New free exhibition at National Library features art by students, artists with mental health conditions

The exhibition features the work of five artists and nine student artists.

Andrew Koay | December 19, 2021, 03:56 PM

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Featuring the artworks of artists living with mental health conditions, REACH and a ground-up youth initiative Mental Health Collective SG (MHC) have launched an art exhibition called "The Artist's Residency".

"Mental health conditions are not dead ends"

The exhibition — conceptualised by youth volunteers from MHC — aims to kick start conversations about individual mental well-being.

It can be found at the National Library Building from Dec. 19, 2021, to Feb. 14, 2022.

In total, five artists living with mental health conditions and nine student artists collaborated to bring the exhibition to life.

A joint press release from REACH and MHC said the layout and setting were designed to invite viewers to "reside in various mental health spaces and explore what hope feels like to persons living with mental disorders".

Set within a reconstructed HDB apartment, the exhibition comprises seven artworks of different forms including photography, animation, music, and dance.

"I hope to tell people that mental health conditions are not dead ends," said Faith Wong, one of the artists.

"In understanding the various aspects of the conditions, we can truly get rid of the lenses of fear and ignorance, and thus help others and also ourselves in maintaining mental wellness through early intervention."

Dedicated wall curated by REACH

Within the exhibition is a wall curated by REACH which also allows visitors to learn more about youths' perceptions of mental well-being.

Views on stigma and common worries faced as youths were gathered by REACH through a series of youth engagements conducted over the course of a year.

"It is our hope that through this exhibition, Singaporeans can learn about mental health conditions – not as symptoms or medical diagnoses, but as the unique struggles and experiences of individuals who are already doing their best," said MHC co-founder Titus Yim.

Speaking at the launch of the exhibition, REACH chairman Tan Kiat How said that REACH was pleased to support such ground-up initiatives as part of their efforts to engage Singapoerans.

Tan, who is also Minister of State for Communications and Information and National Development, added:

"I hope that more youths will be inspired by MHC to take action on causes that matter to them and inspire positive change within their communities."

The Artist's Residency

Location: National Library Building, Level 8

Dates: Dec. 19, 2021 to Feb. 14, 2022

Time: 10am to 6pm

Admission is free.

This exhibition is rated Advisory (some mature content).

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Top image from REACH and via Mental Health Collective SG's Instagram page