Five budding artists present works inspired by their childhood

(From left) MaryAngelly Jayabahan, Brandvan Yang, Raden Rauf Bin Radin Padli, Nur Shahanis Binte Johar and Alfred Goh. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG
Artwork “Family Album” by Raden Rauf Bin Radin Padli. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG
Artwork “Mapping Freedom “ by Alfred Goh. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG
Artwork “Daze of the Week” by Nur Shahanis Binte Johar. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

SINGAPORE - With their bleached walls and uniform doors, the two sixth-floor public rental units in Block 55, Lengkok Bahru, are hardly noticeable.

But once inside, visitors are transported to a world of vibrant colours, full of objects and images that echo the joys of childhood.

The cozy units are all decked up as part of a community arts exhibition, Homerun, organised by ground-up inclusive arts movement Superhero Me.

Homerun features works by five young artists who all hail from the Lengkok Bahru housing estate.

Over the course of nine months, the 12-year-olds - Alfred Goh, Brandvan Yang, Maryangelly Jayabahan, Nur Shahanis Johar and Raden Rauf Radin Padli - dappled with photography, sculpting, sketching and digital art to depict topics close to their heart - ideas and realities of success, social class, body confidence, boredom and family upbringing.

For the five budding artists, Homerun is more than a one-off chance to show their vision of childhood.

Rather, it is the culmination of a six-year journey with Superhero Me, which piloted in Lengkok Bahru in 2014 as a programme for preschoolers from low-income households.

Since then, the movement has advocated inclusiveness in arts, opening up opportunities for interaction with established artists and children with special needs.

"Superhero Me gave us the confidence to explore art through different projects, and helped us make friends along the way. We learnt to talk to others who were different from us and never judge them.

"Though putting together this exhibition was hard at first, I am proud of my work, and nervous about what the future will bring," said Maryangelly, a Gan Eng Seng Primary School pupil.

Artwork "Will You Succeed in Life?" by MaryAngelly Jayabahan. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

Maryangelly 's exhibit, "Will You Succeed in Life", features a mural of a colourful, interactive flow chart exploring various positive and negative actions that guide viewers to different conclusions regarding success in one's life.

The work embodies Maryangelly's drive to make a better life for herself. Drawing on the guidance of her mother, who works as a pantry lady, and father, who is a delivery man, she strives to be a high-achiever, even taking up Chinese in school, so she can have more job opportunities in the future.

Brandvan, also from Gan Eng Seng Primary School, used his exhibit - "Diet of Confidence" - to portray how appearance is linked to ability.

Growing up with eczema, he faced emotional stress, pain and bullying whenever his condition flared up. Through a collection of clay and plaster sculptures set in a kitchen, Brandvan brings to life crustaceans and peanuts, things he is allergic to, as well as a sculpted form of his hands. He chose to depict his hands as they make him able to do things he loves, like playing video games or caring for his cat.

"Life is more than what people say about you. Don't judge too quickly before you get to know someone," he said.

Artwork "A Diet of Confidence" by Brandvan Yang. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

Presented by the Lien Foundation, the exhibition is supported by the National Arts Council, with venue support from HDB.

The exhibition is open to visitors by appointment till Dec 19. Tickets can be purchased online for weekend tours. The public can also make group booking for weekdays.

Each guided tour lasts for an hour, with various time slots available, capped at 5 persons per tour with safety measures in place.

More information on the exhibition can be found at this website.

A digital exhibition of the work will be available from Dec 1.

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