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Art and charity join forces to put autism in frame

Updated: 2013-10-13 08:21
By Lin Jing ( China Daily)

 Art and charity join forces to put autism in frame

ART+ encourages artists to spend time with autistic and mentally challenged children. Photos Provided to China Daily

"What charity and art have in common is sharing," says Li Lai-nga, 35, an artist and founder of ART+.

On Aug 24, the group held its first charity event SHARE via ART with Shenzhen Min Ai Disabled Children's Welfare Center, to raise money and awareness for autistic and mentally challenged children. About 30 percent of the artworks' sales were donated to the Min Ai center.

She says some artists are not only interested in financial reward but are also keen to share their artworks with others, especially young artists, and that is why she put art and charity together.

Li started ART+ with a partner in June to provide individual artists with venues or financial support to hold exhibitions. In return, artists are encouraged to participate in charitable events and help local communities in need.

Li was born in a business family. The family company, Kord, has been in the party goods manufacturing business for about 40 years. As a young girl, Li was asked to work in the factory over her summer vacations, to experience the life of a normal worker.

Though she hasn't inherited the family business, she admits she has learned a lot from her father.

In 2009, when she was employed in Shenzhen, she and her friends helped some orphan villages in her spare time. With a degree in design, she now works as an independent graphic designer and mixed media artist.

Being a new organization, it was not easy for them to locate a venue for their first event. Some companies asked for 10,000 yuan ($1,600) to rent a venue for a week.

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