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Property tycoon donates nature photographs to ChildAid

Eighteen of his photo artworks will be sold at an exhibition to raise funds for the charity concert in aid of two children's funds

Singapore, 1 October 2012 – Mr Kwek Leng Joo, Managing Director of City Developments Limited (CDL), a Singapore listed international property and hotel conglomerate, and who is also an avid photographer, has donated 18 of his photographs of rare and unique flowers to ChildAid, a charity concert in aid of two funds to help students from low-income homes.

The photo artworks were among the collection of 31 photographs which were exhibited as part of the "Flora Exotica" photo exhibition at the recent Singapore Gardens Festival, at the invitation of the National Parks Board.

They will be put up for sale by 
the co-organisers of the annual ChildAid concert, The Business Times. and The Straits Times. The concert aims to raise funds for The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund and The Business Times Budding Artists Fund. 

The Business Times celebrates its 36th anniversary today, while The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund celebrates its 12th birthday.

This year's ChildAid concert will be held on Dec 7 and 8 at the Grand Theatre at Marina Bay Sands, the venue partner.

All the 18 framed photo artworks will be displayed at a private exhibition at The Arts House at The Old Parliament, from Oct 14 to 18.

The prices of the photographs range from S$20,000 to S$50,000.
 The Business Times, the presenter of the photo exhibition, hopes to raise at least $500,000 from the sale of Mr Kwek’s photo works.

Mr Kwek, 59, a leading advocate for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and a strong supporter of the arts, found time amidst his busy schedule to make a three-day trip to the Australian National Botanic Gardens at Canberra in March this year. He managed to capture some unique flowers during the short window of seasonal change from summer to autumn; while others were taken locally at Gardens by the Bay.

He is also the author of the Heart Voyage series of three photo art books, with the first published in 2005, and the other two volumes in 2008 and 2011. To date, the auctions of Mr Kwek's photo works and sales of his books have helped raise over $1.5 million for various worthy causes for the needy and the environment.

When Mr Kwek held a joint exhibition, titled Timeless Jiangnan, with prominent Singaporean water colourist Ong Kim Seng in 2002, he donated five photo works which raised over $40,000 for The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund.

Mr Kwek said of his photo works: “The beauty of Mother Nature has inspired my collection of photo works; and I hope that the images will serve as a reminder of the importance to protect Nature’s fragile creations against climate change for our future generations to enjoy.”

On what inspired him to donate the photographs to ChildAid, he added: “I’ve always believed in the youth who will be the leaders of tomorrow. The young, just like nature, can be fragile. They must be nurtured so that they can bloom to their fullest potential. I sincerely hope that my works can help needy children to realise their dreams, providing them the education and opportunities that can change their lives and create hope for their future.”

Expressing his thanks and gratitude to Mr Kwek, Mr Alvin Tay, Editor of The Business Times, as well as Chairman of The Business Times Budding Arts Fund and Organising Chairman of ChildAid, said the proceeds from the sale of the pictures would go a long way to help make a difference to the 10,300 students being supported by the two funds and fulfill their aspirations.

"These photographs, taken by a home-grown photographer, serve not only a worthy cause, they also help drive home the message that everyone must do their part to protect and preserve the environment. As such, we are helping to promote two wonderful causes at the same time."

The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund provides needy school children with school-related expenses, such as pocket money to buy meals during school recess and transport fares to go to school, while The Business Times Budding Artists Fund provides funding to nurture the artistic talents of underprivileged children.

Started as a community project on 1 October 2000, the School Pocket Money Fund became a charity trust in October 2011, and received an Institution of a Public Character (IPC) status on 1 January 2012. Over the past 11 years, the Fund has raised over $54 million, helping over 94,000 cases of needy children from low-income homes.

The Business Times Budding Artists Fund was launched in 2004 by The Old Parliament House Limited and adopted by The Business Times on 11 May 2005 and provides full arts sponsorship or artistically gifted children from underprivileged families to develop their talents. In the last seven years, it has supported over 8,000 children through a variety of programmes including a systematic arts education programme, arts camps, workshops, and signature performance events.

Last year's ChildAid concert raised a record $1.88 million. 

