Paintings by former patient on sale to benefit hospital

Our feathered friends: Dr Neoh briefing Mount Miriam Cancer Hospital sisters about his bird paintings.

PAINTING birds proved therapeutic for Dr Neoh Chin Boon during his battle against cancer, and now the beautiful artworks are set to benefit other cancer patients too.

About 190 pieces are up for sale in his solo charity art exhibition titled ‘Wings of Hope’ from today to Feb 22 at the Galeri Seni Mutiara in Penang.

The aim is to raise funds for Mount Miriam Cancer Hospital.

Dr Neoh was diagnosed with nasopharyngeal carcinoma in December 2007 but later overcame it.

He said he wanted to help and bring hope to others who were battling the disease.

“I had time to reflect and reassess my life and priorities.

“Although I went back to work, I found painting very therapeutic.

“It allowed me to see the world with my heart,” said the former general surgeon at a press conference at the hospital.

The 60-year-old has no formal art education but he has always a deep fascination for birds.

His passion took off when he bought a book ‘ Birds of the World’ which contained beautiful illustrations of the winged creatures.

He then taught himself how to paint.

When he was not on call, he used his free time to birdwatch and paint.

Dr Neoh said he loved observing the various species in their natural habitats.

“Malaysia has about 781 known species of birds and to date, I’ve seen about 500.

“I’ve only painted about 300 species so I’ve still a long way to go,” he noted.

Dr Neoh now teaches at a private institution in Sungai Petani, Kedah.

Mount Miriam Cancer Hospital fundraising committee chairman Datuk Wong Kam Fuat said part of the sales proceeds from the exhibition, along with donations, would be channelled towards their Needy Cancer Patients Fund.

Also present was hospital CEO Tham Wei Wei.

The Wings of Hope exhibition will be opened in a ceremony at 6pm on Sunday.

The artworks can be viewed daily from 11am to 6pm.

The gallery in Armenian Street in George Town’s heritage enclave will be closed on Feb 19 for Chinese New Year.

For details, call 04-2620167.

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