UNESCO-NIE Centre for Arts Research in Education (CARE)

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Dialogue and Empathy through Immersive Arts Experiences

By Ngiam Su-Lin and Ko Siew Huey from ArtsWok Collaborative


ArtsWok Collaborative is an arts-based community development organisation that works with multidisciplinary teams to design and implement arts-based civic engagement projects. For the past three years, ArtsWok Collaborative has partnered local theatre company, Drama Box to co-produce a series of immersive arts experiences that seek to engage the public on a range of social issues.

The sharing for this session will focus on BOTH SIDES, NOW, a two-year immersive arts experience that sought to normalise conversations about end-of-life issues amongst healthcare workers, patients and caregivers, seniors and the general public by taking those conversations to public spaces. The participatory, inter-disciplinary artworks ranged from installations to interactive performances, inviting a wide range of audiences to engage intimately with a difficult issue of public concern. 

Drawing on lessons learned in the creative and collaborative process, ArtsWok Collaborative will share insights about the principles of practice when designing an aesthetic experience that is dialogic and builds empathy, amidst a wider questioning of the purposes of civic engagement.


About Ngiam Su-Lin

Su-Lin is the co-founder and director of ArtsWok Collaborative, and has been active in the Singapore arts scene for more than a decade, specifically in the areas of education, community, producing work and company management, largely with The Necessary Stage. She was part of the team that piloted the Development Through Drama Programme which involved drama during curriculum time in schools, produced community theatre and festivals in collaboration with government bodies and corporates, and worked with numerous social service organisations to incorporate drama into their programmes. Other arts companies she has worked with include TheatreWorks, Drama Box and The ARTS FISSION Company.


About Ko Siew Huey

Huey is the co-founder and director of ArtsWok Collaborative, and has an abiding interest in connecting people and ideas. She began her career producing social documentaries after graduating from the Beijing Film Academy, before joining WorldVision China to do international development work. There, she learned to balance the interests of diverse stakeholders when implementing development programmes in the field. At the China National Office, she pioneered the use of performance management tools, taking quantitative and qualitative data gathered from the field through household surveys and focus groups discussions to inform programme design and organizational strategy. 



Please register at :   http://goo.gl/r0SeRl


Developing Empathy and Dialogue  through Pedagogies and Practices in Arts Education is a series of informal discussions that aim to discuss and investigate teaching methods and strategies in arts education which draw out dialogue in learning about empathy.

You can now watch the session here:



29 April 2015
Time: 7pm—9pm, Venue: Goodman Arts Centre, Blk B, #03-138, Meeting Room 3 , 90 Goodman Road, Singapore 439053

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