Issued by Singapore Press Holdings Ltd
Co. Regn. No. 198402868E

Issued by Singapore Press Holdings Ltd
Co. Regn. No. 198402868E

For more information, please contact:

Ms Shahrena Hassan
Editorial Projects Unit
English and Malay Newspapers Division
Singapore Press Holdings Limited
DID: 6319 5097

Ms Sher-Yen WEE 
Director, Market Development
The Old Parliament House Limited
1 Old Parliament Lane
DID: 6332 6895

Mr Gary Yeo 
Assistant Manager
Corporate Communications
Singapore Press Holdings Limited
DID: 6319 1225

Mr Yeo Siew Chi
Corporate Communications
Singapore Press Holdings Limited
DID: 6319 1586

About The Business Times

The Business Times (BT), published by Singapore Press Holdings, is South-east Asia's leading business daily. It is Singapore’s only financial daily and provides a complete guide on the local, regional and international business scene.

BT brings to its readers each day a comprehensive and concise package of corporate, financial, economic and political news, analysis and commentary. BT also carries features and the latest lifestyle trends in food, entertainment, shopping, arts, health, travel and design.

In June 1995, BT became the first English-language newspaper in Asia to go on the World Wide Web. Since January 2000, BT Online started to be available from 4am Singapore time (GMT +0800) and to offer news updates throughout the day.

Redesigned in September 2004 to engage a new generation of readers, a refreshing blue masthead, bigger fonts and friendlier layout were introduced. The content has been expanded to reflect a complete read, packing in loads of new features, such as specialty pages, a daily take on the health of the Singapore economy and dedicated regional pages.

For more information, visit

About ChildAid 

ChildAid is a charity concert featuring talents under the age of 19, and is in aid of The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund and The Business Times Budding Artists Fund. It is organised by The Straits Times and The Business Times, two newspapers published by Singapore Press Holdings. 

The concert is a platform for young talents who have excelled in their field to showcase their talent, be it in singing, playing a musical instrument or dancing. Some past performers who have showcased their talent on the ChildAid stage have won scholarships overseas to further hone their talent.

ChildAid 2012 is into its eighth year this year.

About The Arts House

Occupying the almost 200 year-old building that was the former Parliament House and Singapore’s first Court House, The Arts House, since its opening in 2004, has been offering its visitors a broad spectrum of activities ranging from contemporary arts and entertainment events to lifestyle options, while at the same time playing an active role in developing Singapore arts and creative scene.

From 2011, The Arts House will focus on the development of literary arts in Singapore, supporting and presenting programmes and events that aim to give a wider and multi-disciplinary experience.

The Arts House is managed by The Old Parliament House Limited, a not-for-profit enterprise committed to enriching lives through arts and cultural initiatives that focuses on building creative communities, connecting arts and business resources and developing sustainable arts spaces.

For further information, please visit

About the photographer Kwek Leng Joo

Kwek Leng Joo - familiar to many as the Managing Director of City Developments Limited (CDL), a Singapore listed international property and hotel conglomerate, is also a keen supporter of the arts and an avid photographer. The self-proclaimed PAP (Part-time Amateur Photographer) is the author of the 
Heart Voyage series of three photo art books, with the first being published in 2004, and the subsequent two volumes in 2008 and 2011 respectively. To date, auctions of Leng Joo's photo works and sales of his books have helped raise over S$1.5 million for various worthy causes for the needy and the environment.

Flora Exotica, Leng Joo's latest solo exhibition, was first featured at the Singapore Garden Festival (SGF) 2012. SGF 2012 was the fourth time that Leng Joo participated at the invitation of National Parks Board; the three exhibitions before being Secret Garden (2006), Romancing Nature (2008) and Web of 13 Million (2010). Besides these, his portfolio of solo and group exhibitions also includes Timeless Jiangnan (2002), The Lost Horizon (2004), and Tracking Memories (2011).

Throughout the years, even as the versatile lens man expanded his photographic repertoire to include topics of people, street scenes, unchartered territories of architecture and buildings and so on, it is his passion for nature that unifies the strands of his photography journey. Leng Joo believes that just as it is a blessing to be able to enjoy and appreciate nature's creations, it is important to know how to protect and preserve them. If we do not weave an environmental conservation cocoon around the flora and fauna around us, the myriad of exotic beauties may soon become obsolete completely for our generations to come.