NETWORK OF ENTERTAINING ASIAN AMERICAN TALENT
Seven-year-old leukemia patient Chen Zhuo was initially hesitant to part with his paintings. But once he found out his art would be traveling from his hospital bed in Shanghai to museums all over the United States, he donated it as part of Project HOPE’s initiative to raise funds for hospitals in China. He told hospital staff that he wanted to help other sick children just like him.
Project HOPE, an acronym for Health Opportunities for People Everywhere, organized the “World of Love” children’s art competition in June in partnership with hospitals in Shanghai, Beijing and Taipei. Now, over 1500 masterpieces will tour the United States and Canada to benefit Project HOPE’s children’s health programs by showcasing the collection at exhibits, events and eventually for sale.
More than 80 pieces, most by youth with no special art training, are on display until Feb. 14 at the Pacific Heritage Museum, the exhibition’s only San Francisco venue.
Jack Blanks, director of strategic alliances for Project HOPE, pointed out that hospitalized youth saw the exercise “as a kind of therapy,” while their healthy peers participated in order “to do something for friends who are in hospitals.”
“World of Love” also commemorates the 50th anniversary of Project HOPE worldwide, the 25th anniversary of Project HOPE in China and the 10th anniversary of the Shanghai Children’s Medical Center. At the exhibit’s opening last month, honorable commissioner Mae Woo presented Project HOPE with a certificate of honor from the City and County of San Francisco in support of its life-saving programs and to celebrate its anniversaries.
“If these children can be so generous, then our bank and museum can also be generous and donate the space for them,” she said. “For us to be able to sponsor something that brings together children from China and here locally is a wonderful reason to do this project.”