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BIG BIG small small

Lee Wan Xiang, Chee Li Ping, Ong Gillian, Roxanne Chew, Vivian Wong, Poh Shu Ning, Lee Sze-Chin, Yenn Ang, Calvin Pang, Moni Pang

Group Exhibition

29 March - 7 April 2024, 11am to 7pm

A collaborative art project by 10 art therapists by profession and artists in their arena. What brought them together is the clinical population they work with in their respective palliative and hospice care organisations. Journeying with their patients through art therapy has taught them many things and deeply humbled them. In facing the end of life, what signifies a “BIG” matter and a “small” matter differs for everyone. A seemingly small daily hug from mom and dad was the BIG thing a young child longed for each day. Expressing being free, running among the trees through artmaking brought great comfort to a person who had been bed-bound since hospitalisation. Saying “I love you” in an artwork for her teenage daughter was the most important thing to a mother, who passed on two days later, upon completing the masterpiece. Often, patients reflect about their lives… Once upon a time, they arrived in this world with nothing.

As they grew, they accumulated BIG and small things, things that could be physical, emotional, spiritual, or philosophical. They lived their lives discovering, pondering and struggling at times, holding on to something and letting go of others. At the end of their journey, they enter the quiet space of profound self-reflection.

Taking the perspectives of their patients, imbued with personal reflections, each artist (and art therapist) immerses in an unending creative artmaking process - a journey to discover, uncover, connect, internalise, hold, regulate, and, more importantly, to share. The result is a series of artworks and installations exploring the human intrinsic need to belong, to be acknowledged, to play, to love and be loved, to be remembered, to hold and be held.

About the Artist(s)

Lee Wan Xiang, MA, AThR, holds a Master of Arts Art Therapy from LASALLE College of the Arts Singapore after graduating with a BA (Hons) Fine Art from LASALLE College of the Arts Singapore. Wan Xiang creates as a process of self-inquiry and play while reflecting on themes of identity and belonging. Through intuitive mark-making in various mediums, writing, and illustration, Wan Xiang visualises ways to encounter tenderness and yearnings for connection. As an art therapist, Wan Xiang has worked with older adults, caregivers, and staff in a long-term care setting to facilitate the slow process of restoring play and
imagination, as well as youths and adults in the community to support self-development and well-being.

Chee Li Ping, MA, AThR, holds a Master of Arts Art Therapy from LASALLE College of the Arts Singapore after graduating with a Bachelor of Social Sciences with Honours (BSocSci Hons), majoring in social work, from National University of Singapore. Drawn to finding beauty in the unnoticed, Li Ping derives inspiration for her art creations from elements of nature and everyday encounters. With a keen interest in working with children, Li Ping has interacted with children with diverse issues, including those affected by cancer, special needs, trauma, and poverty, both in local and overseas settings.

Gillian Ong, AThR, RSW, is a registered art therapist and social worker from Singapore. She is a graduate of the Master of Mental Health (Art Therapy) from University of Queensland and a Master of Counselling (Monash University, Melbourne Australia). She also holds Bachelor Degrees (Social Work and Social Planning) from the Flinders University of South Australia. As a social worker and psychotherapist, Gillian has the privilege to work with many individuals and families of varied backgrounds, focusing on the healthcare sector. She believes in the power of creativity as a therapist to engage with different modalities to harness healing and potential of every individual she encounters. Gillian finds joy in meeting herself at different phases of life and hopes to see her work generate the same possibility in all that she meets. While the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, Gillian believes that all of us can encounter parts of ourselves freshly and differently at any turn of life, finally seeing ourselves wholly as we are, with kindness and love. This is the focus of her work as a therapist and as a sojourner in all her journeys.

Roxanne Chew, MA, AThR, holds a Master of Arts in Art Therapy from LASALLE College of the Arts Singapore, complemented by a BA in Psychology from James Cook University Singapore and a BA in Nursing from Griffith University (Offshore). Roxanne’s artistic journey centers around creating portraits as a medium for self-reflection and comfort. Beyond her creative pursuits, Roxanne actively contributes to the mental health field. As a practicing art therapist, Roxanne supports adults in palliative, psychiatric, and geriatric settings. She also extends her expertise to colleagues in the medical field, recognizing the significance of self-care. Driven by a passion for self-compassion, Roxanne actively engages with diverse communities through workshops catering to children, nursing professionals, bereaved individuals, and families. By sharing her knowledge and artistic insights, Roxanne aims to cultivate a sense of well-being and resilience within these communities.

