COMMUNITY – ART TRANSFORMS
World Mental Health Day 2013
Benefits of Art Therapy showcased at World Mental Health Day
LASALLE was privileged to play host to the World Mental Health Day Carnival, organised by the Institute of Mental Health and Singapore Association for Mental Health. MA Art Therapy students volunteered at the event and also showcased Voices Through Art, an exhibition of artworks that came out of four art therapy sessions with an addiction treatment facility to draw awareness to addictions and mental health. “The MA Art Therapy programme welcomed the opportunity to engage in this annual project, as it provided the first community project and client contact for the first year students. It served as a strategic transition from lecture-based learning to actual clinical work,” said Ron Lay, Programme Leader, MA Art Therapy. He added, “Art therapy is increasingly gaining wider acceptance in Singapore as a form of psychotherapy. With art therapy, you don’t have to express your emotions in words – you can creatively and visually express how you feel about potentially difficult feelings, experiences and topics.”
Art therapy Explores taboo topic of hospice care
The MA Art Therapy Programme partnered with Dover Park Hospice to present a unique art exhibition, Hospice is…. comprising art contributions from people from all walks of life, including many who attended hands-on sessions at LASALLE to express their thoughts on end-of-life care through art. The objective of the project was to raise awareness of the often misunderstood subject of hospice and palliative care, offering the public a fresh perspective on a topic commonly regarded as taboo. At the hands-on sessions, the public got to work with a wide selection of art materials for creating their art on ceramic dove figurines, and to register to be selected for the exhibition. The exhibition was launched by the President of Singapore, Mr Tony Tan Keng Yam on 3 October 2013.
The Kizuna Project
Friendship mission to disaster region
Students from the Faculty of Design took part in the Kizuna Project, a youth project with Asia-Oceania and North America organised by the government of Japan. The project is part of Japan’s reconstruction plans aimed at promoting global understanding of Japan’s revival efforts in response to the Great East Japan Earthquake. Under this project, approximately 9,000 youths from the Asia-Oceania region had the opportunity to take part in a ten-day trip to Japan where they visited the disaster-stricken Ibaraki prefecture and learned about recovery efforts in the region. “The visit to Japan was truly an eye-opener for our students. They gained not only a greater appreciation of Japanese culture but also of the Japanese people’s sensitivity to their surroundings, environment and others around them, that helped them grow as artists and as individuals.” said Ginette Chittick, Programme Leader, Diploma in Fashion.
Documenting wildlife of Singapore
Fine Arts lecturer Hazel Lim was invited to collaborate with the Singapore Biennale 2013 to organise an event under its Artists-in-Schools initiative. For her project titled A Botanical and Wildlife Survey – Singapore, Hazel worked with 150 students from five secondary schools to explore how modern living has affected the habitats of local flora and fauna. With the help of National Parks Board, participating students were led on expeditions to help them gather material for their drawings of insects, wildlife and plants life in Singapore.
Said Hazel, “Through documenting the current living species that we have in our limited natural reserves and parks, this project helps us question our attitudes towards our natural habitats and wildlife, how their existence or the lack thereof speaks of the history and memory of our land, and thereby also addresses the delicate balance between the natural and the constructed landscape.” The process culminated in an exhibition at the Peranakan Museum comprising drawings on porcelain plates, journal entries, sketches and photographs, and an art workshop for the public.
Teaching Broadcast Media in an Unconventional Classroom
Over two sessions in December, a basic video-editing course was delivered by lecturer Khalid Almkhlaafy to inmates at Tanah Merah Prison (Prison School). The course contributed towards participants’ qualification for the National Youth Achievement Award. The class size was over forty, all with no previous experience of video editing.
“By the end of the course, all of them were able to produce a short three-minute edited video that incorporated motion graphics and text, as well as video effects and a soundtrack,” said Khalid, who is the Programme Leader for LASALLE’s Diploma in Broadcast Media. Following the course, several students were chosen to put their newly acquired skills into practice by creating motivational short films. “As an educator for over twenty years, this course is one of the most satisfying I have taught,” added Khalid.
Design Certificate Course to Help Inmates Upgrade
The Faculty of Design successfully conducted two 15-week certificate courses in 2013 for female inmates in the Changi Women’s Prison with basic design skills that they can use to find employment upon release.
Said Nur Hidayah, Dean, Faculty of Design, “The course will now be undergoing review for a more advanced programme. Take up has been positive, and the inmates have found it beneficial.” This programme follows the successful implementation of a certificate course by the Faculty of Fine Arts for male inmates, launched in 2009.