Last week, we invited some young adult Singaporeans to have a chat with Hun Ming Kwang (MK), one half of the social artist duo Hunny & Lummy. A curtain was all that separated them as they watched a short video about I Feel You, an upcoming exhibition in December.
Slated to take place in Temasek Shophouse, which is located at 128 Arab Street, I Feel You will happen in December. A prelude of the exhibition took place earlier this year at Gillman Barracks in March. The exhibition will feature pairs of strangers who’ve volunteered for the event.
One will inhabit the role of the listener and the other will inhabit the role of the teller.
The latter’s role is to pour their heart out to a stranger while they hold each other’s hands. The former’s role is to listen and let the teller know they’ve been heard by saying, “I feel you” at the end of the session.
Each session will last ten minutes.
The aim of the exhibition is to promote active listening and bring awareness to mental health issues.
The young adults who very kindly agreed to spend some of their weekend with us were Julian, Erwin Shah and Faith. Each of them were told that they would have having a short conversation with the artist, MK, after watching a short video about the exhibition.
We were able to get their initial reactions to the video, showing actual strangers reacting and showing empathy for one another.
I Feel You’s raw, emotional power clearly put all of them into a quiet, thoughtful state. After all, the themes all the tellers had to grapple with were heavyweight subjects like pain, loss and vulnerability. Faith took some time to choose her words, because there were so many thoughts running in her mind!
MK engaged each of our guests in earnest conversation.
What did they think of I Feel You’s video?
What did they think about sharing an intimate conversation with a stranger?
Did they know anybody struggling with mental health issues?
Some of our guests, like Erwin Shah, got quite emotional as he fought to expressed how he felt. He spoke about the loss of one of his dear friends and finally crumpled when MK gave him permission to express himself.
Humans are social creatures and our urge to react is only natural. But sometimes, when somebody needs a listening ear, all they need for you to do is, well… listen. We would all be better off if our first instinct is not to react but to absorb what our fellow humans are saying to us.
Also, we would all benefit if we could talk about our mental health the way we do when we have a cough or a persistent runny nose. There’s no shame in illness.
Want to sign up to be a listening ear, or offer to share your heartfelt woes with a complete stranger? I Feel You’s next run will be at the Temasek Shophouse, from 31 December 2020 to 31 January 2021.
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