Creating miniature forests as therapy for the less fortunate in Penang

Opalyn Mok
Residents from Penang Cheshire Home making their own miniature forests at a workshop by Moonshop Gallery — Pictures by Steven Ooi K.E.

GEORGE TOWN, Jan 8 — Festive seasons can be a lonely time for those living in orphanages and homes, especially those who do not have many or any visitors.

Most — children, the elderly and the disabled — do not even have pets to keep them company.

So how about a "pet plant"?

Arborist Vin Chee of Moonshop Gallery came up with the Tangerine Forest Workshop for the less fortunate recently where each participant got to create their own miniature forest in a glass bottle.

Ivy Gan (second from left) making her own miniature forest in a bottle at the workshop
The participants get to make this miniature forest and bring it home afterwards

"They learn to make their own miniature forest which they can take back and care for as their own," he said.

About 22 people from Penang Cheshire Home and 20 children from an orphanage in Bukit Mertajam took part in the workshop which was supported by Wellings Pharmacy.

Chee said the participants were each given a tangerine-themed bag along with the materials needed to make the moss forest in small bottles.

He said the workshop, conducted outdoors by the seaside, also helped the participants relax while cultivating a love for nature and greenery.

Noreeda Redzwen with her own miniature forest
The Tangerine Forest Workshop was held by the sea

One of the participants, Noreeda Redzwen, 32, said this was the first time she tried making a miniature forest.

"I will place it at home as decoration," she said.

Another participant, Ivy Gan Ai Bee, who lives in the Penang Cheshire Home, hoped she will be able to maintain the moss forest.

"I only hope it won't die, it will be a very nice decoration for my room," she said.

Chee said Moonshop Gallery is willing to work with corporate or individual sponsors to organise more of such workshops for the less fortunate.

Find out more about the making of miniature forests at

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