Daniel encouraging the MWA artists to use a kitchen roll to see if they can spot different shapes of clouds in the sky.
Another learning objective was to encourage the artists to converse confidently and be able to hold short conversations. To actively engage with the artists throughout the session, Daniel played short video clips of art installations from around the world, including those in Changi Airport, shared interesting stories, and organised simple activities to facilitate interaction and discussions.
With classes carried out online without any face-to-face communication, the corporate social responsibility team was initially worried that response might be lukewarm. But the programme turned out to be very well received by the MWA artists. Every Friday when the class was held, the artists looked forward to the lesson with their homework completed way ahead of time. They were also seen opening up to Daniel by sharing their personal stories, likes and hobbies, when they are traditionally more reserved with strangers. At the final class, Daniel conducted it in person at MWA and was met with enthusiasm by the artists.
Eva Soh, Senior Alumni Officer at MWA said, “CAG and Daniel made this project a successful one through the trust and open communication with MWA. The curriculum that Daniel developed not only complemented what the artists learnt at MWA, he made it engaging and fun, as well as took the extra effort to connect with them. The enthusiasm displayed by our artists shows that they really liked the classes and look forward to them every week.”
Recounting his experience with skills-based volunteering, Daniel said humbly, “I was simply sharing what I know with others. But the satisfaction and joy I derived from the entire process made it such an immensely fulfilling experience. I thoroughly enjoyed sharing about my passion for art and I hope to inspire the MWA artists to continue pursuing their interest in art.
“With giving back, you often gain more than you give. I thought I was using art to broaden their horizons, but they taught me to appreciate even more the simplicity and beauty of life.”