A new hospital is being built in Jurong. And I was called in to help produce an artwork for the hoarding lining the new Jurong Gateway Road (don’t look for it, the street is not yet on the maps. Hint: it’s opposite the IMM building) while the hospital is being built.
This hoarding was a perfect setting for a community project. So, students from several Jurong primary schools as well as secondary schools and JC were involved, as well as people from St Luke’s Old Folks’ home. To fit with the building, the theme of “Build a Picture of Health” was proposed.
How do you make over 80 participants help in a large drawing?
I decided I would draw a setting, representing different parts of everyday life, from Home, to Outside (in Town or in the Forest), the Community Park and the Hospital. And then, I would ask the participants to produce drawings relating to “Picture of Health”. My job would then be to fit their pictures in my drawing.
During the workshops, after an introduction on the hospital, I conducted a brainstorming session on the theme of “Picture of Health”. This was to get the participants to expand on the meaning of health… and we did get beyond the “eat an apple” to stay healthy. I wanted the students to walk in unprepared. I did not want them to do research ahead of time. This was a spontaneous exercise. Students were invited to use their favorite medium. Some like to paint big pictures. Some are more comfortable with a small pencil sketch. All was possible, but the theme was defined, and I walked among the students, helping them decide what they would do. In the end, some students produced some of the backdrop, some produced inspiring images that end up being hung on the walls of the different rooms I drew. Some wanted to paint “beautiful images that they would want to see if they are sick and need to get better”. Some drew settings that allow for healthy lifestyle.
Finally, some of the images were selected to be finished by the elderly from St Luke’s Old Folk’s. For those images, the participants were given the choice of coloring the vignettes either with paint, or with seeds, producing a beautiful effect.
The students from my workshop at l’Observatoire also participated. And after a time of discussing all the elements that fit into a Picture of Health, they took to painting a number of pictures too.
In the end, I had to put this outpouring of over 80 images into a 50m-long image. Needless to say, there was a lot of back and forth deciding what the background would be like, and then where each image should fit.
Finally, here it is, as it was sent to the designer at the beginning of the month… they have made it into a very long sticker, interspersed with text and other images relevant to the hospital.
Here, I would also like to add a few of the pictures contributed by the different participants of the community. Can you find them in the picture above? If you find the picture is too small, why not go and check out the hoarding in person? It measures 2.5m in height and is 50m long… surely there, you can spot your picture!