Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Famous cardiologist Dr. William T. Chua gives his heart to art at Health Cube

Dr. William T. Chua stands next to his "Medical Convention.'
By Nancy T. Lu

Although the beating human heart speaks generally to the diagnostic mind of a cardiologist, it, however, also stimulates the creative impulse of Dr. William T. Chua, a well-known heart specialist who has earned the reputation of an inspired painter and sculptor.

“I do not have an exact count of my works in the heart series,” remarked Chua, who has since 1985 created art on a whole range of subjects. “The time I spent on each of about 40 creations in my heart series could be from one week to years. Sometimes I put them aside and then returned to finish them much later.”

The 68-year-old Chua’s biggest labor of love is an abstract landmark sculpture called “Puso (Heart)” in front of the Philippine Heart Center. Years earlier, his “Heart of America” was the painting gift of the Philippine Heart Association to the American College of Cardiology in Bathesda, Maryland. It now hangs in the ACC Heart House.

The new Health Cube on Shaw Boulevard in Mandaluyong has become the latest showroom of his artistic talent. The lobby wall mural titled “TLC” captures his vision of Health Cube on Shaw Boulevard in Mandaluyong as a center engaged in serving with a team of very dedicated and professional specialists as well as with state of the art technology the health care needs of people from all walks of life. Elsewhere in the sprawling building is displayed “Medical Convention.” Colorful stethoscopes were pulled and stretched by Chua to give the impression of doctors engaged in medical exchange. A third work Chua created especially for Health Cube is titled “Meeting Minds.”

Jan Denton Chua, president and CEO of the center for quality health care services, and Edna Chua, an interior designer, handpicked the showcased collection of Chua’s works including a few from Chua’s heart series to highlight the Health Cube’s promotion of art appreciation.

Cardiologist Chua, the artist behind the featured collection of art pieces, explained: “The heart’ s fascinating electrical conduction system gives rise to the heartbeat and makes the heart valves open and close gracefully. All these have inspired my artistic expressions.”

Chua said he has turned each time to his palette of favorite colors when setting out to make his art vision take shape and flower. He gravitates toward a mix of green and orange, red and ocher, and amber, too.

Viewers of Chua’s art, however, hardly see the anatomy of the important body organ in his heart series. The heart undergoes metamorphosis with feeling and even sensuality in Chua’s amazing imagination. He plays with seemingly dancing forms and shapes that invite different interesting interpretations in the minds of those who look at the exhibited results.

Chua in his youth loved to draw. He, however, never went to fine arts school. His successful medical practice over the years has opened up opportunities to get to know famous artists like Ang Kiu-kok, Malang and Sofronio “SYM” Mendoza. They were his heart patients.

At the Health Cube where Chua holds his clinic, the queue of patients from near and far keeps growing longer. But whenever he can, he gives his heart to art.

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