Socially engaged art and inciting social change: a case study of The Block Party and Homerun
Socially engaged art is an emerging form of art-making that centres itself around pressing social issues. By deliberate use of social interaction and dialogical structures, socially engaged art opens itself up to the possibility of being used as a platform to generate critical discourse, or as a tool for empowerment for the disenfranchised. In Singapore’s context, the last ten years have seen a slow, but increasing growth in the number of active practitioners across the mediums of socially engaged visual arts and theatre, with socially engaged art projects ranging from disability advocacy to more durational works that engage with communities like the elderly, migrant labourers, as well as low-income.
This thesis seeks to understand the impacts of socially engaged art, and how socially engaged art projects can achieve social change within the context of Singapore. This will be observed through the case studies of theatre production The Block Party (2019) and visual arts exhibition Homerun (2020). Research methodologies employed include extensive literature reviews on existing methodologies used in socially engaged art, conducting semi-structured interviews with directors and producers of the two works, as well as the use of inductive reasoning to classify and analyse primary data alongside theoretical knowledge. The findings of this research suggests that socially engaged art contains dormant potential at generating some form of social impact in the public sphere, particularly when dialogic and participatory frameworks are implemented alongside the condition of durationality.
Jul 2020 – present
Blue Moon Letters
Oct 2020 – Jan 2021
Buangkok Mall Life Club
Project & Production Assistant
Unseen Art Initiatives
Art Assistant for The Best of Me Exhibition