Thursday, May 09, 2019

Finding Purpose, Contentment and Joy Through Art

When Mr Ho Wing Kwong’s lifelong passion for model-making was affected by his deteriorating health, he started to doubt himself. Then he found a spark that rekindled his love for model-making.

Having started out as an Architectural Technician in the British War Office in 1945, Mr Ho went on to set up his own architectural modelling company. His life was seldom far from his love of making models. But when his health took a dive, Mr Ho lost confidence in his model-making skills. Today, he is once again channelling his energy into making models – this time using LEGO.

Mr Ho (seated) with guests and art therapist.

Mr Ho is one of the elderly residents who has benefitted from Pacific Healthcare Nursing Home’s art therapy programme. First introduced in 2017, the programme aims to help residents rediscover their sense of identity and self-worth through individual and open studio art sessions.

Given his background in architectural model-making, LEGO sets were used in Mr Ho’s therapy sessions to stimulate his creativity. The programme improved his mental well-being and he even started to show interest in physiotherapy sessions, which he had always resisted.

Mr Ho explaining his models to a group of visitors at the art exhibition, “Oasis: The Beginning”.

Through art therapy, the Home has witnessed significant improvements in the lives of its residents, who became more jovial and found purpose and meaning in life at retirement age.

“I have observed that the residents who took part in the art therapy programme have shown signs of improvement in energy, responsiveness and positivity. One of the residents used to droop his head and avoid eye contact whenever I tried to greet him. After the second art therapy session, he was more responsive towards the people around him. Now, he appears cheerful and likes to greet others,” observed Mr Kelvin Ng, General Manager of Pacific Healthcare.

Display of Mr Ho’s artwork at the art exhibition, “Oasis: The Beginning”.

The fruits of the residents’ labour from the art therapy programme were showcased at an art exhibition, “Oasis: The Beginning”, organised by the Home in 2018. The artwork at the exhibition reflects the essence of the artists’ personal life journey and their identity.

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