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COMPANY OF GOOD

Goshen gets CSR down to a fine art

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For Mr Yu - who was formerly in the shipping industry - an emphasis on the importance of contributing to society and helping those in need through art was an important factor when starting Goshen.

Singapore

SINCE the late 1980s, Jack Yu's parents - as owners of Dynasties Antiques and Arts Gallery and Da Tang Fine Arts - have been giving local and foreign artists opportunities to express and develop their talent on canvas.

Being exposed to such an environment, Mr Yu was adamant to do the same when he struck out on his own.

The chief managing director of Goshen Art Gallery says that he decided to start his own business in 2015, and that years of lending a hand to his parents in the art industry certainly helped.

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For Mr Yu - who was formerly in the shipping industry - an emphasis on the importance of contributing to society and helping those in need through art was an important factor when starting Goshen.

"Giving back to society has always been a part of me, and I think the best thing that individuals can do is to make use of their resources to help others," he says.

From the onset, Goshen has taken up art-driven corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives that include the donation of art pieces for corporate charity events. The profits from the auction of the paintings would also be donated, he adds.

The funds raised have benefited social enterprises and charities including the Singapore Red Cross, Children's Charities Association and CRIB, a social enterprise which aims to empower women to become successful entrepreneurs.

To Mr Yu, auctioning art pieces for charity events was the most direct way to contribute to society.

However, as Goshen's profile grew, so did the scope of its CSR initiatives. It now holds monthly exhibitions and donates a portion of its commission to charity.

As part of Mr Yu's belief in sustainable giving, Goshen is also committed to featuring works of artists - both young and old - on a regular basis.

"We know that some artists have problems getting sponsorships or money to hold events at galleries.

"Knowing that, we have offered to provide help to these artists by allowing them to hold their events at Goshen, and act as advisers for them."

This is important for artists as such events are important for their growth and exposure, he adds. Furthermore, artists are also able to tap into Goshen's expertise in art and connections to better market and sell their work.

"As an individual, there is more that I can do to improve on the CSR plans that are already in place. Much of what we want to do is to provide sustainability to those organisations and the individuals that we partner with," he says.

Plans in the pipeline include aiming to contribute further to society via art therapy - which studies have shown to have a positive impact on both the young and old with special needs.

Goshen also plans to build its regional presence and to scout for opportunities to collaborate with other artists in the region to impact their communities.

"We want to help artists - both locally and regionally - as it provides opportunities for the growth of art appreciation and its positives."

  • This article is part of a series highlighting inspiring companies who are catalysts of change in corporate giving. The Business Times supports NVPC's Company of Good programme as a media partner. For more information, go to www.companyofgood.sg
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