Launched on 12th March 2015, exhibition THE DAYS THAT WE WONDER/ WANDER started its first leg of exhibitions at DECK along Prinsep Street. The exhibition launch held at DECK witnessed intimate sharing and discussion between friends, family and supporters of the cause and the project. This project has been headed and conceptualised by three aspiring arts managers from Ngee Ann Polytechnic's Arts Business Management (ABM), Natalie, Tanya and Jenson. The team had a vision to put their skills and knowledge to a greater purpose, birthing the concept for this exhibition.
Supported by Community Health Assessment Team (CHAT), the exhibition THE DAYS THAT WE WONDER/ WANDER engaged with five multidisciplinary artists to discuss the themes of mental well-being and dilemma. The artworks featured draw inspiration both from personal 'journeys' and stories as told by those who suffer from mental disorders. Each artwork strives to tell a story that is accessible to visitors through the standpoint of the artist, providing insight and variety of perspectives for each story told. Through the reinterpretation of stories, qualities of mental condition are uncovered on different levels.
Interestingly, the artworks have been displayed in unique ways with vastly different topics of discussion. Interpretations of the emotional and mental journey is presented by Leanna Teoh as she documents the psychological progressions she felt through her experience as an artist. Self-doubt coupled with cluelessness towards breaking point, Leanna retells her story of insecurities and uneasiness in a series of photographs. 130912research by Malvina Tan-Dhanaraj, similarly presents a first person recount of her process of coping with her husband's death. The on-going research project since 2012 include photographic documentation, artefacts and reflection memos in her series of ritualistic performances.
Jem Magbanua's illustrations, on the other hand, address a condition from a second person perspective. Using graphite on pencil, these illustrations present the internal conflict living in the minds of those grappling with Obsessive Complusive Disorder (OCD). Through vast, unstable and tumultuous outlook of oceans, overarching emotions towards the OCD condition and contributing components to uncertainty are explored. The illustrations offer a glimpse to the conversations that occur in these individuals and their need/ desire for repetition to calm and reassure their unsettled minds. Dual/ Duel by Zen The takes on a similar approach discussing the state of mind of a person with Schizophrenia using the perspective of reflection to visualise the interaction occurring within the minds of these individuals.
Additionally, artwork by Michelle Lim "in day dreams the wounded" explores the process of printmaking in relation to participatory art. 17 lettered rubber-stamps and reflective cardstock are accompanied by the subtitle "Shape, carve, crack open (You are invited to participate.)" Each rubber stamp comprises a single word that when combined, form phrases that reflect the emotional and mental state of the participant.
Following the exhibition at the DECK from 12 to 21 March, THE DAYS THAT WE WONDER/ WANDER will be relocated to Jurong Regional Library from 2 - 20 May.
photos by Raphael Matthew Ong