Together apart, with art

February 2021


It all started three months back, when Felicia Wee, Deputy Executive Director of Metta Welfare Association (MWA), surfaced the idea of a virtual exhibition whilst having a catch-up with Ivy Choo, Head of Changi Foundation.

The aim was to showcase works of special needs artists and apprentices from MWA, one of Changi Foundation’s beneficiaries, to champion craft and creativity even amid the current challenging times of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Titled “Colours of Life”, the third edition of this week-long exhibition had to be held virtually in view of safe distancing measures necessary for such public events. After discussion, both Felicia and Ivy thought that JetQuay’s CIP terminal would be ideal, as it offered a spacious lobby to house all the art pieces. In addition, the low passenger traffic during this period also presented an appropriate opportunity to showcase JetQuay’s lounge and other business facilities to the public. 


Batik paintings of Metta School’s alumni displayed on easels around JetQuay’s lounge


Batik motifs filled the air

The exhibition saw livestream sessions conducted across MWA’s social media platforms throughout the week, showcasing various artworks and interviews with their artists. Special-edition tea-time sets lovingly made by apprentices from Metta Café was also available for pre-order, to be picked up at JetQuay’s facilities during the week. 

Sample of tea-time snacks made by apprentices from Metta Cafe


Some of MWA’s featured artworks included a series of batik paintings, ceramic pieces and baked goods, all of which were lovingly conceptualised and carefully crafted by alumni from Metta School.

“Collective”, a batik painting by a group of four youths, is one such artwork that hopes to encourage the power of unity in times of struggle. They were motivated to convey a message of strength and hope to overcome the challenges brought about by the pandemic.

Artist Muhammad Fadhil seen explaining his artwork “Crepuscular Rays” during a livestream



Another batik painting, titled “Crepuscular Rays” by Muhammad Fadhil, was mainly inspired by an online art programme conducted by CAG back in 2020, conveying that art happens everywhere. During those sessions, Fadhil observed how rays emanate from light in the sky and painted butterflies and leaves akin to the motif of a sunlit hope.



A successful first foray into virtual events

Despite it being their first virtual exhibition experience, MWA successfully extended its reach to a wider audience through this event, and even garnered sales enquiries through its social media platforms. Twenty-five of Metta Café’s special edition tea-time sets were sold and proceeds amounted to more than S$4000.

“We are extremely grateful for Changi Airport Group’s and JetQuay’s unwavering support for our event during this pandemic. Their partnership had enabled us to initiate our inaugural virtual exhibition when most physical spaces dedicated to Corporate Social Responsibility events were out of bounds. It was an amazing and inspiring experience for our artists at Arts@Metta, and we look forward to future collaborations that can connect us with a greater community, both online and offline,” Felicia enthused.

Samantha Lim, General Manager at JetQuay Pte Ltd, added “The ‘Colours of Life’ virtual exhibition was truly an enriching and fulfilling experience for all of us at JetQuay. Together with Changi Foundation and MWA, we shared a collective vision to sustain the spirit of community and social responsibility despite physical limitations, and this gave us a mindful opportunity to appreciate simpler things that matter, in the form of art. We hope that through our support of this virtual exhibition, we can all look forward to a more positive and vibrant 2021 and to spark joy with these budding artists from Metta!”

With the success of this virtual stint, MWA is continuing to take in online sales queries, and is in the process of launching an online portal to sell artworks from its Arts@Metta to a wider audience.


Giving back never stops

Ivy Choo, Head of Changi Foundation, said: “Covid-19 opened our eyes to the world of virtual volunteering, and I’m inspired by the efforts of our partners in this virtual space to continue giving back. Pandemic or not, we look forward to continue our engagement with our airport partners in the coming year, to make a difference regardless of medium or scale.”

Moving forward, Changi Foundation plans to revive some of its physical volunteering programmes, which have mostly moved online last year due to the pandemic situation. One of these is helping to secure job opportunities for Metta School’s students to experience working at Changi Airport. To date, eleven students have been offered placements in Changi Airport, such as at the airport’s nursery and F&B outlets. This nine-month job attachment will expose them to vocational skills and prepare them for work upon graduation.

With a combination of both virtual and physical programmes, Changi Foundation hopes to continue to engage its employees to participate in the group’s social cause.


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