Category Archives: ARTISAN

IAFOR Scholarship Recipient (2019) – Ms. Stephanie Hilary Ma

IAFOR Scholarship Recipient (2019) – Ms. Stephanie Hilary Ma

Our Master student, Ms. Stephanie Hilary Xinyi Ma, received the IAFOR Scholarship at the 9th Asian Conference on Psychology & the Behavioral Sciences (ACP2019) held in Tokyo from 21st to 23rd March 2019. She presented on ‘A Waitlist-Randomised Control Trial for a Novel intergenerational Art-based Intervention: Project ARTISAN’ and ‘The Arts for Ageing Well: An Ecological Process Model for Sustainable Arts Engagement’.

Here is Hilary’s reflection on the award:

“I am grateful to be a recipient of the IAFOR Scholarship, and this is possible because of the steadfast support and guidance from Prof Andy, the ARCH team and NTU. As this was my first time presenting at a conference, it was an eye opening and rewarding experience to be able to engage in interdisciplinary discussion and knowledge exchange at an international conference.”

Connecting with seniors through storytelling and art

Connecting with seniors through storytelling and art

by TOUCH Elderly Group

Connecting with seniors through storytelling and art

Caption: TOUCH senior Mdm Tan Siok Cheng, 77, and youth volunteer, Mr Fabian Foo, bonding over a craft session. (Photo Credit: Gabriel Goh, Stellar Photography, for ARCH Lab, Nanyang Technological University)

ARTISAN: Aspiration and Resilience Through Intergenerational Storytelling and Art-based Narratives – A Pilot Study by the Nanyang Technological University

Project ARTISAN – which stands for Aspiration and Resilience Through Intergenerational Storytelling and Art-based Narratives – is an intricately-structured and holistic multimodal intervention framework that builds resilience and creates meaningful connections between youth and seniors by bringing them together in museum and community spaces.

Over five weeks earlier this year, 34 pairs of youth and seniors embarked on a journey of inter-generational storytelling and creative art-making at the National Museum. They learnt about Singapore’s heritage, the relational bonds forged by our pioneers, the resilience they displayed while overcoming adversities, and the realisation of their dreams and aspirations.

The youth-senior pairs were then given the opportunity to reflect and share their personal stories of love, courage and resilience through artistic expressions and creative writing. Their art-based narratives were shared with members of the public during a series of mini community exhibitions held in May and June this year.

“The ultimate goal of Project ARTISAN is to strengthen social connections and relational bonds to combat isolation and loneliness, while promoting wellbeing and resilience for building a stronger and more compassionate Singapore,” stressed Dr Andy Hau Yan Ho, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Principal Investigator of Project ARTISAN.

Bridging the generation gap through art
Mr Teddy Tan Hock Soon, 77, from TOUCH Senior Activity Centre in Yishun, was mesmerised by the exhibits at the National Museum of Singapore on 21 June. Accompanied by a youth participant from NTU, Mr Tan reminisced about his past, sharing eagerly about the significance of these items and how he came to know about them.

“I was so happy to see familiar artefacts from the past displayed at the museum! It brought back memories of my younger days,” said Mr Tan.

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Caption: Mr Teddy Tan Hock Soon with youth volunteer Ms Ariel Pereira, posing with their art pieces

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Caption: Youths with seniors from TOUCH Senior Activity Centre at Yishun proudly displaying their art exhibits

From discovering Singapore’s national heritage to exploring its hope and future, each session began with a guided museum tour, which started conversations between the youth and seniors. They then created their own artwork – together – using a range of art medium, facilitated by a trained artist or art therapist. After the guided art making, they presented their art pieces and shared their stories to the rest of the group.

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Caption: Coming together to learn and connect

Youth participants from NTU, Nanyang Polytechnic and Ngee Ann Polytechnic provided positive feedback as they recounted good experiences of their time with the seniors.

