Artists share their love of ceramics with patients and visitors at Changi General Hospital while helping to raise funds for patients in need.

A hospital is often synonymous with hardship, illnesses, and even death. Rarely is it associated with beauty and awe-inspiring art. However, this has not deterred Clay Connections, a group of local ceramic artists, from exhibiting at hospitals for the last eight years to raise funds for patients in need.

For this group comprising mostly hobbyists, featuring their work in such an environment offers many opportunities. The group’s former mentor, the late Mr Lim Hua Choon, began this journey at Tan Tock Seng Hospital before collaborating with Changi General Hospital (CGH) in 2013. “Apart from providing a platform for his students and other artists to showcase their work, Mr Lim was eager to spread the knowledge of ceramic-making with different audiences to keep this dying art alive,” shares Ms Penny Yap, the group’s current lead.

Organising exhibitions at hospitals also achieved another purpose for Mr Lim, who was keen to do his part to give back to the community. In CGH, 30 per cent of the sale proceeds from the exhibition are donated to the hospital’s charity programme, HomeCare Assist (HCA). In the five years that Clay Connections has collaborated with CGH, close to $9,000 have been raised for HCA, which supports patients in need of interim assistance when they are discharged from hospital. This includes helping to pay for items and services such as milk feeds, respiratory equipment and renal dialysis during the patients’ recovery journey which can deplete the savings of low-income families.

Ms Wee Boon Ngoh is a beneficiary of the fund. She suffers from asthma and sleep apnoea and relies on a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine funded by HCA to ensure regular breathing while sleeping. “With the machine, I feel a bit more energetic in the morning,” Ms Wee remarked happily.

Exhibiting their work at CGH gives the ceramicists a chance to explain the traditional ceramic-making process with members of the public, such as the difference in using electric, gas and wood kilns. Hospitals are not commonly associated with art exhibitions but the long journey of ceramic-making has parallels with a patient’s recovery process. Getting the right diagnosis, receiving appropriate treatment and eventually recovering from an illness require traits such as patience and determination, which are also needed to craft the art pieces. 

To commemorate CGH’s fifth year of partnership with Clay Connections, one of a kind commemorative 2019 calendars are being sold at $15 each. The calendar features various masterpieces by different artists. All proceeds will go to HomeCare Assist.  To make a difference, please scan the QR code below.