By The Nation
This year, the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC) has joined as a partner and is providing the venue and promotional support, while participants are able to donate their finished artworks to foundations in need of support.
For example, painted aprons made from hand-woven cotton were given to visually impaired children attending cooking workshops, head-dresses created with Sashiko Art were given to cancer patients, hair clips made from paper quilling were given to underprivileged children at orphanages while macrame dog collars were donated to the dogs at the Home for Animals.
“Giving back to the communities where we live and work is fundamental to UOB’s business philosophy. We are committed to helping to build inclusive communities through art, children and education. These causes are important to us as we strongly believe they are essential to the progress of Thailand, its economy and people,” said Sanchai Apisaksirikul, managing director and country head of finance and corporate services at UOB (Thai).
“We see that art plays a vital role in society and believe that art appreciation should be accessible to all. We show our support for art in many ways and the UOB ‘Please Touch’ programme is one of them. With the support of our partners, we organise practical and hands-on workshop sessions to inspire the imagination of the visually impaired. UOB volunteers are on hand to help participants by holding scissors, tying knots or passing them equipment to help ensure they can produce wonderful artworks without difficulty.”
Associate Prof Tuksina Pipitkul, the key instructor and an expert in art for people with visual impairments, designed the workshop. “Like all of us, people with visual impairments have artistic potential and are capable of doing many things. These workshops have proved that visual disability is not an obstacle to art creation, but opportunities and access are.”
The UOB Please Touch programme aims to inspire people with visual impairments to know no boundaries, to generate a potential source of income as an artist and to share their works of art with others.
Art lecturer Jerdsilp Sukhuminda at the Bangkok School for the Blind said: “If you understand art, you will understand people and the society. This is a class that cannot be taught in schools. Art has no boundaries and fixed forms unlike humans who often frame themselves and their life. Thinking outside the box is not always wrong. As a result, people have a wider perspective and become better human beings.”
Supansa “Nong Fern” Wannakot, 14, said: “I enjoy the workshops and would like to attend such activities more often. I also like creating artworks because drawing or painting helps me reduce stress. It’s fun participating in the workshop and I can also adapt it to my daily life.”