charKOL at Mandai Orchid Garden, Singapore

This page now serves as a documentation and a recovery of our dreams. I have kept the text in present tense as it was originally written, as a memory, a space for reflection, as we continue to keep journeying and growing. Works of art are such. They hold the lessons. They hold a safe space, for reflection, for contemplation. But if we never went and did something, try something that is kinder and a better direction, that our hearts are longing to witness, what would we hold? For a long time, I had kept thinking about the failures, but today, I am able to say, “I am glad, we did it. We followed and lived our hearts.”

The tears are fine. The tears are part of the growing. The tears are part of the art. The tears are part of life. The tears nourish the heart. Heals it. And grows the joy that is waiting to sprout. To bear fruit. The fruits – wow, so many. So many. All good.

After 7 years, I went back and dug up all the photos, and I am so proud to be able to thank and honour my family and friends, who had believed, (and who still believe), alongside me, and walked with me, on this leg of a very long and worthy journey, which I now understand as, one of empowerment, inner freedom, dignity and full inclusion. It takes great courage to walk such a journey. It requires tremendous support from loved ones. It is birthed only from true, true, true love.

Because it is a walk where you cannot see where you are going. You can only feel it. And know it is true. Before anyone else around you perceive its possibility.

It requires us to live beyond belief. Beyond words. Beyond even the concept of faith.

It is a walk on only one ground – love.

It is a walk that if you do not ground, you will plummet straight into the abyss of confusion. A space in which you will also eventually fall into some rock bottom anyway, and find that, love is also there. Always there. And a wink accompanies it.

And then you climb out of that pit. And stand. And look in awe and wonder at the deepness – the liberation. The clarity. Of the depth of open space.

And then, you re-begin. You continue. You keep going.

And this time, you are singing and dancing. Yes, you sing:

Hope.

Yes, I choose, to continue to sing.

I sing hope.

Peng-Ean Khoo,
co-founder,
charKOL Pte Ltd
May 2015

charKOL at Mandai Orchid Garden, Singapore
charKOL Pte Ltd and Singapore Orchids Pte Ltd
art, gifts, cafe

2008 to 2009

charKOL is a space for the exploration of our humanity through art and ideas. Our goal is to develop a workable balance between art, commerce and conscience. charKOL’s flagship location, at the Mandai Orchid Garden, houses an art gallery, supported by a socially conscious giftshop and a cafe.

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ART

CharKOL Gallery is a commercial gallery space where artistic integrity is the core value. We are dedicated to promoting a wide diversity of local and international artists throughout the year as well as featuring charKOL’s art students in their own annual exhibitions. CharKOL also organises advocacy events that are conducted and hosted by like-minded individuals to promote art appreciation, social consciousness and community amongst our children, youth, tourists, corporations and the community at large.

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GIFTS

At our giftshop you will find that our gift products are not the usual novelty items. From jewellery to gourmet chocolate you will find that many of our products are sourced from not-for-profit or socially conscious organisations. We have a books corner with beautifully illustrated childrens’ books, exclusive poetry chapbooks and anthologies, and nature books about Singapore’s unique flora, fauna and wildlife. We also carry plants, orchids and advanced plant care products.

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CAFE

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