GEORGE TOWN, Dec 29 — When Beijing-based artist Lee Han Huei found out he had cancer more than a year ago, he came back to his hometown in Bukit Mertajam to be with his family as he underwent cancer treatment.
The 50-year-old artist, who had carved a name for himself as an artist in Beijing, also had a dream to hold a solo art exhibition in his alma mater.
A local non-governmental organisation (NGO), One Hope Charity & Welfare, found out about Lee’s wish and helped organise a charity art exhibition to raise funds for Lee’s medical fees.
“He said it had always been his dream to have an exhibition in his school in his hometown because he has held exhibitions in Kuala Lumpur previously but not in his hometown,” One Hope Charity chairman Chua Sui Hau said.
The NGO organised the charity art exhibition for three days from November 24 to 26 where a total 70 artworks, some painted this year, were exhibited at the art corridor of Jit Sin Independent High School in Bukit Mertajam.
“Almost 90 per cent of the artworks were sold and we managed to raise RM346,000 from the exhibition,” Chua said.
However, Lee passed away on the same evening that his exhibition closed, on November 26.
“His last words before passing away was that he had realised his dream so he had no regrets,” Chua said.
Lee had also wished to present one of his paintings to Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.
He had invited Lim to the opening of his art exhibition but the lawmaker had other prior appointments so state executive councillor Chong Eng attended the event on his behalf.
Yesterday, Chua and One Hope Charity’s adviser Datuk Seri R. Arunasalam brought Lee’s painting to Lim’s office in Komtar.
“It is also one of his final wishes to present the painting to Lim so we are now doing it on his behalf,” Chua said.
Lee’s funeral was held at the Berapit Cemetrey on November 29. He left behind his wife and a daughter.
One Hope Charity is a Bukit Mertajam-based NGO that collects funds for patients to cover their medical costs and provide free meals to the poor.
The organisation can be contacted at [email protected].