One family’s calling to use art to share Gospel and raise funds for COVID-19 victims

Article written by Christine Leow for Salt&Light

The coronavirus that is ravaging nations and devastating economies has left segments of our society isolated and crippled. More job losses are expected as is a recession.

Out of this ugliness, one family is hoping to use beauty to do some good.

The Lees have launched a charity art sale to raise money for those affected by COVID-19.

“There are a lot of needs at this time and the idea to raise funds just arose organically,” said Galven Lee. “We believe in the power of art to heal during this difficult time.”

Dubbed Art for Good, five works by Asian artists are up for sale from now till May 21. A 100% of proceeds from the sales will go to beneficiaries selected by the three artists who have donated their creations.

Consider the Mountains: The scenic mountainside of Kyrgyzstan invites you to consider how its great heights connect us to God and how we can face the mountains in our lives with faith. Photo courtesy of Glacy Soh.

Faith-based art

Art for Good is the first fundraiser to be organised by Sound of Art, an art business the Lees opened early this year that is dedicated to a very special genre they call “faith-based art”.

“We believe that art can be a beautiful and powerful expression of God’s kingdom. Faith-based art can be a powerful way to speak hope and love and touch the spirit, as well as a meaningful way to share the Gospel,” said Georgie Lee, the family patriarch and founder of Sound of Art.

Sound of Art serves as a platform for Christian artists to showcase their faith-based art. Photo courtesy of Sound of Art.

Mrs Evelyn Lee, Georgie’s wife, explained why Sound of Art is particularly dear to the whole family: “It was very much upon our hearts that God has a spiritual destiny and calling for families.

“We, as a family, have this calling to be gatekeepers of culture through art. Media and art play an important role in telling stories and reaching out to the masses.”

More Than Conquerors 2 is Inspired by Romans 8:37. The yellowish gold emerging from the morass of black reminds us that even in the darkest times, we are never far from God’s love. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Tan.

That is why Sound of Art is a joint project for this family of collectors who is passionate about art.

While Georgie and Evelyn curate the pieces, son-in-law Sherman Ng contributes the space for the works to be displayed. Ng is the founder of Singapore media company Salt Media & Entertainment. It is in the lobby of the cinema he owns, Singapore’s first cinema in the CBD, that the artworks hang.

Galven manages the business and their daughter, Evangeline, a lawyer, looks after the legal matters. All this is done while each pursues his or her own job and ministry work.

“It comes naturally when we talk. It’s an expression of a shared calling,” said Galven when asked how the busy family makes time for Sound of Art.

Their hope is that every Christian home will have faith-based art on their walls that will be a springboard for conversations about the Gospel.

“We want to bring God’s voice into people’s home and make faith art great again,” said Galven.

“When we look at art, it becomes part of our imagination. Imagination is a very powerful way to grasp truths,” added Georgie.

Song for tomorrow

The truth they hope that will prevail in this season is hope. That is why the fundraiser’s theme is A Song for Tomorrow.

Consider the Sunrise beckons you to meditate on the divine – like a bird soaking up the sun’s warmth while all else around fades away. Photo courtesy of Glacy Soh.

“I’m drawn to bright things, beautiful things that bring a lot of cheer. I always look for that bright spark,” said Glacy Soh, one of the contributing artists.

She donated two uplifting pieces – Consider the Sunrise and Consider the Mountains – that she hopes will bring joy to homes as well as aid the charity she chose, Alliance of Guest Workers Outreach (AGWO) by Hope Initiative Alliance.

“The COVID-19 situation has highlighted the plight of the migrant workers here and AGWO gives out care meals to the workers. When we take care of their basic needs, they can save their money to send back home where the situation is really dire.”

The desire to help was echoed by the other two artists who also donated their works.

Tomorrow’s vibrant colours speak of hope and joy, encouraging us to look beyond current circumstances to God instead. Photo courtesy of Jacintha Pillay.

“I painted Tomorrow in the midst of COVID-19″ said Jacintha Pillay. “When I was done, my immediate thought was that I would sell it and use the funds to help. I just didn’t know how and then I found out about Sound of Art.”

Proceeds from the sale of her art will go to the COVID-19 Family Assistance Fund by Beyond Social Services.

For Malaysian-based artist, Jennifer Tan, the beneficiary of her choosing is especially close to home.

“I picked SIBKL Covid-19 Relief Fund because this is an initiative started by my church.

“It helps fund protective gear for healthcare workers and provides for refugee families who cannot work now because of the Movement Control Order in Malaysia. They have no money to put food on the table,” said Tan.

Impactful stories

On his part, Ng is also raising funds through a movie on his online streaming platform, SMIX.

Unplanned follows Abby Johnson, one of the youngest Planned Parenthood clinic directors in the US who believed in a woman’s right to choose until she saw something that changed her view. Courtesy of SMIX.

From now till May 10, Mother’s Day, when the movie, Unplanned, on SMIX is bought, S$2 from the proceeds will be donated to Safe Place and Family Life Society, both of which provide help to women with unsupported pregnancies.

“This is a good time to be watching movies and also to buy this as a gift for someone for Mother’s Day,” said Ng.

“When you do things like these, you cannot help but think of a few things: You have to think about who to give to. This makes you think of that person and maybe you might pray for that person.

“It also encourages social interaction in this season and we also hope the content will shape people’s mindset.”

He added: “We deliberately priced our movies according to coffee prices. S$5.99, which is the price of Unplanned, is the price of a café drink. Instead of buying someone a drink, you can buy them a movie.”

There are plans to do the same come Father’s Day with more movies. In fact, more of such creative initiatives may be expected from this family.

“Story-telling and communication are part of our DNA,” said Galven.

“We want to continue telling inspiring and impactful stories of artists and their works to establish a connection with the audience.”

Article written by Christine Leow for Salt&Light