Singaporeans and Malaysians collaborate for a third year to explore ‘Arts and Healing’ at Causeway EXchange (CEX) 2018
The Singapore International Foundation’s (SIF), ‘Arts and Healing’ component of CEX attracted an audience of close to 200 Singaporeans and Malaysians over an art-filled weekend.
Colouring and stand-up comedy may not appear to have much in common with hospitals, but increasingly the arts are being leveraged on as a powerful tool to help patients heal. This transformative power of the arts underpinned the recent CEX and its ‘Arts and Healing’ component held in Singapore from 14 to 16 September 2018. This component is part of the SIF’s Arts for Good initiative, which seeks to promote awareness of social issues, share best practices and enable action for positive social impact through the arts.
The benefit of using art therapies for emotional and psychological healing was explored during a panel discussion on the topic: Healing through Arts: Pragmatics and Benefits Behind the Arts. Malaysia-based music therapist, Ms Lim Kar Gee, MT-BC, who spoke on the panel, commended the value of such bilateral exchanges. She said, “Having this cross-cultural sharing is definitely beneficial for both patients and healthcare practitioners in both Singapore and Malaysia. The more creative arts therapy is widely understood, the more awareness there will be in both our communities that there are alternative therapy options available which can help patients and improve lives.”
The weekend of activities also included therapy workshops, bedside art activities in hospitals, stand-up comedy and a sensory-friendly theatre performance. Partners this year included Republic Polytechnic, Jurong Health and LASALLE College of the Arts.
SIF Executive Director, Ms Jean Tan who spoke at the annual arts festival’s Appreciation Night on 27 September 2018 at The Arts House, added, “At the Singapore International Foundation, we believe that a better world begins with better understanding. And such cross-cultural interactions provide insights that deepen mutual respect. But more than just connecting communities, we like to encourage collaboration between communities in the arts for positive social change.”
The festival is now its ninth year and the director and founder, Mr Shawn Lourdusamy found the ‘Arts and Healing’ component of the festival especially moving. “Taking art into hospitals, engaging, interacting and even sharing comedy with patients was something very meaningful and special to witness,” he said.
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