Art meets psychology in this social enterprise.
Contributed by Wayne Chan
Science + Art = Utopia?
This is the equation that Adeline Yeo, co-founder and creative director of social enterprise Living Experience, uses to help individuals discover their inner selves and realize their full potential via art.
LE provides organizational consultancy for the public, private and social sectors, as well as one-on-one personal development. Yeo and LE’s managing director, psychologist Frieda Loh, have started a positive movement to empower individuals seeking self-actualization, via positive living experiences.
Launching this movement through an event, Le Phoenix, last Thursday evening (which coincided with her 33rd birthday on April 15), Yeo was a bubbling pool of emotion and gratitude, as she addressed a well-dressed crowd at the event at 308 Phoenix Park, a venue belonging to her god-sister, Jasmine Chan. The building was torn down the following day to be rebuilt into an art therapy wellness center for LE.
Elim Chew, Founder-President of 77th Street and Director of Social Innovation Park was the special guest of the evening. A long-time friend, Chew expressed how proud she was of Yeo’s new venture.
The enterprise also channels a portion of its profits toward selected not-for-profit organizations.
Forty-three works of art were up for sale. The art, mostly phoenix paintings by Yeo and photographs of street scenes in Saigon, taken by Albert Tan of Olive Tree Studio, went on sale from S$600 to S$4,200 a piece. Twenty-five percent of the proceeds go to social enterprise PaTH.
One of Tan’s most powerful photos captured a severely deformed boy playing in blissful oblivion with a pretty little girl of about the same age. Tan immortalized the girl laughing with the boy as he leaned his misshapen mug over her shoulder playfully.
It is this kind of psychological well-being amidst painful circumstances that Yeo hopes to achieve through her movement. This exhibition was a cathartic expression for the artist, and through it, she demonstrates the work LE wants to do.
Yeo’s own experience in the grueling world of public relations taught her about the pain of putting up appearances and dealing with stress in silence.
|CN PHOTOS: Michael Chan
“It’s really not easy being in the PR industry,” she said. “Managing people’s expectations can be very overwhelming. Many times I felt like giving up but I decided to hang in there.” Now, Yeo has a new purpose for her public relations skills with LE. The former fine arts student decided last year to scale back on her PR work and pick up her paintbrush again. Her first work was a phoenix painting so striking that it was silkscreened onto a gown that was auctioned during a Fuchsia Lane fashion show early this year.
Guests were spoilt with an array of desserts, fine wines from Peng Wines, and a variety of Schnapps from Deeb. Some were eager to snap up the pieces of art.
One of the buyers, who identified herself only as Angela, bought a painting of a colorful pattern of hearts with the word “Love” written repeatedly across the canvas. “It’s a very happy color, and I can share this with little children, especially with my son,” she smiled.
On LE’s psychological aspect, Yeo explains: “Our work is about finding out people’s strengths, finding out what they want through our scientific method for self-actualization. Next, we introduce art as a way to reach out to them. When they communicate back to us, we’ll know how to manage them from there. The entire journey will culminate in a piece of artwork, the visual result of their experiences.”
Through LE, Yeo hopes to help individuals to attain the achievements they envisage for themselves and to think richly. “It’s not just about championing a happy movement, but it’s about building psychological wealth inside and out.”
Visit www.le.com.sg for more details.