2020/ March-October, Stay Home Quilt, community project
As artist-in-residence with 3Pumpkins in collaboration with volunteers from TzuChi HYC, La Salle interns and migrant workers in Singapore. Remotely built an installation of quilts with these three respective demographics and quarantined migrantworkers.The process begins with the Pandemic from March through October 2020.
[3Pumpkins on Instagram: “#stayhomequilt has been consistently receiving youth who are interested in creating participatory art work to put together over 200 public…”](https://www.instagram.com/p/CEiIe9gHgud/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link)
more photos here of the process of building stayHomeQuilt:
and photos of migrant workers sewing workshops here:
This is the first time I am involved in a community project in Singapore. The producer was provided a studio and exhibition space with which I was very grateful to be with, as the lockdown has started. The work started with the rehanging of poverty quilts from the SG BiCentennial ACM show to continue buttons sewing on a collective memorial quilt. This was done in the newly renovated space with public walk-ins and passerby in this community center at Yishun, north of Singapore. It soon begets a separate quilt dedicated to memorialise deceased frontliners and early victims of Corvid-19. A names-memorial-quilt was also started alongside making PPEs (Personal Protection Equipment/ medical frocks) out of scrap denims sewn with names and graffiti in response to the Pandemic.
When a covered football field (Yishun Futsal) next to the centre was walled up to quarantine migrant workers infected, it became clear that they are the "other" secluded community I want the public to interact with. The venue-sponsor (Tzu Chi Singapore) quickly secured fundings from a bank to start this community project titled StayHomeQuilt to access some 500 potential migrant workers participants. Volunteers of the sponsor venue mobilised the collection of up-cycle cloth for the project and we managed to sew with about 100 migrant workers over three workshop sessions before the shut down of the temporary quarantine-dormitories. Interns/ artists from LaSalle College were enlisted to partner with youth members of the venue-sponsor to help put the resultant patchworks into a house form. Interaction between various groups of participants is thus facilitated around the topic of the lockdown in solidarity with the majority infected in Singapore, namely the migrant workers in the over crowded dormitories.
The project ended with a series of weekend open-houses which see the interaction of the LaSalle Youths and TzuChi youth members interacting with members of the public weaving a communal rug to complete the "quilted house". (see video by LaSalle intern/ videographer, PengXiao below) To date, no migrant workers came to the venue of StayHomeQuilt as they continue to be restricted in their dormitories even though Singapore has open up for more social mobility.
A proposal* to continue the project as a forum for further migrant workers interaction was stalled. The venue-sponsor's designate that the remaining fund be used for purchase of migrant workers' provisions in future food and provision charitable runs. My producer, 3Pumpkins moved out of the venue in November.
*I have proposed that we run a radio station to solicit songs and chats from dormitories by migrant workers to be recorded and broadcasted under the house of quilts.
Video documentary made by La Salle intern, Peng Xiao during last month of openhouse events.:https://youtu.be/G7-xTQ-3lC8