff and rescue workers who were in great need of a shoulder to cry on,” says the master … (full text).

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