Compassion and beauty
Guanyin Bodhisattva by Shanghai artist Yao Youxin 姚有信 (1979). One of my most precious possessions, the scroll was presented to me as a wedding gift by the owner of an art gallery in 1980 who at that time brought in many of Mr Yao’s works from China, for sale in Singapore.
In those days all works of art belonged to the Chinese government which shipped the best to Hong Kong and elsewhere to sell for foreign exchange. I was a rookie reporter then who wrote regularly aboout life in general, including Chinese art.
Growing up in Amoy Street in Singapore’s Chinatown in the 1950s, I was a sickly child. So, to protect me, Grandma, a devout Buddhist, got me adopted by the Bodhisattva, who has since blessed me with health and a fair bit of intelligence, despite the fact that for many years I strayed and worshipped strange bearded triune Middle-Eastern gods.
— Francis Chin