Garden of LifeBy Tay Bee Aye With the patients and visitors of the Singapore General Hospital, students and teachers from NorthLight School, as well as volunteers
2007 to 2008
Singapore General Hospital Garden between Blocks 5 & 7
Installation using balloons, paper petals, wire and polyester wool.
Garden of Life was a community project organized in collaboration with the Singapore General Hospital. It involved SGH patients, visitors and staff, NorthLight School art club’s students and teachers and volunteers who made the flowers. The completed flowers were then planted in the garden at Block 5 & 7 of the SGH.
Flowers play a vital role in completing the process of life in the natural world. With the community effort of insects and animals, the reproduction process benefited many other beings. ‘Garden of Life’, a community project aims to achieve this cycle.
The site specific installation consisted of more than 3000 flowers hand crafted by SGH patients, visitors and staffs. The process took about 6 months from filling the balloons with polyester wool to planting in the garden. It began with a row of tables set outside the specialist outpatient clinic over one and half months for interested parties to assemble their unique flowers and pen their well wishes on the surface of balloons for their loved ones. The volunteers also distributed paper petals and balloons to some of the wards. Some participants the artist met at the table station expressed their gratitude for being able to kill their waiting time at the hospital and enjoyed the meditative moments in crafting their creations.
The assembled flowers were then sent to NorthLight School for the art club students to add the finishing touch by attaching the flowers to the wire stalks. However, the lacking of creative play and monotonous process had somehow killed the enthusiasm for some students. When completed, students and teachers from NorthLight School and volunteers went to the SGH and took an important act to transform the greenery of the garden into a one blossoming with colours and wishes that bring healing and joy to all who enters.