The Autism Society Philippines (ASP) is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to the well-being of persons on the autism spectrum disorder. We envision a society where Filipinos on the spectrum become the best of their potentials -- self-reliant, independent, productive, socially-accepted citizens of an Autism-OK Philippines.

30 September 2011

Zero-In on Art, Life and Autism

By: Tiffany Tan, ASP Board Secretary

Autism Society Philippines (ASP) was invited to the on-the-spot painting of visual artist, Baldwin Kho, during the Zero In: Open Call Arts Festival at The Atrium of SM Mall of Asia, last September 16, 2011. Zero In is an annual collaboration of Manila’s top 5 Museums namely, Ateneo Art Gallery, Ayala Museum, Bahay Tsinoy, Lopez Memorial Museum, and Museo Pambata.

This year’s Art Festival aims to encourage people on art appreciation and cultural heritage. The exhibition which ran from September 15 to 24, 2011, featured a collection of visual arts, culinary arts, film, fashion, sound and dance.

Kho, or Teacher Baldwin, as he is affectionally called by his students, has been a strong supporter of ASP projects. He is a regular guest judge to the annual Painting Contest of children with autism during the Autism Consciousness Week. He also served as mentor to art students during the Colors of A Spectrum Painting Exhibit, which was held in various SM Malls. Last year, Kho walked with friends from the Tsinoy community during the Angels Walk for Autism.

Kho is currently the Vice President of Bahay Tsinoy, a museum located in Intramuros which houses Chinese artifacts and wax figures depicting the evolvement of the early immigrants to the modern-day Tsinoy (Tsinong-Pinoy).

In his colorful career as a visual artist, Teacher Baldwin has mentored several talented children with special needs, but humbly admits having no special education training. He personally witnessed the evolution of art of one of his special student from simple scribbling of repetitive circles to creating several art pieces worthy of medals.

Participating on the on-the-spot painting of Teacher Baldwin were art students, children and guests. JR Tan, 20-year old college student with autism, briefly participated in the painting exercise when Teacher Baldwin offered him a paint brush to contribute colors to the canvas.
Teacher Baldwin Kho with JR Tan

Watching Teacher Baldwin fill in the blank spaces in the canvass together with his colleague art teacher and other friends was a wonderful experience. The blank canvas was filled with a happy medley of spheres, flowers, smiling girl, feathers, a house, a Chinese character 谢 (xiè) or thanks and the words peace, hope, love, kaisa and kasama. Unexpected paint smudges that spread outside the canvass were turned into tiny planets that tied-in with the theme.

Having travelled from Laog for a convention, coming straight from the airport to the exhibit, and after several hours of painting, the visual artist finally sat down to a cold glass of iced tea. He was ready to call it the day. “I really don’t know what keeps me going….I guess my strength comes from the Lord.”

When asked about the finished product, the visual artist replied, “The painting is like my epilepsy. Sometimes seizure happens when it is unexpected (referring to the initial paint smudges outside the canvass).…..But so is life. We cannot repaint or cover the smudge with white paint……We just have to think outside the box and make it better…... It is also like the autism advocacy, we have to go out of the borders, to give hope to others.”


Be an Angel for Autism. Donate generously to ASP Programs and Services. Donate to Autism Society Philippines Metrobank Kamias Branch 047-3-04751874-2. Email us at or call 7-903-5496.


Anonymous said...

I enjoy reading your blog and also the picture of both JR and Baldwin Kho. Keep up the good work. Sy-Gideon Kua

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