Dawn Kwan (now age 16) started drawing at an age when most children were still learning to write the alphabet. Says her mother: “We noticed that starting as early as two to three years old, Dawn would draw non-stop wherever we went – in the car, at church, during lunch in a restaurant. She just couldn’t stop drawing or painting.”
When she was five, her family decided to auction off four of her paintings to help children with cleft palates in Vietnam. To their surprise, they managed to raise $15,000. Former chairman of the National Arts Council, Dr Liu Thai Ker, was the first to call her a prodigy. At Dawn’s first exhibition, held when she was just nine, Liu, who was the guest-of-honour said, “In Singapore, we believe that because of our small population, we can only expect small talents; prodigies are for bigger countries. Dawn Kwan is one of a handful of young Singaporean talents who disproves this stereotyped view.”
Her skills continue to be enjoyed by art lovers. She’s one of the talented artists taking part in Ocean Art Charity, which is also open to the public.
How does she chill in the holidays?
“I play the drums and love jamming with my bands. We play various genres of music – indie, gospel, jazz, bossa nova, and contemporary music. I also like listening to different bands performing at the Esplanade amphitheatre during the evening.”
This article first appeared in RWS Invites magazine (June 2013 issue).
Dawn has contributed her paintings for charity, which have been auctioned to benefit children in Vietnam and Thailand. Are you a budding artist too? Showcase your talent, submit your artwork and help other young artists who share the same passion pursue their dreams with Ocean Art Charity. More details about the programme can be found here.