YRP Online Art Gallery 2012
The Yellow Ribbon Online Art Gallery consist of the artworks created by the inmates while serving time. Through art, inmates express their inner thoughts and feelings to their family members and community at large while at the same time, showcase their artistic talents.
Please show your support for the cause by adopting these special art pieces. Give them hope through your adoption, and provide the blank canvas they need to RestART their lives.
Come and discover the inner thoughts and feelings of inmates and ex-offenders, as each brush stroke paints their resolve to change for the better.
About the Yellow Ribbon Project
Every year, about 9,000 ex-offenders complete their sentences and are released from the various prisons and drug rehabilitation centres (DRCs). It is disheartening that ex-offenders have to live with the stigma of having served time behind bars when they are released from prison, one that can often be more punishing than the prison sentence itself. Many ex-offenders, once released, find themselves literally stepping into a second prison; a prison with invisible bars, of suspicion, of mistrust and of discrimination.
The best rehabilitation regime is of no use if ex-offenders find themselves rejected at every turn when they are released back into the community. Through the Yellow Ribbon Project, we hope to promote a more accepting and inclusive society, one that is willing to give ex-offenders a second chance at making good. It is important that we help unlock the second prison for our inmates, even as we let them out of the physical one.
About the Community Art Exhibition
Held at the Singapore Art Museum for the fourth time, the exhibition provides a platform for inmates and ex-offenders to express their hopes and aspirations through art, showcase their artistic talents, foster closer family relationships and reach out to the community. For the first time ever, this year’s exhibition features artwork by inmates from Changi Women’s Prison and a hanging mobile jointly produced by inmates and their families. More than just art, the inmates have drawn from their life experiences to reflect their will to change and overcome the challenges of reintegration. Theme of Exhibition “Will” – a simple word that is at once a noun and a verb, a symbol of the determination and strength of the human mind and heart to rise above the past and present circumstances to change the future.
Drawing from their life experiences, the artists in this exhibition have poured their heart and soul into creating art pieces of various mediums – canvas, acrylic, pottery, embroidery – to somehow make tangible their intangible desire and hope to make better choices, to make good, and to make a better life for them and their loved ones. So journey with us and them, as we take you through the exhibition – just as the inmates found a way to showcase their will to change for good, may you also find in your heart the will to give the artists behind these pieces a second chance to return to society.
The integral of Art in Prison
Art and prison do not appear to have much in common. Art reflects creativity and freedom in expression, while prison suggests a regimented environment surrounded by concrete walls and barbed wire. Nevertheless, art plays a central role in the Singapore Prison Service’s rehabilitation efforts, helping inmates develop and cultivate their creative talents.
The rehabilitative art programmes in the Singapore Prison Service aim to nurture artistic potential, encourage creative insights and facilitate a positive change in mindset. Ultimately, art can help ex-offenders unlock their potential in finding employment, furthering their education and eventually reintegrating back into society.
Paradigm Shift explores the use of symbols as an abstraction and manifestation of one’s will, and the influence of symbolism in one’s thought process in everyday life. The symbols are created by residents of the Singapore Boys’ Home and volunteers from the National University of Singapore, LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore Institute of Management and Beacon of Life, a youth self-help group.
The symbols encapsulate four manifestations of will, namely strength, courage, desire and self-respect, and are accordingly grouped as such. The work has a unique social dimension. It is borne out of a youth outreach project at the Singapore Boys’ Home, where the artist, along with volunteers, worked with the boys to deconstruct and demystify symbols employed by gangs to attract the loyalty and obedience of their gang members, and in the process reconstruct their own ideals in the form of symbols.
Transition is jointly produced by inmates and their families.
A prison sentence is served by both an inmate and his/her family. The suspension of these butterflies represents the tension of this transition from an inmate’s incarceration to release and the uncertainty of public acceptance upon release.
The ceramic weights at the end of each line signify the crucial components that keep the inmates and their families stable – love, communication, shared plans for the future, tolerance of differences and faith. The coloured butterflies were the result of a bonding session where art was used to bring inmates and their families together. It also showcases the multi-dimensional aspects of family connection and the intricacies of family relationship. A butterfly does not start out beautiful. It transforms from an ugly caterpillar, shunned by others, into something that is an acceptable part of life. Similarly, for inmates who are about to be released from prison, they and their families also hope to truly be free from the stigma of their past and be part of society.