Art lovers open their hearts, and wallets, for charity project

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 04 April, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 04 April, 2012, 12:00am


More than 50 art collectors and well-wishers spilled onto the street in front of the ilivetomorrow Gallery in Sheung Wan. They all shared the same goal - to help Japanese children affected by last year's earthquake and tsunami, and perhaps snap up an original work of art while they were at it.

Liina Klauss, the illustrator behind the I Love Japan colouring book, was present to auction off original artwork from her book. 'It's really good to see all these open hearts in a money-driven city like Hong Kong, giving time and know-how and money to this charity project,' she said.

And give they did. The auction raised a total of HK$50,610. Bidders took home books, original illustrations and prints from featured artists. The biggest money maker of the night was SCMP political cartoonist Harry Harrison's drawing of Godzilla playing volleyball, which went for a whopping HK$6,000.

All of the money raised went to the Japanese non-profit organisation Ashinaga, which is dedicated to helping Japan's orphans with scholarships and emotional support.

Diane Nittke, owner of Ellermann Flower Boutique and a long-time supporter of Klauss, said: 'I was sure that even though these illustrations were aimed at children, they were worth being exhibited in a gallery and appreciated by adults as well. And it proved right. At the end of the evening all the original illustrations were sold.'