Video message from Dr John Beard, Director for Life Course and Ageing Department, World Health Organization, at the ComSA Forum 2017 on Friday, 18 August. Watch here.
Thomas Kong is a tenured associate professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). He received his architecture undergraduate degree with honours from the National University of Singapore, and a Master of Architecture, with Distinction from Cranbrook Academy of Art, USA. Besides teaching, he was the department's co-chair, while serving as the undergraduate architecture and interior architecture chair. Thomas Kong’s research and creative practice are centered on Asian urbanism and the role of the arts in design practice and education. In 2015, Kong was inducted into the Placemaking Leadership Council of the U.S. based Project for Public Space in recognition of his work on creative placemaking. The same year, his competition proposal to re-imagine the Helsinki tramline as a cultural space for art, design and community-building was recognized as one of the top 8 entries in the Next Helsinki international competition that saw over 200 entries from 40 countries. In 2009, Kong was the third Jaap Bakema Fellow, an international fellowship administered by the Netherlands Architecture Institute, a co-recipient of the Motorola Foundation grant for his community-based art and design studio in Beppu, Japan, and Singapore’s School of the Arts (SOTA) Distinguished Fellow in 2012. Thomas Kong is a licensed architect in Singapore and an Associate Member of the American Institute of Architects.
A/Prof Thomas Kong is the Project Consultant of Curating Whampoa. He co-conceived the project with Tsao Foundation. He also leads the “Tangible Stories” project, and is involved in the Social Archiving component with Jacelyn Kee and Lee Sze-Chin.
Thomas Kong’s Project Team
Peter C Chen is an architect, design educator, sculptor and photographer. Having worked as an architect since 1995, his work has covered large scale institutional projects to small scale design-intensive work and across sculpture to urban furniture. His experience extends beyond the traditional confines of architecture to include furniture, photography, sculpture and urbanism, and all else in between. His current work takes him into the realm of urban memory and computational photography, all of which attempt to reveal the disjunction between the idealized aspects of intentions and its constructed double. Ongoing projects include The Infratectural Sublime: Singapore’s Hidden Frontier, a photographic and research effort in documenting industries responsible for the development and success of Singapore, and Personal State, a project as the recipient of the Architecture and Design Excellence Award 2012. Completed works include Postcards from the Disposable City and Perspectives from the Ideal City, a 2 projects on documenting the changing civic landscape of Singapore. Other works include the Bench Project, a URA design initiative in repurposing salvaged wooden benches from the old National Stadium as public seating, Reed Sculpture, a public art commission by City Developments Limited, as part of the recipient of the CDL Singapore Sculpture Award, the winning entry to the LTA Bus Shelter Competition for the progressive refurbishment of all the national bus stops in Singapore. Other recent built works include Unplanned House, the design and construction of a single-family dwelling.
As a design educator, he has taught at the National University of Singapore, Lasalle College of the Arts, Singapore Polytechnic, the School of Art Design and Media in NTU. In Curating Whampoa, Peter’s focus is on Tangible Stories project. He is the photographer who took portraits of the elders and the artefacts.
Jacelyn Kee is trained as an artist and works as an art educator and administrator. She holds a Masters in Arts Administration and Policy from School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her most recent curatorial projects include 8288 Nautical Miles, Creature Comforts, and Going Off(shore): A Chicago Learning Symposium. Jacelyn was awarded the Ministry of Education (Singapore) Postgraduate Scholarship, Margot and Thomas Pritzker Scholarship, and SAIC Excellence in Leadership Award 2016. She also served as a curatorial fellow with Sullivan Galleries, Chicago. She is currently the Head of Department for Art in CHIJ Katong Convent and is working on a community gallery.
Jacelyn interviewed the elders and helped to document their artefacts and stories for Tangible Stories project.
Lee Sze-Chin is an art therapist, art educator and artist. He graduated with a Master of Arts in Art Therapy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and is a licensed professional counselor and registered nurse. Sze-Chin has presented internationally on art therapy supervision and the use of art therapy in clinical and community-based settings, and serves on the boards of the Art Therapy Association of Singapore and the Illinois Art Therapy Association. He is currently working with The Red Pencil (Singapore) to deliver art therapy services to hospitals, social service agencies and schools.
Sze-Chin was involved in the interviewing and documentation of the stories and artefacts for the Tangible Stories project.
Photovoice SG Team
Photovoice is a non-profit community arts organisation that harnesses the power of participatory photography to tell of hidden stories in Singapore. In 2011, Photovoice SG was established as a non-profit community arts organization, with the intention to reveal these stories of the everyman, the individuals in society who are less visible and heard. Its work is built upon the premises that every person has a story to tell, and that by harnessing the democratic power of photography to tell them, we can affect change. Change in one person’s consciousness, change in the collective narrative and a shift in understanding of what is “valued” and “valuable”.
Photovoice SG designs customised participatory photography experiences for local communities to help people find and voice their stories or concerns. Its projects are driven by passionate teams of volunteer mentor photographers and administrators, who believe alongside us that change can happen if we listen. It is a recipient of National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre’s New Initiative Grant in 2012 and has collaborated with established and visible partners, including: The Institute of Mental Health, Tan Tock Seng Hospital’s Centre for Communicable Disease, Students Care Service and Tsao Foundation. Participants of previous Photovoice SG workshops have seen their work exhibited at the National and Regional Libraries, SCAPE, Singapore General Hospital and the National Singapore Museum.
School of the Arts (SOTA)
The School of the Arts (SOTA) is Singapore’s first national pre-tertiary specialised arts school with a six-year integrated arts and academic curriculum, leading to the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma or Career-related Programme, for youths aged 13 -18 years old.
Under the ambit of the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY), SOTA offers a dedicated development path for those who have interest and show early talent in the arts, providing a learning environment where both the artistic and academic potential can best be realised.
With a vision to shape and impact society through an education in the arts, SOTA aims to identify and groom future generations of artists, creative professionals to be leaders in all fields, and to be patrons and supporters of the arts.
A school of the future, SOTA embraces a holistic educational philosophy that celebrates experimentation, expression and discovery.
SOTA is involved in Curating Whampoa – their students worked with elderly participations to produce the Tangible Companions project.