The Borneo Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) in Malaysia, has received a surprise gift of two Sun Bear sculptures, from IM Group and the Lai Lai Art Gallery/Studio, to raise awareness of the endangered species in the run-up to Malaysia’s 65th independence-year celebrations.
The sculptures, originally part of the ‘Healthy Forest, Happy Wildlife’ art exhibition — organised Lai Lai Art Gallery/Studio in support of BSBCC in Sabah — where amongst the artworks that most impressed the conservation centre’s founder, Dr Wong Siew Te.
“Although the exhibition featured creations from many artists, who had already donated 50% of the proceeds from their sales to the BSBCC, I saved this piece, in particular, as a special thank you and encouragement to Dr Wong for his cause,” explained Malaysian-born artist Alice Chang Guerra, owner of Lai Lai Art Gallery/Studio and Chair of IM GROUP Foundation.
“I am particularly touched by this generosity and wish to express my sincere thanks to Alice Chang Guerra for helping to bring further global attention to the smallest bear in the world,” said Dr Wong. The sun bear, with its distinctive sand-coloured chest patch from which its name derives, is native only to the tropical forests of South-East Asia, and plays a vital role in their ecological balance, yet today, as a result of poaching and deforestation it has become an endangered species.”
The sculptures, made from recycled pieces of broken ceramics, cemented together with love symbolically carry a powerful message of strength. Chang Guerra concluded, “Together, we can pick up the pieces and start again to build a better world, each of us just needs to do their bit and slowly slowly, just like a mosaic, a new whole will appear.”