Education: A journey that starts with love
Amaze has joined forces with the Australian China Education Foundation (ACEF) to boost awareness and understanding of autism in Victoria’s Chinese community.
At a function at Manningham Community Square, State Opposition Leader Matthew Guy acknowledged the collaborative work Amaze and ACEF are doing in translating and adapting information and resources related to autism.
A key part of the initiative is Amaze’s translation to Mandarin of its Autism Information Resource booklet.
To raise awareness of autism in the Chinese community, ACEF has also been on a fund-raising campaign to support the work of Amaze.
Artist inspires fund-raiser
ACEF’s campaign has involved the selling of scarves by brilliant young artist Bi Changyu, with ACEF handing Amaze CEO Fiona Sharkie a cheque for $5000.
Mr Changyu was diagnosed with autism in early childhood, discovering that art had a calming effect on him.
“When he reached three, we started to notice that he seemed to be a little different to regular kids. He wasn’t outgoing and did not communicate with us,” his father told People’s Daily.
“He couldn’t have normal verbal communication with people around. He moved a lot and couldn’t sit quietly.”
Once restless child finds focus in painting
He began drawing at 9, specialising in oil painting, and was discovered by the wider artistic community at a 2008 exhibition in Beijing.
According to Bi’s father, drawing changed his son.
He explained that every time he picked up a brush, the once restless child would sit for hours, focused on his work.
“Sometimes his mother and I were worried he was too tired and wanted him to take a break, but he refused to stop until he was satisfied,” Bi’s father said.
His work, Two Girls Running by the Seaside, was selected for exhibition at the 2015 World Expo in Milan and his bold, vivid design patterns have been adapted for scarves, bags and other fashion accessories.
In 2014 and 2015 his designs appeared in New York fashion shows.
He’s the Chinese Picasso
Chinese art critics and painters have praised Mr Changyu for his abstract expression.
Renowned artist Chen Danqing has referred to him as the “Chinese Picasso”.
The Manningham Square function was attended by executive members of Australia China Education Foundation and MP Bernie Finn and featured a presentation from Dr Hua Cao (former Treasurer, Action on Disability within Ethic Communities (ADEC) and Treasurer, Australasian Promotional Society for Culture, Education, Economics and Trade (APSCEET) on Chinese health and disability in Australia.
ACEF was established as a not-for-profit organisation in 2014, with the motto “Education _ A Journey Starts with Love”.
The organisation’s objective is promoting the educational potential of children in China and Australia by helping them overcome barriers.