Carol - Art as Therapy

If you walk into Mabini Adult Day Health you will see three ink paintings on display. These paintings were generously donated to the center by participant, Carol Cheung (above left), who is also their creator. Carol started attending Mabini Adult Day Health in 2015 after undergoing surgery. She values her time at the center because it has helped her heal.

Earlier in her life, Carol was a pattern worker in clothing factories in Hong Kong. Carol advanced in her field to high-level positions creating complete clothing samples for mass production.

Carol has always enjoyed art, but it wasn’t until she became sick 14 years ago, that she had time to pursue a new artistic passion. She started doing calligraphy upon the recommendation of a friend. The first school she attended for ink painting and calligraphy she found by serendipity when getting off a bus in Chinatown.

According to the International Art Museum of America: “Chinese ink painting is one of the oldest art traditions still practiced today. A brush is dipped in ink and then applied to rice paper or silk. One important form of ink painting is Chinese calligraphy. From the Shang Dynasty in the 18th Century B.C. to the present day, various calligraphic styles have been developed.”

In the beginning of her practice, Carol focused on calligraphy. She received good feedback early on from a teacher for her picture painting technique. Eventually she shifted her focus from calligraphy to painting pictures upon the receipt of more positive feedback from friends.

It is evident when viewing her work that birds are significant to her as they are featured in many of her pieces. After seven years of taking classes at three different schools, Carol decided to continue her studies on her own.

She says it was difficult to pursue an independent practice and she taught herself by looking at the work of masters. She also learned by sharing skills with her friends

Carol enjoys practicing painting and calligraphy because it gives her something to focus on. She also appreciates the praise and respect she receives from others for her artwork. On several occasions, her pieces were selected by her teacher to be submitted to the Sing Tao Art Edition . Also with the help of a friend, Carol self-published two books of her ink paintings. Here at Mabini we are proud to showcase a few of her pieces and hope you can come by to view her work.