Janel Ang
MA Art Therapy
LASALLE College of the Arts Singapore
(Goldsmiths, University of London, UK - validating institutional partner)
For Curriculum Vitae, click here

Janel is an Art Therapist with training from LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore. She was a graduate of both pioneering cohorts of Yale-NUS College and School of the Arts, Singapore. As a versatile arts practitioner and community artist, she works with a variety of media to empower others to live courageously and with dignity despite life’s adversities.

Her community projects and artworks delve into challenging issues, particularly grapping with the experience of loss. She has incorporated photography, filmmaking and other multimedia to reflect on caregiving, grief, and ways to live well. The communities that she has engaged through the arts range from children with special needs to seniors living with dementia. By sparking candid conversation through art and community programmes, she serves others compassionately, while cultivating greater relational empathy and insight, thereby spurring positive advocacy amongst her contemporaries.

Her research interests hone in to the potential of the Arts to unlock non-verbal communication. Seeking additional training in parkour, martial arts, psychological first aid and Somatic Experiencing in addition to Art Therapy, she hopes to furnish herself with an all-rounded toolkit to support and advocate for vulnerable communities.

Her journey with mental health as both caregiver and care-recipient has taught her patience, humility, and authenticity. She hopes to cultivate gentle practice in life, art and relationships.

Write her at angjanel[at]gmail[dot]com, or by clicking 

The National Museum’s upcoming inclusive social space is designed for seniors living with dementia to increase their quality of lives through non-pharmacological interventions. The space increases visibility for the vulnerable in society and sets itself up as a model example for increased accessibility in public spaces. As part of my internship with the museum, I conducted art therapy sessions in the space.

‘Why Should I Care?’ is a platform by youth, for youth who experience physical and mental illness, be it as a patient, caregiver or professional. The initiative aims to facilitate open dialogue about young people’s journeys with illness through the mutual sharing of creative ‘life hacks’ for coping.

Let’s Cook Soup Together! is a workshop where participants can explore identity and family histories through the activity of cooking a communal soup. Understanding how we interact in a group gives insight to how individualities are shaped, informing how we collaborate in social systems.

Supported by The Future of Our Pasts Festival as part of the Singapore Bicentennial.

Suspended at an angle that demonstrates the peak of happiness in a swing’s oscillation, Mood Swing hints at utopian visions of desirable happiness that allows for joy and hope. However, its inaccessibility produces a sense of unattainability and futility.

Commissioned for SOTA’s 10th year anniversary.

Book Buddies is a program aimed at children from less-privileged families, conducted by youth Captains from Superhero Me, an organisation that promotes arts-based inclusion amongst children from diverse backgrounds and learning abilities. It is a program that employs creative tools to make reading and studying fun, ensuring a safe and nurturing environment in which difficult topics about home and school stressors could be broached. 

Let’s Go Play Outside is a weekly ground-up initiative launched in lower-income neighbourhoods to encourage children to engage socially and environmentally through play and the arts. I worked with artists to co-facilitate a range of art and play activities including animation, print-making, music, photography, movement and writing, uniting a community of children and elderly living in the rental flats in Toa Payoh.

The Let’s Go Play Outside programme is led by 3Pumpkins founder Lin Shiyun.

Milestones is an audio-guided journey up a stairwell, reflecting on life and death, and what it means to walk alongside someone struggling with difficult thoughts. It touches on compassion fatigue in caregiving, the psychographic impact of space in healing, and seeks to build shared consciousness and empathy for those who are walking alone.

For your eyes only is an audience participatory piece which invites people to experience a shared consciousness of sending and receiving thoughts, highlight the problems in digital intimacy.

Collaborators: Jevon Chandra and Sherlyn Goh

Commissioned by Dr Effie Chew, a Senior Consultant in Rehabilitation Medicine, in the Division of Neurology, NUH, this weekly programme was designed to aid stroke patients undergoing rehabilitation in building esteem through creative expression. Painting offered the patients an alternative mode of expression, giving voice to their struggles and desires.

Co-facilitators: Wong Hui Yu, Natalie Christian Tan

"Balek Kampung" means “to return home” in Baba Malay. Baba Malay is a diminishing local dialect in Singapore spoken by Peranakans, of whom my grandmother, who I call Mama, is one. This film is a portrait of my amnesiac grandmother exploring the spaces of her past together with her Burmese domestic helper, Sulai. As Mama's frail frame traverses the physical landscapes that have changed over time, we are given a poignant reminder of our mortality.

On my first trip to China, I felt a sense of loss and alienation despite being ethnically Chinese. I began to encounter the people and spaces like a foreigner through my camera.

An essay film ruminating on memory, loss and the quotidian.

Rest in Peace is a mobile grass bed situated in a city thoroughfare, inviting members of the public to take pause on an island of grass. It facilitated conversations about self-care, the healing powers of nature and solitude. A deinstallation ceremony was held where the grass was repotted and given out to strangers.

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Copyright © 2019 Janel Ang. All Rights Reserved.