Borneo Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) Malaysia, has received a surprise gift of two Sun Bear sculptures from IM GROUP and Lai Lai Art Gallery/Studio to raise awareness of the endangered species in the runup to Malaysia’s 65th independence-year celebrations. The sculptures, originally part of the ‘Healthy Forest, Happy Wildlife’ art exhibition—organized by Lai Lai Art Gallery/Studio in support of BSBCC in Sabah—were 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.

The sun bear, with its distinctive sand-colored 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. Today, as a result of poaching and deforestation, it has become an endangered species. The BSBCC founded by Dr Wong Siew Te, specializes in the rescue and rehabilitation of sun bears, providing them with a safe environment in which to grow whilst monitoring their well-being. The conservation centre is also one of the main contributors to research on sun bears whilst promoting ecotourism.

The sculptures, made from recycled pieces of broken ceramics, cemented together with love symbolically carry a powerful message of strength, as 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.”

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