Vivian Wong, MA, AThR, is a registered art therapist with a Master of Arts in Art Therapy from LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore / Goldsmiths, University of London. She is also trained and certified in Sandplay and Symbol Work. As a full-time art therapist in a hospice, Vivian’s work involves journeying with adults in the last stages of life and supporting family members, including children, who are losing or have lost their loved ones through illness. Vivian believes in the far-reaching power of art for connection with oneself, others, nature, and beyond, all of which contribute to the sense of being human; hence, she
regularly organises art-based initiatives for her healthcare co-workers, friends and family. While she is happiest when painting and contemplating in a quiet park, by the beach, or in some remote countryside, she is just as delighted to be making art amongst a group of curious and good-spirited people.

Poh Shu Ning, MA, AThR, AThS, is a registered Art Therapist who holds a Master of Arts in Art Therapy from LASALLE College of the Arts after graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Communication from the School of Art, Design & Media, Nanyang Technological University. The creative process inherent in any artistic endeavour has always been a source of expression, refuge, and self-discovery for Shu Ning throughout her life. Her creations serve as a way of knowing different parts of her Self. Shu Ning’s clinical practice involves supporting the psychosocial well-being of older adults, caregivers, and healthcare workers in palliative and geriatric settings through compassionate, Person-centered Care. Shu Ning is trained in Sandplay and Symbol Work, Play of Life, Satir Transformational Systemic Therapy, and she also incorporates mindfulness practices as part of her therapeutic approach. Shu Ning believes that all individuals possess the innate ability to create and access the inherent healing qualities of art regardless of life stage or circumstances.

Lee Sze-Chin, MAAT, AThR, LPC, holds a Master of Arts in Art Therapy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, U.S.A., after graduating with a BA (Hons) Fine Art from Goldsmiths, University of London, U.K. He has presented internationally on topics related to art therapy supervision and the use of art therapy in clinical and community-based settings. Sze-Chin has recently contributed a book chapter titled; Navigating Identities within Arts in Health in Singapore", drawing from his experiences working at the intersections of art therapy, art education, and art, and providing reflections and recommendations for collaborative art and art therapy practices. With a strong focus on culture, memory, and nostalgia, Sze-Chin's socially engaged art practice delves into the depths of these themes, utilising technology as a powerful tool to explore the intricate relationship between memory and time. He is currently embarking on endeavors in the realm of projects. Collaborating with the community, cultural institutions, and educational organisations, Sze-Chin has been exploring new avenues for engagement and creative exploration by merging physical and digital experiences.

Yenn Ang, MA, AThR, is a registered art therapist and certified forest therapy guide dedicated to using arts and nature as a tool for healing and growth. Focusing on grief support for children and caregivers impacted by childhood cancer, Yenn uses creative modalities such as sandplay, clay, and therapeutic photography to create spaces for emotional expression, self-discovery, and resilience. Drawing inspiration from everyday ordinary objects, stories, and moments of solitude, Yenn enjoys creating a repertoire of significant and subtle aspects of life, symbolising the interconnectedness of every being, whether through visible relationships or hidden ties.

Calvin Pang, MA, AThR, holds a Master of Arts Art Therapy from LASALLE College of the Arts Singapore after graduating with a BA (Hons) Fine Art from Loughborough University, United Kingdom. He has presented his work at international art therapy conferences in Australia and United Kingdom; and is a contributing author for Found Objects in Art Therapy (Jessica Kingsley, 2021) and Arts Therapies in International Practice (Routledge, 2022). His studio art practice explores the impermanence of humans and their spaces in the context of everyday lives. Pang’s installations have received commissions from institutions in both Singapore and Tokyo, Japan. He is currently undergoing advanced training in Guided Imagery and Music (GIM), and is practicing as an art therapist serving terminally-ill individuals and their loved ones at Assisi Hospice, Singapore.

Moni Pang, MA, AThR, holds a Master of Arts Art Therapy from LASALLE College of the Arts (graduated in 2017). Moni started her engineering career after graduating with a BA in Mechanical Engineering from the National University of Singapore. She pursued an MBA from Imperial College and progressed to become a management consultant, an entrepreneur, an art educator, an artist, and now her latest vocation as an art therapist. She embraces change and challenges herself in new endeavours. Moni’s inspirations come from her interactions with students at Clay Cove (a ceramics studio she established in 2002), corporate clients, and art therapy clients (including persons with dementia and patients in palliative care). Every encounter is a moment to seize, embrace, and cherish. Moni celebrates life.

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