Avant-garde. Unconventional. Free-spirited. A deviant or a trailblazer? These speakers defy definitions and categories and thrive in the realms beyond conventions. Daring to be eXperimental with the mediums through which they tackle big topics such as grief and mental health, these are individuals who forged their unique identities through eXpressing themselves in unconventional ways. This selection of talks brings to you an eclectic collection of stories, which reflects the abundant possibilities that exist out there and urges you to get your hands dirty – be eXperimental with your future and eXpress who you are!
Host: Jaime Teo
Host, Actress and Fitness/Arts Enthusiast
14th September 2019 | 1535hrs to 1710hrs
Session 3: eXpress and eXperiment
Speaking the Unspoken
In Singapore, the topic of mental health is slowly entering public discourse but still largely remains a difficult topic to broach. Mental illness is never easy, and the effort one puts into recovering from mental illness should never be understated. While Vivien Yap sought treatment from therapy, she also sought comfort through artistic writing and expression. Music and writing have become part of her story, and she is here to share how therapy was for her and how expressing herself through her own ways has helped her with her mental health.
Decoding Grief: Languages of Loss and How to Talk about It
Grief is part of the human experience and we all have to face it. Yen Phang is an individual who has confronted and expressed his grief through artistic expression. While seemingly odd at first, with the use of common objects found in bathrooms, Yen Phang elucidates why people develop the habit of collecting items of loved ones and the sentimental value that is attached to it. When we pass, our loved ones and belongings are left behind as a form of our legacy. Yen Phang seeks to show that the value of life through art; it is what can help us handle the heartbreak of grief.
Untitled Black Man: Finding Myself through Film
In society, there are always groups of people whose stories are not heard or overlooked. However, that is not to say that it should remain the case. Stories should be discovered and heard. K Rajagopal, a filmmaker and storyteller, seeks to bring these lesser heard and known stories of people and groups in the Singaporean society to the forefront. He does so by connecting with his audience emotionally through his films. His films have gone on to tell the lives and stories of different people who make up our society. Despite the often-ugly labels assigned to certain groups by society, K. Rajagopal becomes the voice of the often unheard and voiceless through film. In the process, he has also come to find himself, his identity and footing.
The Power of Data Storytelling
In our society’s constant hunger for shocking and sensational news, we tend to overlook the importance of what is happening globally. Dominic Bohan emphasises the fact that we have to pay more attention to current and global affairs so we may better understand our positions as global citizens today. For him, he sees this world through data storytelling. Though data and statistics may sound like a mundane approach, Dominic puts forth a compelling argument for the relevance of data science or statistics as a medium through which we can discover the world we inhabit.
Doing Good is Contagious
When you imagine the future of the world, do you see it dying or living? To us, we worry about almost everything – whether we passed that test or got that job. We worry about our futures when it has not even happened yet. Cheryl shares about how we should adopt a positive attitude, act now instead of worrying, so as to make a difference in the world. She hopes to inspire people to start acting on climate change. The earth gave us air to breathe, water to drink, and food to eat. It is about time we finally give back to our home.
Light in the World of Darkness
Despite suffering from retinal dystrophy, Stephanie Ow beat the odds to achieve excellence in music. Fuelled by her passion for the erhu, her musical journey and dream have proved to Stephanie that one’s circumstances or limitations cannot restrict one from fully contributing to society or fulfilling one’s own purpose. What is important is taking the very first step to finding one’s passion and purpose. Stephanie firmly believes that everyone has a purpose in life. Today, she challenges you to find yours too.