BAM! Highlights the Mouth Foot Painters of Singapre


Highlighting Mouth Foot
Painters of Singapore!

Formed in 1956, the MFPA is an international, for-profit association wholly owned and run by disabled artists. The Association came into being when Erich Stegmann, a polio-stricken mouth painter, gathered together a small group of disabled artists with a common goal to make a living through their artistic efforts; to have a sense of self worth and pride that until then had eluded them.

To this day, the MFPA’s motto worldwide remains

“Self Help – Not Charity.”

Combining his creative abilities with business acumen, Stegmann established the MFPA as a co-operative organisation that reproduces the artists’ work mainly in the form of cards, calendars and books, helping them meet their financial needs. One of Stegmann’s main objectives was that the MFPA must never be regarded as a charity simply because its members are disabled. To Stegmann, the word “charity” was as abhorrent as the word “pity.”

The Association maintains that it is not a charity and does not qualify for charitable assistance.Over 60 years later and this small group has grown to be an international organisation more than 800 members in 78 countries. All of these talented artists paint with brushes held in their mouths or feet as a result of a disability sustained at birth or through an accident or illness that prohibits them from using their hands.Singapore is home to 15 of these amazing Artists and BAM! is extremely proud to showcase some of their beautiful paintings and share some of the stories behind these great creatives.

Rajinder Singh

Rajinder was just 26 years old when a motorbike accident left him paralysed from the chest down, rendering him a complete tetraplegic. Prior to his accident Rajinder was training as a technician for a petrochemical company and afterwards tried to continue working in telemarketing but the inability to move his hands made it impossible. Having always had a flair for the arts, Rajinder took the plunge, picked up a brush with his mouth and started to paint. He felt absolute joy as he began to create, and this joy expresses itself in all his beautiful artwork. Rajinder has been with the MPFA for 12 years now and credits them with providing him with an opportunity to forge a career as an Artist.

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Zhang Kaini

After a car accident left Zhang paralysed from her shoulders down, this former Chinese language teacher resolved not to allow herself to sink into a state of depression but instead, to move onwards and upwards and create a new and different life for herself. She started to hold a brush between her teeth and paint. It was tremendously difficult for her at the beginning and suffering regular dizzy spells meant she was unable to steady the brush. However, Kaini was determined to succeed and with perseverance overcame all the odds to become a very successful artist. “My paintings are colourful and cheerful” she explains of her work, “They reflect my life. I want my art works to inspire others to be courageous and optimistic.”

Kaini is currently working for the Association of Mouth and Foot Painting Artist Worldwide, striving to change society’s perceptions of physically challenged citizens such as herself. Her dream is to one day have a solo exhibition.

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Aaron Yeo Kwok Chian

Aaron was born on 21 January 1979. On 12 November 2006 he was involved in a motorbike accident on his way home from work, sustaining spinal injuries which changed his life forever. For a long time after his hospital stay he did not know what to do until he met another tetraplegic, Gilbert Tan Yue Liang, who introduced him to mouth painting. In painting he has discovered a hidden talent that he pursues with a passion and being a part of the MPFA, means he is able to earn a living and not be a financial burden to his family.

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Raymond Tan

Raymond was born in 1965 and as an only son, his family had high hopes of him continuing to run the family drinks stall business. A fateful day in August 1993 was to change all this. Raymond was travelling back from dinner with friends in a car that was hit by a taxi. The car over turned and Raymond was left paralysed from the chest down. Raymond was married with a young son and was surrounded by a supportive extended family who helped him accept the drastic changes to his life. However, it took him almost 17 years after the accident to work through his confusion and realize that he could do something to help his family financially and not to be a burden to them. From then on, his interest in the arts started to blossom. Using the help of YouTube videos he taught himself how to paint, learning to control the brush with his mouth. In 2011 Raymond joined the MFPA and has never looked back. In 2017 he joined us at the official launch of BAM! delighting our guests with a live demonstration of how he creates his beautiful paintings.

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Daniel Tan

In 1982, at just 20 years old, Daniel met with a tragic car accident which left him paralyzed from his neck downwards. For the next 25 years Daniel relied on the help of his family for both emotional and financial help. However, all this was to change when in 2009 some friends introduced him to MFPA and presented him with a challenge – to paint by mouth! The complete loss of all his finger movements meant that wielding anything with his hands was an impossible feat but the idea of being able to create something of artistic value intrigued him and he persevered in his artistic endeavours. Despite the obvious difficulties, Daniel found painting to be therapeutic providing welcome relief from the endless television programmes, which often prove to be the only available pastime to those largely confined to bed. With the help of friends and family, Daniel was able to join painting sessions and grew to be an impressive mouth painter. Today he is an inspiring Artist with real meaning and purpose to his life.

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Christina Lau

Christina was born in 1972 and before a tragic car accident in 2005 left her paralaysed from the chest down, she enjoyed her career as a Prison Office. The accident in Malaysia was so severe that Doctors told Christina she would be permanently disabled.

Refusing to be defined by her new disabilities, Christina was determined to forge a new life for herself and got to know a group of friends who all painted with their mouths. Christina was intrigued and wanted to know more. Prior to her accident she had no real interest in the arts, but life had now changed so she picked up a brush and with steely determination taught herself to be a skilled painter. She was recognised by MFPA as a Student Member in March 2012 and today Christina’s work can be seen all over Singapore including on BAM! In 2017, Christina was also present at our official launch and we proudly watched her live demonstration where she created a special piece for the BAM! auction.

 

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BAM! Contribution to July 2018’s Orient Magazine Issue 67


July 2018
Orient Magazine Issue 67

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BUYING & SELLING ART ONLINE – THE CHALLENGES AND THE POSITIVE IMPACT OF TECHNOLOGY

In 2015, BAM!, a ground-breaking App enabling Artists to simply and cost effectively showcase their work to a global audience was just an idea.

Today, BAM! has attracted over 500 artists and hosts almost 3000 pieces of art. Using nothing more than the ubiquitous platform of the smart phone, BAM! connects Artists and Buyers in just a few simple steps. Critically BAM! eliminates the prejudicial commission structures associated with regular galleries that often prevent Artists from getting a fair price for their work.

In this article, we will look at the challenges this developing retail market faces and how advancing technology is helping to address these.

Online shopping has become a part of our everyday lives, with people becoming increasingly happy to buy more – and spend more – at the click of a button. The online Art market is predicted to grow by 8.4% in 2018 to approximately US$4.9B.

More and more people are visiting Art-buying platforms and are spending more time browsing these sites, but some buyers remain hesitant to buy Art over the Internet. As a visual medium, buyers are concerned that what you see isn’t necessarily what you get and the possibility that the Art you buy may not meet your expectations when you come to see it up close, remains a barrier.

Augmented Reality (AR) technology is expected to become more sophisticated in 2018 and is set to transform the Art market going a long way to overcoming this particular hurdle. Thinking ahead, the developers of BAM! integrated (AR) within the App and BAM! is one of the first online e-commerce platforms to have made this particular customer experience really simple to use.  At the touch of an icon, buyers can see what artwork will look like on any wall in real time, with exact sizes and dimensions – a ‘try before you buy’ effect. This is set to reduce buyer remorse, and as technology advances it is expected that buyer’s expectations will not only be met, but even exceeded.


Further challenges present themselves to the online Art market when it comes to the fear of buying a fake. This fear factor remains a big hurdle because, with most online Art purchases tending to cost between £1,000 and £5,000 there’s a real financial consequence if you make a mistake.

However, with advancing technology, issues of provenance and authentication may soon become a thing of the past, if a potentially revolutionary solution is adopted as quickly by the Art world as it has been by the financial sector. BAM! is actively looking to find real-world applications for Blockchain, the technology behind the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, and Blockchain is fast emerging as the technology expected to have the most significant impact on online sales.

Blockchain could help keep track of a work of Art’s movements without relying on a paper-based system of recording provenance. With a networked digital ledger, all purchases will be logged with the information becoming decentralized and therefore not open to contest.  No matter how many times a piece of Artwork is bought and sold, all purchases are documented and unalterable, creating a trusted provenance. For buyers, this means the entire history of a piece of Art would be accessible to view in a secure environment, similar to what we see in the UK with house purchases, i.e. UK’s land registry.

In 2018, the eldest millenials will turn 37 and their purchasing powers are just beginning to peak. However, these modern consumers also place great value on the ease of the online shopping experience so retailers will have to keep adapting fast to keep up with millennial preferences.

Delivery options, transparency of final price, the point at which a login must be created, faceted navigation and filtering are all functions which can have a detrimental effect on online sales if they do not meet customer expectations.

Great customer experiences are created by removing purchasing barriers; anything that may lead to ‘cart abandonment’. One of the biggest frustrations for shoppers is the inability to carry out cross device sales, i.e. beginning a purchase on a laptop and being able to finish it later, on another device. The development of retail Apps such as BAM! eliminates this frustration, as in most circumstances, a smart phone is a constant.

The phenomenon that is social media means that advertising costs have never been lower and, because of its power, independents retailers can develop a following at a relatively low cost if they have a product or service that people are passionate about. When it comes to Art, Instagram Stories, Facebook Live, and other messenger Apps have radically changed how Artists can interact with consumers and these platforms have facilitated a means by which the two sides can interact in real time. This ethos is very much evident on BAM!’s social platforms, as we believe that the best way to attract Buyers and Artists to our site is by cultivating a fun and exciting community.

Whilst creating a community, in today’s world, more than ever, data will drive retail decisions. Data’s role in retail decision-making will grow and forward-thinking retailers will have to keep exploring ways to collect and leverage data in their operations. By monitoring retail analytics, online platforms can connect with their customers in a meaningful way. By becoming aware of the tastes and preferences of their shoppers using Artificial Intelligence (AI), Retailers can use this information to make recommendations for future purchases. This is particularly important for Art sales where the demographic is made up of people from many different backgrounds, with many different Art preferences and with a varying range of buying power.

Buying and selling Art online is fun; it makes the world of Art available to everyone and overcomes the fear many of us have of visiting what we perceive to be as elite galleries. And whist there are still further challenges ahead, with the advancement of technology and the willingness of retailers to adopt it, smart operators should be set to see their share of this lucrative market grow at a rapid pace. For start-ups though, keeping pace with all the features and functionalities that are developing brings its own challenges when a sharp eye has to be maintained on keeping return on investment (ROI) under control.

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BAM! Launches in Singapore!


Launches in

SINGAPORE!

https://youtu.be/64Iu60H4_Pw

In May 2016 a conversation began amongst a group of Art lovers; how could they genuinely support artists, help them to sell their artwork around the world and forge sustainable careers? And so BAM! was born and the development process began.

Eighteen crazy months later and thanks to the faith and support of over 350 artists, on November 29th BAM! officially launched to wide acclaim in Singapore.
Every BAM! artist was featured within the exhibition and we even had a few of you there showcasing some of the Artwork and Jewellery available on the App. We had a great time using the amazing Augmented Reality to show our guests what artwork looks like on real walls – safe to say everyone was blown away by this cutting-edge technology!
Further launch events are planned for the UK and the USA in 2018 so we hope you can join us!
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Have you tried the BAM! Augmented Reality Yet?

This is seriously good fun – and just a bit addictive! What could be better than customers being able to see what your artwork would actually look like in their homes or office?

AR even allows you to get up close and see texture and brushwork – it should actually be called Amazing Reality! To try it for yourself, download the Trigger at www.baxters-art.com.

Attach it to any wall and you’re all set. It won’t be long before a physical trigger isn’t necessary – we’re just waiting for the technology to catch up with us!


bamlife

You may have already spotted this on the App. It’s for you! Although still under development to make it more relevant, you are welcome to use BAM!Life now to publicise your own events and exhibitions. Going forward it will include stories of interest, blogs, interviews and even serve as a platform through which you can sell tickets to events. All ideas are welcome so shout out if there is something we’ve missed

Getting Ready to Sell

With the App looking in great shape, we will shift focus to start talking with big organisations; show them what a great tool BAM! is when it comes to interior décor. No traipsing around shops or galleries – using the BAM! AR, life will become transformed for these organisations. They’ll have their premises decorated with artwork in no time at all. There is lots going on and we’ll be sure to keep you posted.

 

In the meantime, as our implementation with DHL is now complete, you may want to just check your artwork dimensions. Are they correct? Accurate dimensions will ensure the correct delivery charges are applied – and of course ensure the AR projects a true image of your work.

BAM! Home to Great Talent

Congratulations to Jensen Moreno who has just received her first International Art Award together with 20 other brilliant and deserving artists awardees at the recently held WCA Launch and Awards Night in the beautiful city of Hong Kong.

If you’d like to share your triumphs or indeed someone else’s, we’d love to hear from you.

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Curation

Thanks for all the feedback we have received over the last 6 months. It really helps us stay on track and ensures we are developing an App that works for you. So, in direct response to your observations, we will soon start to categorise the BAM! artists into Master, Professional, Emerging and Exceptional talent.

We will be using the information you have provided in your bios to kick-start this process so if you haven’t yet added any, or want to include a bit more detail, now would be a great time to do it.

Stop Press: Receiving your Payment

When your artwork sells, a customer has 14 days in which to return it. After this period has expired we will pay you by either PayPal or bank transfer, less the 7% service charge.

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If you wish to receive more information, please email to info@baxters-international.com