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The Flowering of a Child

The Flowering of a Child

 

Child@Street 11 is an independent non-profit child care centre located in Ang Mo Kio. Its mission is to create opportunities for children of low income and/or dysfunctional families to strive towards a brighter future. It does this through simple-but-integrated (children/parents/community) solutions that educate and empower young children and their parents to achieve emotional, social well-being and economic independence. Started in April 1999, the Centre serves some over 40 children aged two to six in a full day program and another 20 children aged seven to twelve in its integrated before and after school care service. Most of the children are of challenging background – poor, abusive or single parents, parents serving jail terms, broken family, etc - and all of whom would not have a chance to receive preschool education if not for Child @ Street 11. However, anyone entering into the haven of Child @ Street 11 would immediately be impressed by the joy, happiness, expressiveness and creativity of these supposedly disadvantaged kids. At Child @ Street 11, the children are respected for their innate intelligence and creativity, and given the precious freedom and opportunity to explore, observe, think, express, speak, draw, sing and create.

The Flowering of a Child” is conceived by Alvin Yong of Clay-Street.com and Vashima of Child @ Street 11 to allow the sparks of these kids to shine their brightest and jolt the rest of us towards a more stimulating way in early childhood education.

This project follows 3 phases:

Phase 1: CLAY ART CO-CREATION PHASE (Feb – Apr 2013)

The children (age 2-12) were mentored by subject matter experts and Pottery Angels (i.e. volunteers) to co-create a series of clay artworks through five co-creation experiential workshops:

  1. “Save the Trees for Us” – co-created by the children with Naturalist Andrew Tay at Fort Canning Park.
  2. “Seeing with Our Hearts” – co-created by the children with Visually Impaired Potters Ben Wong at Child@Street 11.
  3. “Living Together in Peace and Harmony” – co-created by the children with Architect Nishi Kuttanna at Marina Barrage.
  4. “Dances of the Soul” – co-created by the children with Musician-Composer Ng Kang Kee at Child@Street 11.
  5. “We are the World” – co-created by the children with Artist Sarbani Bhattacharya at the Singapore Botanic Gardens.

The art pieces were assembled into 5 art installation expressions by Clay-Street artists and volunteers Chew Seow Phuang, Alvin Yong, TC Kok and Mona Malhotra. These art installations will be showcased to the public in an exhibition on 1-2 June 2013 at the Vivocity in Singapore. It is our wish for individual and corporate sponsors to acquire these art installations and contribute the funds to help support the educational needs of the children at Child@Street 11.

Five children were also mentored by award-winning photographer Charlie Lim to capture the co-creation process and the defining moments to be showcased in the exhibition as pictorial expression.

Phase 2: CLAY ART EXHIBITION (1-2 Jun 2013)

This will be a one-of-a-kind exhibition that showcases the innate creative expression of these disadvantaged children in the form of collaborative clay art co-creations. Visitors to the exhibition will be inspired to explore alternative and enlightened ideas in early childhood education, support Child @ Street 11 as sponsors or volunteers, and take up innovative parent-child bonding activities.

Phase 3: POST-EXHIBITION EXPERIENTIAL PARENT-CHILD EDUCATION PROGRAMS (Jun onwards 2013)

This is a specially designed series of programs which parents and children may sign up to participate in parent-child co-creation in pottery, music, dance, nature exploration, photography, etc.

 

PICTORIAL DIARY OF CHILDREN AND ANGELS IN ACTION

25 & 30 Jan 2013: Introduction to Clay Art

We held 2 sessions at Child@Street11 to help the kids learn basic clay moulding skills. Every child, including the teachers, had plenty of fun playing and exploring ideas with clay.

 

20 Feb 2013: "Save The Trees For Us" with Naturalist Andrew Tay at Fort Canning Park

The children spent an afternoon at the Fort Canning Park, exploring the beauty of Mother Nature, getting up close and personal with the trees and flowers, and of course dashing about the open field, taking in the fresh air. This first co-creation workshop was led by Naturalist Andrew Tay, who inspired the kids with interesting facts and stories about plants and insects.

 

26 Feb 2013: "Seeing With Our Hearts" with Visually Impaired Potter Ben Wong

The basic concept of the co-creation workshop with Ben Wong, our visually impaired artist, was to make the children express their views and feelings. It had to be something that connects to heart and soul.The response to joy and love was in a vibrant spectrum of the rainbow. The colourful fish ensued enthusiastic delight. Reading books gave some immense pleasure, while others basked in happiness and love seeing smiling faces around them. Blooming flowers and red hearts symbolically represented love and joy and manifested in our installation as 'Blissful Delight'.

With Ben the children's face-to-face session was about sharing compassion and acquiring inspiration to move ahead despite encountering numerous obstacles in life. To momentarily experience Ben's sightless existence, blindfolded kids created smiling clay faces painted grey with a red smile symbolising happiness. One of the kids wanted to be a  bird flying in the sky. Others, with angel hearts with wings, wanted to go around fulfilling people's wishes. One girl who loves strawberries wanted to share a strawberry burger with everyone. Another child wanted to cheer a broken, sad heart with a gift.

