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Last Updated: Sunday, 18 January, 2004, 12:56 GMT
Child art from China on show
Zeng Xiaodong
Paintings by nine-year-old Zeng Xiaodong will be on show
A remarkable exhibition of paintings by children and adults from a Chinese school for people with disabilities is being held in Newcastle.

Northumbria University has close links with the Nanning Vocational School in China and has been given almost 40 paintings, which are being exhibited and then sold at a public auction to raise much-needed funds.

The school, in the Guang-Xi Province, uses art as a form of therapy for people with disabilities, many of whom have been abandoned by their families and society.

The paintings include works by artists who have been blind since birth, have used their feet or mouth to paint and by students who have mobility problems and learning difficulties.

The paintings are being exhibited at the Newcastle Arts Centre on Westgate Road from 19 January until 24 January and will be sold at a public auction on 29 January.

Chinese paining
A painting by youngster Tao Jin, who was born blind

All cash raised will be donated to the school to help them provide for both present and future students.

One student likely to benefit is nine-year-old Zeng Xiaodong, who was born deaf and was abandoned at the entrance of a hospital when she was just two-years-old.

She was taught her how to recognise and understand words through the shapes of people's mouths and at the age of three, she was able to write more than 100 Chinese characters.

Neil Slater, head of Northumbria University's International Office, said: "Northumbria is committed to education at all levels in China, with a strong network of educational links and joint programmes.

"We also have students from many parts of the People's Republic studying with us in a variety of disciplines, including art and design.

"We hope that by hosting this exhibition and auction we will raise the profile of the School and help it carry on the amazing work it does".



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