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Charity Activity Starts to Help Autistic Kids
2005-11-27 14:48:05
A charitable project, masterminded by two young women, with the contribution of a group of artists, has begun in Beijing.
The aim of the endeavor is to help the children from the Stars and Rain Education Institute for Autism.

Taking the title "Commonplace" in English or "你、我和我们之间" (You and Me and Everything in Between) in Chinese, the project includes a series of workshops, exhibitions, and online auctions.

The curators, Elaine Ho from the United States and Cui Kaixuan from China, who have art backgrounds themselves, successfully signed on 26 artists from China and abroad to take part in the project, donating their time and works in support of autistic children.

Most of the artists created works especially for the project, some even completing their works with the help of the children at Stars & Rain.

Anouchka van Driel from the Netherlands completed her photographic work at the Beijing Zoo with a little girl called Jingjing. After that happy experience, Anouchka created a piece of performance art, which was staged on November 25 at the opening reception of the exhibition.

"The girl I was with at the zoo, Jingjing, she was mainly interested in blowing bubbles, that's why the bubble performance was in the piece."

In Chinese, autism, or guduzheng, translates literally as the "lonely disease". Although it occurs in as high as one out of 150 persons, the disease is still relatively unknown to most in China. It was this revelation that inspired the two young women to create the special project to unite autistic children and their families with artists, to raise people's awareness of autism.

"Actually, the original aim of the project is focused on communication. You know that the kids from 'Xingxingyu' are suffering from autism, which manifests itself in marked problems like social behavior and communication. We hope that the activity creates a chance for artists and autistic children to communicate with each other. In this way, more inspiration may be brought to the artists' works, as well as giving autistic children the experience of communicating with artists. Additionally, all the art work is to be auctioned and benefit the autistic children in 'Xingxingyu'.”

The contributed works are now on exhibition at the ICEbox Cultural Center, part of the Beijing City International School, and everything is placed as part of an online auction via Ebay.

All proceeds will be donated to the children of Stars and Rain.

The Commonplace project will conclude on December 11.

More information about the project

Interview to Elaine Ho, curator of commonplace
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