Local artist duo Hunny and Lummy (real names Hun Ming Kwang and Quinn Lum) organised the art exhibition “ThisConnect: Threading Worlds”, which was launched on World Suicide Prevention Day (10 September). More than 580 attended the exhibition over its nearly three-week run at Deck art gallery, exceeding the initial expectation of 400.
The exhibition was part of the duo’s new initiative, ThisConnect.today, which champions mental health awareness and suicide prevention through art and conscious conversations. This was to encourage more connection and authenticity among people and promote the freedom for self-expression, recently made more critical by lockdown isolation and the accompanying economic struggles.
“With social distancing and increased isolation, we knew that the themes of connection and empathy in our art would be important to discuss this year,” Hun says.
The exhibition comprised two multimedia art pieces, designed to motivate the audience to be present, engage and listen. The first, “Tipping Point”, featured footage of the performative act of blowing a balloon, seemingly a metaphor for suppressing emotions wrought by everyday stressors.
The second, “I Feel You”, was a participatory piece that involved pairs of strangers facing each other and holding hands; one would confide a deeply personal story for 10 minutes while the other listened, and at the end the latter replied simply, “I feel you.” The piece was intended to promote empathy, tolerance, and listening without judgement, bias or the urge to react and advise.
The loss of a mutual friend to suicide late last year prompted Hun and Lum to work on promoting conversation about mental health and suicide prevention; furthermore, they describe their partnership as a “social artist duo” because they consider it the role of an artist to question, analyse and ultimately heal.
“We want to continue to introduce new means for individuals to further and deepen their understanding of mental health and suicide prevention through our art and films.”
Following “ThisConnect: Threading Worlds”, the pair plan to hold a month-long main exhibition on mental health, emotional wellness and suicide prevention, set to open this 15 December.
For more information, visit thisconnect.today