FINDING A VOICE THROUGH ART

Published on 18 May 2017

Three young artists with special needs tell The A List about their works in the upcoming VOICES (Voices of Individual’s Creative Expressions) 2017 exhibition.

By MELANIE LEE

The VOICES (Voices of Individual’s Creative Expressions) is a one-year arts mentorship programme organised by Very Special Arts Singapore (VSA) to nurture talented young people with special needs into artists.

Every year, VSA organises an art exhibition to showcase artworks by young visual artists under VOICES. This year, a total of 18 artists between the ages of 14 to 28 will be presenting at this exhibition through a variety of mediums. These participants are student-artists with autism spectrum disorder, Down Syndrome, hearing impairment and learning challenges.

“This is the first time we are exhibiting their artworks at a commercial gallery and we hope to receive a wider audience and raise the awareness of our cause, which is to empower people with disabilities through art-making,” says VOICES project manager Junie Tang.

AMELIA TAN, 15

Courtesy of VSA Singapore

“During the VOICES programme, I was able to express myself freely without restrictions. I was able to explore topics that I was interested in, even though they are morbid in nature. At the same time, I improved on my technical skills during the workshop, especially blending colours and adding more contrast to my work. One of the pieces I am exhibiting is titled ‘Tormented Souls’. It is a painting on an imagined scene of hell, where souls are in eternal torment.”

NOAH TAN, 16

Courtesy of VSA Singapore

“I have loved art since I was five years old. The VOICES workshop taught me many new art skills. My greatest challenge was painting on a huge canvas as I had never done that before. I was willing to try new ways of painting. One of the works I am exhibiting is ‘My World of Colours and Shapes’, where I use my favourite colours to create a vibrant piece.”

CAVAN CHANG, 28

Courtesy of VSA Singapore

“I enjoyed every session in the VOICES programme. I learned the basic rules of art and also discovered new art techniques. Sometimes, I forget to apply the art rules but my teacher will remind me. I have learned to make my own decisions, and have become more focused and confident. I like to use bright colours, especially yellow for the background, to show a cheerful mood with my art.”

We Didn’t Expect That! (VOICES Art Exhibition 2017) Will be on from 19 – 28 28 May 2017. Click here for more information.

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