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  • Writer's pictureOrhan Coplu


In an initiative between Ode to Art Gallery and St. Andrew Autism Centre (SAAC), 30 children and adults from SAAC had the opportunity to paint with internationally-renowned Turkish artist Coplu to create a large collaborative art piece on canvas.

This is the first time that the SAAC’s students and clients are taking part in completing a painting together with an artist, and Coplu’s first time being involved in a charity initiative in Singapore. Previously, Coplu’s works have been exhibited in Singapore in Changi Airport, as well as in many museums and collections all over the world.

Over the span of 3 days, beneficiaries of SAAC — students of St. Andrew’s Autism School and clients of the Day Activity Centre (Siglap) — worked together with Coplu to create a bright, colourful art piece filled with love, measuring 1.5 metre x 4 metres. The acrylic painting will be framed and displayed near the entrance to add a burst of colours to the autism centre. This art piece showcases signature cheerful motifs and use of vibrant colours by Coplu, who flew in from Turkey for this initiative. The completed artwork is donated by Ode to Art Gallery to SAAC.

“I’m truly honoured to be part of this meaningful initiative where autistic students are given the opportunity to showcase their abilities and express their thoughts through the form of art. The children and adults radiated excitement and joy during the painting session – I’m so proud of them.” says Coplu.

Having grown up in Turkey, art became an important aspect of Coplu’s life as he first started using cartoons to express the turmoil witnessed from the country’s social issues during the sixties. Art became his way of seeing the humorous side of life, and his passion.

One of his series of paintings were inspired by an episode that almost left him blind. After a series of eye operations, he could not read, watch, paint, or even sit upright. He could only talk to his wife, who encouraged him to imagine himself as a butterfly, and to undergo a metamorphosis. “Through my artwork and this activity, I hope to bring the students smiles, and hopefully in future they can turn to art as a positive outlet,” Coplu adds.


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