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ARTISTREE

Arts for Wellness: Creative Activities for Your Mental Health

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Starting this month, ArtisTree will play host to Taikoo Place’s +UP! Better Living Pop-ups, with a range of experiences that help you stay well from the inside out. But your wellness journey doesn’t end there. According to research by the World Health Organization, the arts can help improve overall mental wellbeing – which is why we’re here to help complement your self-care routine with the arts. Try these creative activities that are not only therapeutic, but also easy enough for anyone to get started.

Connect with Others by Recreating Masterpieces

When it comes to creativity, even household items can be used to (re)create iconic artworks. While she was forced to stay home due to the pandemic, Anneloes Officier, a communication specialist from Amsterdam, reconnected with the art-loving community by making a parodied image of Johannes Vermeer’s Girl with the Pearl Earring with a garlic bulb, placemat and towel. It went viral on social media, which resulted in the creation of Tussen Kunst & Quarantaine, with thousands of people sharing their own takes on the challenge. Though not a traditional artform, the activity encourages you to think out of the box, helps relieve stress and brings a sense of community, which is essential for our wellbeing.

The artist’s point of view: “It’s so special that everyone is connected over something so simple and creative,” says Officier. “It’s an uplifting experience that unites people worldwide in these lonesome times and creates a supporting and loving community.”

Free Your Mind with Zentangle Drawing

Zentangle is a drawing method that puts you in the “flow state” – the state of relaxed focus in which you feel fully immersed in an activity. Like drawing mandalas, which are circular figures, it involves a ceremony-like process. First, take a deep breath, then start drawing tangles, or repetitive patterns, before adding shades of grey. According to Michael Chan, a certified Zentangle instructor and founder of Zentangle Hong Kong Center, the therapeutic artform is particularly liberating for the mind, as you don’t have to preplan the outcome, and no one is there to judge you. All you have to do is focus on drawing the patterns.

The artist’s point of view: Zentangle encourages us to avoid judging whether our work is good or not,” Chan says. “During this process, I often feel like I’m removing a heavy rock from my shoulders. It allows me to take a precious rest and keeps me away from stress.”

Express Yourself through Ceramics

There’s a reason why ceramics has been increasingly popular around the world: the slow, repetitive motions of moulding, spinning and shaping is a calming tactile experience. It makes you unplug from the digital world and immerse yourself in the artistic process. For local ceramic artist Ying Sheung Wong, who held her first solo exhibition Thinking through Making earlier this year, making pottery is not only meditative, but it’s also a channel to transform the intangible into the tangible. With just a lump of clay, you can turn your thoughts and feelings into a three-dimensional artwork; it’s a harmonious and satisfying process.

The artist’s point of view: “Clay is a gentle receiver of all aspects of ourselves, including our thoughts, feelings and movements,” says Wong. “For those who have difficulty expressing themselves in other socially expected ways, ceramics can give solace and boost confidence.”

Find Inner Peace with Calligraphy

Journaling is another excellent way to put your thoughts into words – why not combine that with calligraphy for a therapeutic writing session? Even if you can’t think of what to write, the act of copying aesthetically pleasing letters is a mindful practice on its own. Kalo, founder of calligraphy studio Kalo Make Art, describes calligraphy as a way to channel your inner peace. Whether you prefer Chinese or Western calligraphy, focus on your breathing as you write to create a harmonious rhythm, and you’ll find yourself in the “flow state” and all worries forgotten.

The artist’s point of view: “Calligraphy allows us to connect our body and mind at a deeper level,” says Kalo. “The key is to be patient. As Confucius says, ‘It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.’”

 

The +UP! Better Living Pop-ups will bring you various wellness experiences at ArtisTree. Drop by the Nourish Clean Beauty x Mother Pearl Pop-up for green beauty solutions. Get active with the Boxing, Yoga and Fitness Workshops, including adrenaline-pumping boxing sessions with LIGHTS//OUT Boxing Club in the “black box” of ArtisTree. PURE Yoga, PURE Fitness and H-Kore will also provide different yoga and fitness workshops in their studios at Taikoo Place. Last but not least, sign up for the Corporate Wellness Challenge: 8-Hour Charity Spin with your colleagues for a good cause. Find out more here

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