Exploring life and art – virtually

Exploring life and art – virtually

Caption: Ang Mo Kio resident Mdm Ang learnt about how contrast of colours, types of shadows and shades affect the quality of photos.

With the Covid-19 outbreak and the continued suspension of most activities for seniors, many are turning to virtual platforms to improve social connectivity as they are encouraged to lead informed, healthy and active lives.

TOUCH Community Services is pleased to be part of the National Arts Council’s Digital Arts Project (DAP) team. Working closely with artists and volunteers, the team explored how seniors can be engaged in the arts through digital means.  From June-August 2020, seniors stayed creative, co-created art works with artists, and strengthened bonds with their peers.  

10 seniors from TOUCHpoint@AMK 433, took part in the DAP as they were given the opportunity to reflect on their lives, discover their strengths and interests, and share what they have learnt with family, friends and neighbours.

Under the guidance of artists Ms Wong Swee Yean and Mr Justin Loke over four virtual sessions in July this year, residents were introduced to the world of photography and storytelling. Whether it is reminiscing about their past and piecing together their life story or learning to appreciate the beauty in everyday life at home or outdoors, it has been an enriching experience.

crop montage2

Caption: A collection of photos taken by Ang Mo Kio residents Mdm Ang Hiok Hoon, Mr Tan Song Hwee, Mdm Ong Lian Hwa and Ms Jennifer Wong.

“It has been an eye-opener for me. I learnt to take photo with a story behind. I am happy that I was share my photos with family members and friends. I still need to practise to remember what I have learnt. I am looking forward to the next course!” said Mdm Ang Hiok Hoon, 78, who was coached by Justin.  

“I really enjoyed it! As I was searching for past photos of my mother, It brought back sweet memories of my time with her! This project serves to remind us to cherish our loved ones and spend time with them while we can. Focus on the present and see how you can inspire others. I hope to learn video editing skills so I can do my own story about antiques and use it as conversation starters with my befriendees” , said Ms Lily Wee in her sixties, who took part in Swee Yean's storytelling session.

Insights from the DAP project team will be shared at the upcoming Arts and Ageing Forum and Silver Arts 2020, to inform how the arts community and social service sector can continue to collaborate and incorporate new modes of engaging seniors in the arts.