“My partner was always very willing to help others. During the art making sessions, she often made flowers out of plastic bags to use them to decorate the art pieces we made. However, when one team struggled to complete on time, she offered them a few flowers of her own as a replacement,” said student volunteer Ms Denise Lim Ying.

Despite experiencing some language barrier, students noted how the aunties and uncles made an effort to interact with them. They were touched by their love and sincerity through their small exchanges.

“Once I started to open up, I began learning more about Aunty Mok Ah Mui. She is very wise and has a carefree personality – a trait I hope to model as I am quite the opposite,” said student volunteer Mr Amos Tan.

Exploring life experiences
Through Project ARTISAN, meaningful conversations ensued as both students and seniors exchanged notes on what they saw and remembered about Singapore’s cultural heritage. The students were amazed by the stories of antiques that were no longer in production.

Student volunteer Mr Fabian Foo described a particular art piece that he and his senior partner created called ‘Day and Night’. He explained that the piece illustrates the different lives they live as a youth and a senior.

“I learnt about the value of saving and how to spend my money wisely. I feel that this truly showed the different lives we have lived and the things we, the younger generation, have taken for granted,” said Mr Foo.

Participant Ms Violet Yeo from TOUCH’s Community Enablement Project (CEP) emphasised the importance of such programmes, citing it as a good medium for the elderly to explore their creativity.

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Caption: Ms Violet Yeo (right) participating in a sharing session at an Ang Mo Kio void deck together with residents and youth participants

“A lot of seniors I have met often tell me they feel lonely. This project helps seniors to express themselves. It also gives them something to look forward to as they get the opportunity to interact with others,” said Ms Yeo.

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Caption: TOUCH’s CEP participants with youth volunteers displaying their cityscape model featuring futuristic HDB flats and enhanced infrastructure using vibrant colours and recycled materials

 

ARTISAN: Fostering Aspirations and Resilience among Seniors

ARTISAN: Fostering Aspirations and Resilience Through Intergenerational Storytelling and Art-based Narratives

Project ARTISAN brings together seniors and youths on a journey of intergenerational storytelling and creative art-making under the skylights of museum and community spaces. ARTISAN – which stands for Aspiration and Resilience Through Inter-generational Storytelling and Art-based Narratives – comprise a holistic and intricately structured multimodal intervention framework that builds resilience and creates meaningful connections between the two generations. ARTISAN aspires to instill positive and impact changes in participants’ lives, with the ultimate goal of citizen empowerment for overcoming loneliness.

Over five weeks in the early summer of 2018, thirty-four pairs of youth-senior dyads engaged in a series of curated tours at the National Museum, to understand Singapore’s heritage, how people in the past have forged relational bonds, the resilience they displayed while overcoming adversities, and how they realised their dreams and aspirations. The youth-senior dyads were then provided with the opportunity to reflect and share their personal stories of love, courage and resilience through artistic expressions and creative writing. Their art based narratives were shared with members of the public during a series of mini community exhibitions held in May and June 2018, as well as through the ARTISAN Exhibition at the National Museum during the 2018 National Day Open House event on 9 August 2018.

A new grant proposal “ARTISAN: A National Study on Citizen Empowerment to Overcoming Loneliness through Arts and Heritage” has recently been submitted to the 2018 Social Science Research Thematic Grant. This new initiative aims to expand and implement the ARTISAN intervention framework across 6 major museums and galleries across Singapore via a Waitlist Randomized Controlled Trial with 400 seniors and 400 youths, while developing an ARTISAN Facilitator Training and Mentorship Programme to empower 200 health and social care professionals to advance societal-wide implementation of ARTISAN beyond research completion, as well as establishing a digital achieve named “Stories Connect” that house and disseminate the unique personal life stories of ARTISAN participants with educational tools to support local Heritage and Value Education programmes.

Project ARTISAN is a project developed by the Action Research for Community Health (ARCH Lab), Nanyang Technological University of Singapore in collaboration with the National Arts Council and the National Museum of Singapore.”