5 ways to brave the new with arts and culture

5 ways to brave the new with arts and culture

Adapting to change can be stressful. If you are feeling overstretched or know someone who is anxious about the new normal, take a moment to care for yourself or your loved ones.

The arts offer easy ways for people to pause, process their emotions, and find strength from knowing that they are not alone in what they experience. Read on for five easy ways to brave the new with arts and culture.

image of Singapore side by side one is drawn the other is of the actual image

Get colouring

Local artist Hery Huang has come up with a digital colouring book to help Singaporeans cope with stress and anxiety during the pandemic. The book, Hope – Sights of Singapore, 2020, comprises 50 illustrations of Singapore’s iconic foods, skyline and landmarks, including shophouses in Chinatown (above). It is suitable for both children and adults. The book can be downloaded online, and one can print or share one’s coloured drawings on social media. Find out what inspired Huang to create the book here.

Natalie Hennedige _ credit Sean Lee

Find inspiration

For those at a loss on how to navigate the challenges of a pandemic, take a leaf from theatre director Natalie Hennedige’s book. Life in a Cloud is a digital playbook conceived by the director which looks at how seven Singaporean artists create in isolation. Hennedige hopes that by offering a glimpse into the “intimate space of another’s creative potential,” others will be reminded of how they can tap into their own creative potential during this time. Click here and here to learn about the experiences of the artists involved in the project.

MySuperFuture Theatrical Productions 2

Explore emotions

A new online production, When Sadness Comes to Call, aims to enable parents to help their children manage and better express feelings of sadness. The production, which runs throughout Oct, is a largely non-verbal play based on a children’s picture book of the same title by Eva Eland. The 30-minute show is recommended for children aged five and above, as well as their parents. A complementary resource kit, which includes the picture book and an activity guide, helps families carry on conversations beyond the show about managing one’s emotions. Learn more about the inspiration for When Sadness Comes to Call here.

2 illustration by illobyanngee

Start a journal

The practice of recording one’s experiences and emotions can be therapeutic, especially in times of emotional distress. With the global pandemic, many people are turning to journaling to cope with the strange new stressors that COVID-19 has brought to their lives. Singaporean artist-illustrator Anngee Neo (@illobyanngee) is no stranger to using art to process her emotions. She offers tips for journaling here.

Visit a show

If you are looking for ways to make sense of your pandemic experience and imagine new ways of living in a changed world, consider what Proposals for Novel Ways of Being has to offer. The six-month-long initiative by the local visual arts community, which runs until Feb next year, features a series of visual art exhibitions and programmes by local art institutions,  independent art spaces and collectives, which help the public grapple with the new reality brought about by the pandemic. Don’t miss the snail mail exchange between an artist and elderly residents in Tiong Bahru and Bukit Merah, part of art centre Grey Project’s Stranger Still programme about caregiving in a time of physical separation, and a make-believe reiki studio in the National Gallery Singapore for those seeking a hideaway in the city centre. Find out more about the exhibitions and programmes in Proposals for Novel Ways of Being here.

#SGCultureAnywhere supports SGUnited’s efforts to encourage us to stay strong in the new normal. Engaging with the arts helps relieve stress and show care for others. Learn more ways to #BraveTheNew here.  

(Photos: Hery Huang, Sean Lee, MySuperFuture Theatrical Productions, Anngee Neo and National Gallery Singapore)

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