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ANU alumnus’ artwork brings colour to old memories of Singapore

Close up of artwork by Tan Haur

A close-up of an artwork in Tan Haur's latest community art project, Blossom Colours of Life. Image: Supplied

Thursday 9 March 2017

An ANU alumnus has created a new community art project in a Singapore hospital that celebrates the island-state’s multicultural society.

Tan Haur’s (Master of Visual Arts ’07) latest work, Blossom Colours of Life, was inspired by old memories of the city, and its Peranakan, Malay, Chinese, Indian, and Eurasian communities.

The award-winning artist explains more about his creation:

While it may appear as a sentimental longing or wistful affection for Singapore’s past, I think this work is much more than that. I hope that as a viewer navigates this series of artworks, they will leave with a more in-depth understanding of the core value of the past, and have a profound impact on the future. In a nutshell, these are genuine Singaporeans' stories, flashbacks and words of wisdom from our fellow seniors. They’re a constructive force giving us chance to reflect and think through what we feel are identity markers as individuals, as a community, as a multicultural Singaporean society.

The vision and mission of the "Blossom Colours of Life" are to create and exhibit a variety of shapes and colours to tell a story as well as provide soothing comfort to one's eyes and soul within the healthcare environment. Through dialogues and basic interactive art and craft sessions, senior participants shared their memories and experiences of good old days through imagery-led mirroring and storytelling. Right after several workshops, with the narrative information, I moved on to stitch the stories together to form a visual journal with colourful fabric collage.

This specific project has involved invited seniors who seek for greater community engagement, especially those staying in the rehabilitation ward, some with early symptoms of dementia, to reconnect and create memories-art without worrying too much about professional drafting, cutting and sewing. The “Blossom Colours of Life” workshops received a tremendous response and I am so grateful it had paved the path towards the completion of the final artworks for exhibition.

Last but not least, this series of work will continue to spark and inspire dialogue between patients and professional staff at the rehabilitation ward (Jurong Community Hospital) after the exhibition. My sincere appreciation to all the participants, the volunteers, art assistant Mui and the organiser (JurongHealth) in making this art project possible. Thank you very much.

Follow Tan Haur on Facebook, check out Tan Haur’s blog, and discover the ANU Master of Visual Arts.


Updated:  16 February, 2018/Responsible Officer:  College Dean/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications