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One Heart

Fundraiser for school-building efforts in rural West Bengal

"One Heart", a special edition of our Yoga of Creativity workshop, was recently held on Labour Day. It was organised as a non-profit fundraiser. Participants were invited to contribute on a Pay-As-You-Wish basis, with all proceeds directed towards school-building efforts in Ananda Nagar, West Bengal, India. During the "Visioning Circle," a unique segment of the workshop, participants engaged their senses, with a special emphasis on an olfactory experience involving a mysterious blend of essential oils. It adds an intriguing dimension to the workshop. By engaging the sense of smell, we tapped into a powerful yet often underutilised aspect of human perception, which can deepen the participants' immersion in the experience and perhaps evoke memories or emotions that fuel one’s creative visioning process. By immersing ourselves in this sensory journey, we sought to access the liminality of our consciousness and uncover latent inspirations. Despite our individual differences, the workshop emphasised the interconnectedness of our hearts and the unity of purpose underlying our creative endeavours.

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Hari Raya Special Gathering

Narratives beyond representations

“Defiled or immaculate. Dirty or pure. These are concepts we form in our mind. A beautiful rose we have just cut and placed in our vase is pure. It smells so good, so fresh. A garbage can is the opposite. It smells horrible, and it is filled with rotten things. But that is only when we look on the surface. If we look more deeply we will see that in just five or six days, the rose will become part of the garbage. We do not need to wait five days to see it. If we just look at the rose, and we look deeply, we can see it now. And if we look into the garbage can, we see that in a few months its contents can be transformed into lovely vegetables, and even a rose. If you are a good organic gardener, looking at a rose you can see the garbage, and looking at the garbage you can see a rose. Roses and garbage inter-are. Without a rose, we cannot have garbage; and without garbage, we cannot have a rose. They need each other very much. The rose and the garbage are equal.” - Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life

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Yoga of Creativity_On Citrine

A holistic approach to the appreciation of natural elements

Citrine - a popular crystal celebrated for its associations with manifestation and abundance. The workshop series was a deliberate pivot towards exploring the cultural phenomenon surrounding natural crystals from a different angle. Personally, my fascination with this phenomenon runs deep, driven not by mystical beliefs, but by a burning curiosity to understand the underlying psychological mechanisms. And as usual, we started the workshop with yoga and meditation to prepare the body for deeper introspection. Every expression we put out into the world is a reflection of our inner selves, a dance between the seen and the unseen, the known and the yet-to-be-discovered. Creativity is not simply an external expression but a nuanced interplay of conscious and subconscious elements. To truly grasp our creative potential, we have to embark on an inward odyssey and gain mastery over oneself. Using a set of educational picture cards - Yoga of Emotions - as our navigational tools, we had an overview of the labyrinth of emotions and mental inclinations. Well, this is just the beginning and the journey continues...

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Year-end Reflection Art Workshop

A streamlined creative approach for ongoing reflection

I am grateful for the participants who chose to dedicate precious time during the remaining days of the year to partake in our mindfulness and self-reflection workshop. Grateful for @joannepeh from @thedimpleloft as well for having organised these meaningful sessions to wrap up the year, and provided us with a cosy, conducive space. During our session, we introduced a streamlined creative approach to the participants, using the metaphor of a tree - a symbolic representation they can use for ongoing reflection throughout the year. This tree serves as a self-portrait, where growth is nurtured by paying attention to the roots, the trunk, and the crown, which symbolises different aspects of personal development. Despite conducting this activity indoors which is different from my usual workshops, we emphasised that our minds possess boundless potential. We encouraged the participants to train their minds to visualise beyond the walls of their immediate realities. The mind, inherently expansive, has the capacity to transcend limitations, allowing for introspection and imaginative exploration. Ref: 31 December 2023

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Draw.etc Year-End Exhibition

Mandala_Beyond The Peaks, Paint on Vinyl

Greatly appreciate @drawetc._ for this platform as an opportunity for me and @jeanreiki to showcase our creative upcycling efforts. The year-end exhibition was beautifully curated in their new and upcoming retail cum studio space, which housed the amazing works of 109 other works during the showcase. The vinyl record, as acquired through the upcycling efforts of @vinylpasar, makes an ideal round canvas for a mandala, a representation of beginninglessness and endlessness. My humble piece of work is inspired by the great altitudes of Nepal, where I revisits annually to immerse in the sentient atmosphere, and listen to the whispers of the mountains. Against the distinct stillness of the mountains, every subtle motion becomes apparent - the clouds' gentle drift, the dance of grass in the breeze, the deliberate steps of the goats... etc. Watch closely enough, we can even notice the almost imperceptible roll of sand grains around us. Much like observing the mind, tuning in with attentive focus reveals the nuances. Sitting in quiet observation, witnessing the ebb and flow of thoughts without interference or judgement, brings about a sense of comfort. It's in this act of mindfulness that we cultivate self control, allowing us to navigate our inner landscape with grace and tranquility. Ref: 23 December 2023

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Collaboration with Vinyl Pasar

An ongoing green effort that combines audio and visual experiences

Earlier this year, I was engaged by @jeanreiki to be part of her music and sustainability movement, @vinylpasar, specifically in the upcycling creative projects for damaged vinyl records. Even though I had zero knowledge on vinyl collection nor a particular taste in music, I agreed to embark on this journey with her because of the noble motivation behind Vinyl Pasar, and of course, to explore this unconventional canvas as part of my personal art practice. The endeavour as a group for the past few months had opened my eyes to the present battles against environmental degradation and global warming. I would like to humbly share a summary of what I have come to realise: 1. Education and habits on environmental sustainability should start from young, and in each household. The future is theirs to live in. We gotta stop sugarcoating the facts, or assume that it’s too much of a reality for the children to bear. 2. Ignorance is not bliss. It is up to us, within our own power, to find out more about the production of the things we actively consume, either essential or non-essentials. We could then make informed choices. Many ugly truths are deliberately hidden and we are instead sold the romantic narratives; our consumptions unwittingly contribute to the negative impacts on the health of people and drastic degradation of the natural environments. It’s bad karma, really. I have learnt about vinyl records production, and it’s not entirely glamorous. 3. Sustainability is not a weekend hobby; it’s conscious living. There are already many sustainability platforms and projects out there in Singapore for each of us to participate and learn. Again, it’s up to ourselves to seek them out and decide what we, as individuals, can actively practise in our everyday lives. The passive "somebody else will do it" attitude gotta go! Ref: 15 October 2023

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Tree After Wind

Essential experiences of self-awareness through the grace of Mother Nature

Our alignment with nature is intrinsic and symbiotic. Mother Nature encompasses the profound insights essential for self-realization, the understanding of life's purposes, and the exploration of existence. By mindfully attuning ourselves to nature's nuances and immersing in its presence, we open ourselves to the enlightening melodies it offers. Recognizing that Mother Nature is a manifestation of the Supreme, we find solace in nature's proximity as the most accessible reference point for our spiritual connection. We observed the mighty trees and appreciated nature's representation of resilience and groundedness - qualities we need to affirm our commitments. While each of us has our own goals to work towards, we all agreed that the top priority is to take care of our well-being. As we penned down our respective resolutions on the drawings, we were reminded to be sufficiently aware of our strengths and well-being to decide for oneself to be an ardent cultivator of our own passions. "The poise of a plant, the bended tree recovering itself from the strong wind, the vital resources of every vegetable and animal, are also demonstrations of the self-sufficing, and therefore self-relying soul. All history from the highest to its trivial passages is the various record of this power." - Ralph Waldo Emerson (1808-1882) Ref: 30 September 2023

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Whisper to the Mountains

Sanctioning our footprints in the most ingenious style

This overseas project involves the curation of art activities for our members in the pristine corners of the greatest mountainous regions. We look towards the ascent as a doorway to exalt our minds from banality as we reconnect with the authentic self. Amalgamating the therapeutic power of nature, travel, and art-making, layers of engagement in the programs are presented as a unified, wholesome experience that maximise our members' capacity to savour the elements in the respective environments. From 13 to 27 Oct '22, together as a group, we transcended our limits as we set out on the journey towards the high altitudes in Northern Nepal to discover realms beyond the walls of our usual reality. "Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints, kill nothing but time." It is our tendency, as transients, to desire a little souvenir and to leave traces of our own presence in these magnificent settings. To preserve our memories without compromising the integrity of the grand nature, we sanctioned our footprints in the most ingenious, graceful manner. A series of multi sensory, hands-on activities was curated to maximise the engagement of our senses with the elements in the great expanse of Annapurna mountain range. Art-making is an essential part of our itinerary; natural materials like rocks, clay, and wood can be retrieved from the surroundings and then re-presented as creative works of art. Karohan recognises art-making as an effective method to reconcile between the dichotomies of our existence. As we leverage nature's power of amplification, we are guided to bring forth our intangible thoughts, perceptions, and desires to be transformed into tangible visuals. Ref: 1 January 2023

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