This was the incarnation of 'Compassionate Empathy' – the new avatar of a kind, caring, future generation whose hearts go out to others.Although enjoying the process of expressing their feelings in clay, these children still seemed to be confronted by hurt, grief and pain in their surroundings. Anger and distress were expressed in grey and black figures with frail bodies and unsmiling faces. Contrary to this were cheerful pink, red and yellow figures with smiling faces portraying care and adoration. This was the origin of  'Affection and Affliction'. Working with clay has brought out their inherent creativity. It has allowed them to demonstrate their sentiments and strengthened peer bonding as well as the bond between children and their teachers.

 

6 Mar 2013: "Living Together In Peace and Harmony" with Architect Nishi Kuttanna at Marina Barrage

The awe-inspiring view of the Singapore skyline from Marina Barrage was the perfect spot for this co-creation workshop led by architect Nishi Kuttanna . The children learnt experientially about living spaces, building designs, wall materials and perspectives. Co-creating with teachers and volunteers, the kids boldly created their versions of Street11 preschool centre, living, working and playing spaces. The towering Marina Bay Sands building in the background, as well as the majestic Singapore Flyer revolving silently, provided much inspiration to the children. Some of the children reinvented their preschool centre to include a swimming pool, others chose to build their homes in interesting fashion. Directed by Clay-Street potter Chew Seow Phuang, this art installation showcases the rich and uninhibited imagination of the children in living together in peace and harmony.

Click here for an amazing movie by Angel Kevin Ng

 

30 Mar 2013: "Dances Of The Soul" with Musician-Composer Ng Kang Kee

The children began the afternoon of co-creation with an hour of musical exploration led by musician and composer Ng Kang Kee on his acoustic guitar. Together with the teachers and volunteers, the children sang, danced and made music with all sorts of items that made different sounds. There was a tremendous sense of freedom and fun in the course of musical expression, cascading through different moods from happy to sad, from soft to loud, from gentle to angry, from classical to jazzy... Then the co-creation with clay began and the children translated their interpretation of music and dance from within into art pieces of interesting shapes, size and colors. Alvin Yong installed the art pieces into a mobile sculpture to bring out the fluidity of music, and the kinetics of dance. The gentle multi-dimensional sway and rotation of this mobile art installation is timelessly hypnotizing yet thought-provoking at the same time.

Click here for a beautiful movie created by Angel Kevin Ng

 

27 Mar 2013: "We Are The World" with Artist Sarbani Bhattacharya at the Singapore Botanic Gardens

Nature and Nurture being the inspiration of my life, motivated me to choose this subject for the workshop with the 11 children at the lush green backdrop of Singapore Botanic Gardens.

It started with a nature walk near the Band Stand, seeking colours, textures, fragrance. To smell the flowers, touch the trees, soil, and pebbles. To see the sky, watch the clouds, hear the breeze rustle the leaves, feel the bright, hot sun and observe the light flickering through the leaves…. They excitedly and enthusiastically rolled on the grass and sang melodious songs.

Next, they expressed their love for Street 11 combining their newly-discovered experiential feelings for Nature. They all wanted to draw and paint themselves in their Street 11 uniforms on the 3m long canvas. Using fabric markers, they sketched with gusto! Gradually their surroundings manifested on the canvas – blue sky, white fluffy clouds, tall trees, green grass, multi-hued flowers, water ponds, stones and pebbles – while the four accompanying photographers froze these moments for posterity.After three hours, the canvas became a masterpiece depicting Nature’s glorious abundance – spontaneous outpourings of the brilliance of our creative, ingenious children!

Click here for a brilliant move creation by Angel Kevin Ng

 

Movies that tell the story of The Flowering of a Child... created by Angel Videographer Kevin Ng
"Living Together in Harmony"
- co-creation with Nishi Kuttana at Marina Barrage
"Dances of the Soul"
- co-creation with Ng Kang Kee at Child@Street11
"We Are the World"
- co-creation with Sarbani Bhattacharya at Botanic Gardens

 

CO-CREATION ART INSTALLATION ON EXHIBITION

SAVING THE TREES FOR US

Artists: Children from Street 11
Naturalist Angel: Andrew Tay
Clay Angel: TC Kok

Save the Trees for Us
 

SEEING WITH OUR HEART

Artists: Children from Street 11
Visually Impaired Potter Angel: Ben Wong
Clay Angel: Mona Malhotra

Seeing with our Heart

 

LIVING TOGETHER IN PEACE AND HARMONY

Artists: Children from Street 11
Architect Angel: Nishi Kuttanna
Clay Angel: Chew Seow Phuang

Living Together in Peace and Harmony
Living Together in Peace and Harmony
Living Together in Peace and Harmony
Living Together in Peace and Harmony
   

DANCES OF THE SOUL

Artists: Children from Street 11
Music Angel: Ng Kang Kee
Clay Angel: Alvin Yong

Dances of the Soul
 

WE ARE THE WORLD

Artists: Children from Street 11
Art Angel: Sarbani Bhattacharya

We Are The World

 

 

 

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