It was a personal health scare in January 2020 that spurred IT professional Tracy Quah into taking a step back from the daily grind of work and reflecting on the transience of life.
“When I personally went into a major operation, I realised the brevity of life and through that, I was looking for a beneficiary where I could contribute my services as a pay-it-forward project,” Tracy shares. “The idea of my project is very simple – I hope that through art, we celebrate the existence of life.”
Tracy’s initial idea quickly sparked a movement of giving – one that gained momentum and garnered support from various like-minded individuals and organisations.
Through a series of conversations, Tracy came to be connected with HCA’s former president, Dr Tan Poh Kiang, as well as Sound of Art, a local, faith-based art platform.
It was a meeting of kindred spirits. Galven Lee, Co-Founder and Director of Sound of Art, readily agreed to the collaboration. “We were approached by Tracy, who had a wonderful life story and a project where she wanted to bless people through art,” Galven explains. “When she introduced HCA to us, we thought it had a great mission.”
Tracy’s initial spark of inspiration blossomed into a fundraising initiative after the first meeting with HCA, Galven and Glacy Soh, one of Sound of Art’s renowned artists. Dubbed “The Life Art”, the initiative centers around the natural progression and celebration of life, a theme Tracy holds dear.
The Life Art initiative began with the Remembrance series, a five-panel collection co-created by Glacy with HCA’s Day Hospice patients, to raise funds for HCA. Through vibrant floral and bird motifs, each panel depicts a different phase of life, from the innocence of youth and bliss of marriage, to a time of remembrance.
While the five themes – youth, family, marriage, generational blessings and the golden years – collectively tell the story of a life well lived, each panel is an evocative masterpiece on its own.
The Remembrance Series, detailing the natural progression of life.
“For us, what is most important is that the theme is meaningful and resonates with the patients, in terms of remembering what has happened in their lives and celebrating all the beautiful stories that they have had through the course of their lives,” Galven explains.
In November 2020, Glacy worked quickly to conceptualise the artworks and sourced for materials. Within a matter of weeks, Glacy had completed the Remembrance series with a few of HCA’s Day Hospice patients.
Glacy working on one of the paintings with Mdm Poh, a Day Hospice patient.
The process of co-creating the Remembrance series enabled the patients to be personally involved in a meaningful initiative and also gave them the opportunity to participate in something a little different from the usual activities.
The creation of the Remembrance series soon sparked a fresh idea – to adapt some of the designs onto face masks for sale, in line with the protective gear that has become synonymous with the COVID-19 pandemic.
These wearable pieces of art – sold in a series of three – proved to be hugely popular, especially among individuals who were looking for a touch of festivity just before the Lunar New Year.
The series of three masks, adapted from the Youth, Marriage and Remembrance pieces.
To date, over 3,600 masks and three out of the five paintings have been sold, raising close to $60,000 in total. The Life Art began as a personal inspiration to pay it forward, but quickly gained traction and evolved into an admirable movement of kindness and generosity. “It takes a village to care for our patients and we are very thankful for the support we have received from Tracy and Sound of Art,” Ms Angeline Wee, CEO of HCA Hospice says.
Visit https://tinyurl.com/cnymask to order the masks. Every pack consists of three masks – adapted from the Youth, Marriage and Remembrance panels – and retails at $20.40/pack, inclusive of delivery.
All proceeds from the sale of face masks will be donated to HCA Hospice in support of patients with life-limiting illnesses.