Author: Dong Wan Ting
Published by: Canada Maple Press
Standard Book No.: IBSN978-0-9809291-7-1
Wan Ting was born with a passion for painting. Despite never having received any professional training, her untamed paintbrush conveys her innate love for art and records her fearless exploration of the world.
Compared to fancy words such as “artistry” or “creativity”, I personally much prefer“painting”. For me, painting is expression on a personal level, a perfect subtle channel for me to reach out to the world and objectify my inner thoughts and feelings, and individual interpretations and perspective. Through my brushes, all the forests and lakes I have seen, interactions and relationships I have experienced and even the vibrant colors I have glimpsed in fleeting moments, all become my own.
My passion for painting is how I was introduced to the special behavioral trait – autism. A couple of years ago, media outlets and galleries began to showcase works from children with autism. As I became more familiar with this group, I realized that the majority of media coverage regarding autism and autistic painters gave the general public an inaccurate message. They give the impression that autistic children are more likely to be artistic geniuses. However, this is obviously a misleading interpretation. These children are prone to isolation and tend to be socially awkward. The message should be to encourage empathy and support for this group.
The book The Journal for the Educators of Autistic Patients contains this opening prolog, “They are neither geniuses nor aliens. They are just like us. They are of this world, but only more disadvantaged and inauspicious.” I hope this catalog will inspire more people to extend helping hands to autistic children so that we can all enjoy this beautiful world together as equals.
One day, I yearn to see those with autism not only flourish in their own surroundings, but also stepping through the barrier and become part of everyone’s world. This way we will converge their shining stars with our own into a galaxy of peace and acceptance.
董婉婷，2002 年生。2017 年被纳入“北京青年科学家培养课题——翱翔计划”；2017 年 10 月参加“China Thinks Big 创新研究挑战赛”，开始深入参与自闭症患者的康复活动。2018 年 1 月在美国威斯敏斯特中学以交换生身份学习；2018 年起在故宫博物院进行志愿者服务；2018 年 7 月在美国哥伦比亚大学进行社会学习；2018 年起利用课余时间参与志愿北京的活动，指导憨福儿（智力障碍者）进行手工精细训练，帮助憨福儿就业并融入社会。2019 年 1 月，发起成立“星星日记社”， 组织社团成员定期参加志愿活动；2019 年 6 月跟随美国卡内基梅隆大学教授进行关于行为经济学中 information avoidance 项目研究；2019 年 8 月，发起策划自闭症儿童专业艺术展览——“自由如初的力量”，开启自闭症儿童与艺术家的对话，并将展览义卖筹集的资金用于自闭症儿童的康复。
DONG Wan Ting, born in 2002, is proficient in solo singing, piano, flute, ocarina, gymnastics, table tennis, traditional Chinese calligraphy, and most of all, the art of painting. Wan Ting is also keenly interested and devoted to psychology and neuroscience studies.
In 2017, Wan Ting qualified for the “Young Scientist Development Course – Soaring Project”, and in October of the same year participated in the China “Thinks Big” campaign, beginning her journey in volunteer aid for those suffering with autism.
In January 2018, Wan Ting studied as an exchange student at the Westminster High School in Simsbury, Connecticut. In July 2018, she was involved in a social study program at Columbia University. Since the year, she has served as a volunteer at the Palace Museum in Beijing and also utilized her leisure time to volunteer with Beijing Social Services, participating in the re-assimilation of mentally stunted children through handcraft workshops.
In January 2019, Wan Ting founded the Star Diary Society in Beijing 101 Middle School which organized various volunteer activities on a regular basis. In June, she participated in the Information Avoidance Research Program conducted by Carnegie Mellon University. In August, she launched her own art exhibition titled “The Power of the Innate Freedom” featuring her original artistic collection, opening a channel for autistic children to connect with artists. All proceeds were donated to support the rehabilitation of children with autism.
The Power of the Innate Freedom objectifies and expresses Wan Ting’s dedication and deep understanding of autism. All profits and proceeds of this catalogue will also be donated to autistic children.
（理想国 The Republic of Plato）
（破碎的星星 Broken Star）