An Afternoon of Therapeutic Art and Reflections

Written by: Regina Koh

Imagine taking a walk down memory lane and being greeted with the soothing pitter-patter of raindrops on a relaxing Saturday. Our alumni gathered on 17 April 2021 on campus, embarking on a journey of growth as they joined us for an afternoon of therapeutic art and reflections.

The art therapy workshop was helmed by Han Li June and Samantha Quek from Reaples, a collective that advocates bringing the power of art therapy to people from all walks of life and diverse social communities. The event kick-started with our alumni sharing their fondest memories of SUSS. One common memory among our alumni was their interactions with peers and the mutual support they had to overcome challenging times. There was even a group of three alumni who signed up for this event to commemorate their friendship and graduation, inspiring all other event participants to treasure the relationships built in their daily lives.

Our alumni went on to create their masterpieces enthusiastically and channelled their inner Picasso to unleash their creativity. Having recalled their wonderful memories at SUSS, colourful brush strokes were spread across canvases and positive bursts of energy filled the room.

Then came time for our alumni to share their masterpieces and reflections! The reflections that came through their spontaneous creation carried themes of support and perseverance which resonated with the group, allowing them to re-live their memorable moments together once again. One memorable artwork was of a lady eating watermelon and removing the seeds – the alumna had been reminded of the short breaks during class, which was the only opportunity for her to grab a quick bite after work.

Our facilitators, June and Samantha also had a wonderful experience seeing different generations of alumni coming together to share their lives and wisdom through art-making. As the wonderful and calm afternoon drew to a close, they guided our alumni to fold an origami butterfly symbolising transformation and transcendence. Our alumni had been transformed from students into SUSS graduates who had gained skills and knowledge for life. Though short, transcendence in good memories could serve as inspiration for a lifetime. This was very much like how butterflies had short lives, but possessed dazzling beauty and impact.

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