rumah kita (our home) arts journey

The hallways of LB Clementi 420 AAC were transformed into an art gallery that showcased the creative expressions of the centre’s seniors to the public for a day. Photographs, cut-outs and other visual art pieces adorned the walls, each with a unique story to tell. There was also an exhibit with luminous boxes containing all the seniors’ handicraft and written thoughts, along with sensory sound effects to enhance the overall experience. These artworks were inspired by the seniors’ personal experiences and memories based on the concept of ‘Home’. With each step down the hallways, visitors were invited to immerse themselves in the colourful and vibrant world of our LB seniors, a testament to the richness of their lives and experiences.

This showcase was the cumulative result of “Rumah Kita (Our Home) Arts Journey”. It was part of the Community Arts Engagement Programme, an initiative by the National Arts Council in collaboration with Lions Befrienders to encourage seniors to express themselves creatively, deepen family bonds and form new social connections through a series of interconnected arts activities.

Facilitated by Mr Michael Cheng and Ms Karen Koh from SEED Collective, “Rumah Kita Arts Journey” engaged 30 seniors over the span of 5 weeks. During this period, our seniors participated in a variety of activities comprising guided tours to the Singapore City Gallery, 2D and 3D visual art-making, reflective writing, individual sessions with personal objects as their representations of ‘Home’ and playback theatre performances.

“Incorporating different disciplines allowed for participants to approach the themes through art forms that attracted them. Building connections and coherence among the different activities also meant that a conversation can have several opportunities to pause, take breath, renew, or take a different direction,” said Mr Michael Cheng, an Applied Drama Practitioner and Educator.

2D visual art-making activity

The 2D visual art-making session prompted our seniors to think about what was important to them. As they conceptualized these elements, the seniors extracted materials from old magazines and flyers to create an exquisite montage that manifested their unique representation of “Home”.  They also added their own photographs that reflected on their youth, backgrounds and social ties to personalize their artworks even more.

Playback Theatre Performance

Our seniors also took part in the playback theatre performances where they told their stories while the instructors re-enacted the scenes based on what was shared. This enabled them to revisit key milestone events of their lives and relive those experiences again. Joshua, one of the instructors from the Playback Theatre Team, recounted, “I was touched that the seniors did their best to meet us halfway despite the language barriers and collectively recount the old days. So even though it was challenging to understand some parts, it didn’t matter because we could all still feel how much those stories meant to them.”

Group photo of the participating seniors with SEED Collective

LB also received positive feedback about this programme from the seniors. “Rumah Kita Arts Journey” turned out to be meaningful with deeper insights to what our seniors hold close to their hearts. There was consistent attendance by some seniors, who also put in their best effort to create pleasing artworks. We are happy that our seniors take pride in their artwork creations, and even invited their family members to view the showcase,” said Mr Andy Shee, Centre Manager of LB Clementi 420 AAC.

Reflecting on the idea of “Home”, this journey led our seniors to rediscover themselves, interact with one another, and integrate into their larger community. Furthermore, the artworks served as a reminder that creativity knows no age limit, and that even in the golden years of life, there is still much beauty and inspiration to be found.

About Community Arts Engagement Programme

The Community Arts Engagement Programme is an initiative by the National Arts Council in collaboration with Lions Befrienders. It aims to engage seniors with the arts by empowering them to apply their own life experiences to the art-making process and encourage seniors to express themselves creatively, deepen family bonds and form new social connections through a series of interconnected arts activities.

Click here to watch the full video of this programme. 

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