July 9, 2018– IMH reported that the number of teens seeking mental health treatment jumped by 190 per cent, but I recently met a bunch young adults are using art to address their anxiety.
My curiosity drove me visit two Singapore-based artistes in their 20s who staged an exhibition titled Head Spinning, Loop Creating at the Gillman Barracks, based on the theme of mental health.
A pile of paper shredded from the pages of a Chinese calendar laid in the corner of the gallery found me talking to artist Kheyton Lim. Lim shared he experienced domestic violence in his life and his work was aimed at challenging his mother’s cultural norms of staring at the calendar for a good 10 seconds before tearing it off at the end of each day. I also saw topics addressing sexual orientation and resistance to authority in his other works.
I asked Lim and artists about their source of inspiration and the process of producing their art, I saw relief, comfort and appreciation in their sharing. Art as a form of expression can be cathartic when it is shared in a public space, so the pain is better managed and the journey less lonely.