“Death is a profound metaphor”
I'm afraid of running out of time in this world.
To continue living, creating, and travelling around the world, to care and show empathy for people, to love and be concerned about the environment, to live a humane life not measured by quantitative value but by qualitative value.
Throughout my years of working with various communities in Singapore, the elderly have struck a chord with me
Maybe I'm getting older and thinking about how I want to die, so I start researching about how we can die better, more gracefully
Is it possible for Art to play a role? Can it be a social companion? A life saver?
Can it be the silver lining in the face of total despair?
I spent about a half-year developing and creating this project,
and the process showed me that we can transform something ordinary into something special
With radical empathy, we can all age gracefully together
My socially-engaged art practice is ethnographic in nature, and it is also concerned with the moment of encounter
A chance encounter with elderly in the void deck turns into a phone call then a house visit
They invite me into their homes to share their perspectives and emotions about the ups and downs of their lives
The conversations, each in their own way, speak about care and acts of kindness,
and it becomes so clear to me how we can repair this social fabric
We are exceptionally well-equipped as human beings to walk through life as empathetic beings
However, we are increasingly experiencing an empathy crisis, a widespread lack of empathy in our society
"First and foremost, I am a human being; then, and only then, can I be an artist,"
It's something that has always been ingrained in me.
So, how can we use art to rediscover and reacquaint ourselves with our empathetic selves?
“small giants with big hearts."
I have learnt so much from their stories
Some of them are manual labourers who fed an entire family with their hands and a simple meal makes them happy
Some of them have become ill with life-threatening conditions and bravely live each day as it comes
I admire their tenacity to live
I relate to this as the art spirit
I pay close attention to the mundane moments of everyday life
To be present in reality makes me realise that I am "here"
I’m so inspired by people's stories and the passage of time in this world
It reaffirms my belief that there is an intangible quality to being human
A potential for profound emotional experiences that cannot be grasped through logic or reason, that cannot ever be described in words, but can be felt intuitively, intimately, so fleeting that I glimpsed something ethereal, that can only be captured through art.
Exploring our world in search of understanding, of a meaning to our existence.
It's my way of praying that we can live forever.
World Peace and Love,