Saturday, January 7, 2012

Artist Oliver Wong: Still Born

Oliver's painting "Still Born" My painting is to portray the emotions and feelings the parents have gone through having lost their babies.

Oliver when I knew him as a university student in 1978 in Auckland New Zealand.

Is it ESP or is it what the artist Oliver Wong says:it is just a coincidence I paint the "Still Born "painting. Now reading your blog makes it more meaningful..the emotions parents gone through...

I knew Oliver when I first arrived in Auckland in 1978. We come from the same town, Sibu in Borneo. I stayed with other flatmates, most of them from Sibu, and in fact we were called the "Sibu House." We were both in Auckland University, and like many others from Sibu, Oliver came to my flat, especially when there was a rugby game when the boys hosted a BBQ. We, from Sibu have a special affinity or bonding. Oliver left after his studies and returned to Malaysia. We stayed on, and I did not see him again.

This year when I started Facebook, it was like opening Pandora's box. Friends from my past started flying out of the box. I saw him in a mutual friend's Facebook, and I contacted him. Initially, he couldn't recall me, which was a disappointment. But I persisted and bingo, it's like 30 years separation never existed.

I found Oliver shares a lot of my interests, our mutual love for protecting the world and spreading this message. Oliver has a special gift. He is an artist. Last night I told him about my book, and gave him the link to my youtube: "It's ok to cry."

He posted this painting for me, aptly titled "Stillborn". I asked his permission to post the painting for all my bereaved parents, and Sands. It is a very sensitive topic to talk about, and Oliver had done it in painting.

Ka Pai and Paki Paki.
Oliver would know it means in New Zealand, good job and clap clap.

I sent my draft to Oliver to edit:

"Wow what a beautiful write up..seems like your thoughts just flows through your writing..impeccable ..I would be honored to let you share my painting "Still Born" to all the bereaved parents and Sands. I like " Still Born" instead of Still Birth, actually which is the correct terminology? ( Oliver, both can be used)
How did I start to paint such sensitive issues.. My paintings are mostly accidental..I normally started with a blank..then I just draw lines, add in colors and bingo!

"Still Born" came to my mind. It is a sad painting. Then I thought to myself "Who would want to hang this painting on their wall" You know us Chinese , very pandan one (Pandan means supertitious)..So it was left in the drawer until I saw your clips "It is OK to CRY". Only then I realised you and me are talking about the same thing.

Coincidence? I believe God works in a miraculous way..During that time, I painted another one which I like very much but not my wife. I called it the Miracle of Life..A pregnant woman, I just love the shape of the pregnant women..I will post it for you later..Looking at Miracle of Life..I was thinking how so many people take life for granted..that it took nine long months for the baby to come out and during that time hoe the mother have to loving caring the baby around. And those parents who so desperately want a child but cannot conceive.

This is a maudlin story, a very Melancholic topic. Oliver has done it beautifully. Thank you Oliver. Those of you who are fortunate never to have this topic affect you, thank your lucky stars or your God.

Here for all my friends who had still births, for Megan, Ellen, G, and those mums I met at Sands. , Sands Auckland,, Sands Manukau, and those in the Campomelic group.


  1. Geraldine Lim Let's spare a thought for all our little babies who never had the chance to be loved and cuddled by their loved ones and pray a little prayer for all those grieving mums and dads.

    Oliver Wong :
    I find it easier to express through painting Thanks Geraldine Lim for the kind thoughts, we all need each happy or sorrowful periods

  2. Oliver, your painting is so beautiful. It truly speaks to me. Thank you for sharing it with us all. xxxx When I look at that picture, I see them all. All my little ones, who couldn't be here with me today. Thank you for that. Thank you so much.

    Christopher Matthew
    Theodore Douglas
    Peanut Anthony
    Poppet Roseanne

    All always missed, and playing with their little friends in gardens in the sky. xxxx

  3. So touching!! I might not really be able to appreciate modern art..but the face of the woman is very very expressive and touching...

  4. Ellen Hopes:
    I wanted tell you how much your friendship means. Today on the way home from church I cried so hard. I got in touch with the feelings of how isolated my life wasy after Addison died, I was diagnosis with cancer and my mother died. I kept all together for my family. Somedays the memories come back in waves. Ken and I some deep conversations. It not an easy truth, when you learn you carry a fatal disease. I think I am having a mid life crisis. I spent so much of my life chasing after getting pregnant. The doctors took it away. They look me in the eye, I went to chemo alone many days singing I will have a baby. Instead our family was chased by some weird doctor and the story of Hope's birth was pushed aside for the agenda of the medical community. I know what I want this life. I am going to empower my life. There are many wounds wide open. Anger to resolve. Somehow, when no one is looking I am going to take this life and turn into a butterfly. I just hated when the doctors feel nothing. How can they look me in the eyes when I am crying and tell me, "I don't feel bad for you at all.". "At least you have Hope.". Who tells a greiving parent to just give thanks. These are our children. No matter what age they are our dreams. The dream of another baby kept me alive through cancer. They ripped that dream from me. I am expecting more because I deserve better. Once again you inspire me.

  5. Ellen Hopes

    I hope it's not too deep. It's hard to express the degree of isolation I live in as a parent who has lost a child due to rare disease. Ken and I said today. Our choices are to keep our heads down and continue to feel like we don't belong or less than human or to light up the universe and expose the black hole we live in for what it is. Some will listening. Some will avoid us, but we don't need to live in darkness anymore.

  6. Excellent composition! I like this painting and its beautiful colors, very suggestive of emotions.

  7. "There is melancholy in the wind and sorrow in the grass" (Charles Kuralt).