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Arts and Communities Beyond Singapore

DADP students journey to Hong Kong to explore how the arts and communities interact. 

The arts and communities are two major areas that the Diploma in Applied Drama and Psychology (DADP) students explore in the course.

We often ask, “What is a community?” and “How can the arts be used with communities?” For 8 days, together with our lecturer Miss Chang, 18 students set out to Hong Kong to find out the some possible answers! 

 

1. Art with the Disabled Association Hong Kong (ADAHK): Workshops by artists with different abilities

“Everything in daily life inspires me.” - Tung Mui, Foot Painting Artist

It was difficult for us to be inspired when we had a physically challenging time painting with our feet! Using muscles which we never knew existed, and enduring leg and thigh cramps, we created our art pieces. Facilitated by a tenacious lady, Tung Mui, who uses only her legs to go about her daily life, we were awed by how she used her feet to create beautiful paintings.

Another facilitator, William, a very humorous artist who is visually-challenged, conducted a game where we had to guide our “blind” partner through various pit-stops. He also guided us to create tactile productions, where we created art pieces where the visually-challenged can “see” an art-piece in their heads by feeling the object. This is truly significant manner of including the visually-challenged – let it be in art or something useful such as maps!

 

2. Centre for Community Cultural Development Hong Kong (CCCDHK): Art Therapy, Symbiotic Dance and Community Music Workshops

“Don’t think, just have fun!”- Amber, Art Therapist

Amber, our facilitator, guided us through an art therapy experience based on the theme of a “question mark”. Using different types of yarns and strings, we had great fun turning the studio into an art piece. At the same time, we were able to reflect on this process of creation as a metaphor of life. 

 

“Even if you can only blink your eyes, you can dance." - Scarlette, Danceability trainer

Scarlette, our facilitator, is a certified Danceability trainer. Danceability is a dance training method based on the philosophy that anyone can dance. Joined by members of the Hong Kong Symbiotic Dance troupe, we worked in groups to create dance pieces. The experience was liberating because we saw how dance can be re-defined. 

 

“So now, we will write a song about your experience.” - David,  Community Music Workshop Facilitator

After a walkabout tour at Shum Shui Po, one of Hong Kong’s working class districts, David, our energetic facilitator, led us in our reflection. But this was done through our very own original composition. We all wondered how it could be done in an hour. But we did it! We sang about what we saw and the struggles that we witnessed.

Aside from the above, we also had many other fun and engaging sessions with other organisations. These included Boys and Girls’ Club Association (BGCA), Hong Kong Drama/Theatre and Education Forum (TeFO), Society for Community Organisation (SOCO), St James Settlement (SJS). 

 

Takeaway

Having such a varied experience over 8 days, my greatest takeaway would be the different ways in which Singapore could be more inclusive. Anyone should have the right to create and enjoy art. Any community, if given the opportunity, can flourish and sometimes, the arts can be one way to facilitate the process.

Do check us out on Instagram @dadp_rhapsody_hk16

 

Written by Yuvaraj s/o Arumugam, Diploma in Applied Drama and Psychology, Year 3 student