Big Big Small Small 2024

I’ve always heard different experiences of art, whether it’s a statement to the masses, or a political or religious to direct us in a certain train of thought. But big big small small is unique.

A collective of 10 art therapists came together to create pieces resulting from their experiences as art therapists and their clients. The works range from AI generated images, to cermaic leaves. There were even little ceramic snails crawling around, as part of the exhibition.

From their social media posts, and also overhearing some discussions, some of the patients they work with are in palliative care. The exhibition travels in a direction, beginning with fun, and ending on serious and more severe notes.

Nearer the front, Lee Wanxiang’s work (@likefireatsea) used recycled materials and painted on them to form little dioramas, scenes of everyday, and they had applied a sense of wonder and imagination to seize each moment. It was a large element of play, along with concepts of art therapy running in the background.

Gillian Ong’s Masak Masak was also a very delightful play. It had pieces of different little bits and pieces given to her over time. What struck me the most was the handwritten words along the sides, asking if the person was still remembered. It is a bittersweet moment, as I can imagine receiving that question, being someone who works with a large number of people often.

Another notable work was Yenn Ang’s calendar, A Day Gone, A Day Lived. This calendar paid respects to children whom had passed away, and the need to cherish and remember each day. Having a physical calendar also added to how intentional the timekeeping and remembering needed to be. A little fun aspect is the paper aeroplane and boat folded from the calendar paper, tossed in a corner.

The end of the road also frames the darker context for Moni Pang’s ceramic leaves. It Matters was made with ceramic leaves with dates and notes on them, a record of Moni’s first interaction with her patients. It forms a big siwsh, but also some of the leaves are just in the pile on the floor.

My personal experience of the exhibition was exactly as the day turned out: it was a cooling respite in the middle of a hot day. Art Outreach at Gilman Barracks is a short walk from one of the bus stops, but even still, it was a hot day. As I entered, I accidentally overheard one of the curators or the artists sharing with a guest about the work, and I floated in and out of the conversations about the artwork and the artists behind it.

In the world where art is constantly hyped up, and driven so much for marketing, it was nice to pause because the work made you pause. I had fun trying to look for all the snails around. I felt moved as I read the little notes on the petals. I reflected and chuckled as I saw the hand written words on the walls.

As I looked at the full range of artwork, I also understood a little more of the art therapists world, and the emotions they carry on top of their own. I cannot begin to imagine the stories that they would have heard, and the number of lives imprinted onto their own over time. Being able to see a glimpse of that through the exhibition was definitely touching, and also very moving.

For your reference:

Each artist got to share about their work here:

In the video comments, there are links for each artist write up. You can read more about their work there.






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *