PAssionArts Festival aims to draw young families to bond as well as residents

This year's PAssionArts Festival, which will run till Aug 25, is aimed at encouraging young families with children under 12 to bond through art.
This year's PAssionArts Festival, which will run till Aug 25, is aimed at encouraging young families with children under 12 to bond through art.PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO

SINGAPORE - Some 1,000 animal-shaped planks will pop up around the island at open spaces in residential estates from the end of this month (June 30).

The planks, shaped like giraffes, otters and lions, will be painted by some 5,000 young families, as part of this year's PAssionArts Festival 2018, which will run till Aug 25.

This year's festival - which is now in its seventh year - is aimed at encouraging young families with children under 12 to bond through art, and the People's Association (PA) hopes to draw 250,000 residents to the 52 "festival villages" that will crop up in various constituencies.

Mr Patrick Sim, director of community arts and culture at PA, told The Straits Times that art is "a very meaningful way to engage young families", and that the young-family demographic is a new segment that the PA is attempting to engage.

Unusual designs and colours are a hallmark of the animal planks, which will be on display at more than 30 locations. A host of other art installations will also be featured at the festival villages. PA said it received more than 100 proposals for installations from budding artists during an "open call" for ideas, with the focus on grassroots participation and making art accessible to heartlanders.

Madam Norine Nazura Johari and her four children, aged five to nine, helped to paint at least six planks. The housewife said: "Art helps to bond family and friends. We also got to know people from other communities through this project."

Marketing executive Elizabeth Lim, 33, and her family were among residents at the landed estate in Seletar Hills West who  contributed to a pet canvas-painting exhibition. Her five-year-old daughter Sophie, who had just got her first pet, a terrapin, was excited to be part of the project.

Madam Lim described the experience as great fun and said it had introduced the family to art.

"After painting this, we started to love art and went around looking for art classes. We enrolled Sophie in one and she has been getting better too," she told The Straits Times.

The terrapin painting will be one of 53 pet paintings on show at the Mimosa Road playground on June 30.

The festival will also see a 500m stretch at Pasir Ris beach transformed into an arts carnival on the last weekend of July. The Neverland-themed fiesta will have art pieces made from recycled materials, interactive art stations for individuals to create their own pieces and live band performances.