About the Project

Can we reframe how we see the problems of old age? How do we “fix” what’s broken? How do we acknowledge the value and equal status of those who are the least welcome?

Artist Alecia Neo invited residents of Blk 7 Telok Blangah Crescent to share the importance of restoring dignity to the community. Over a few sessions, she learnt that some residents were seniors living in isolation or with mental illnesses. Many of whom were often “invisible” to others. Thus, they have a strong sense of wanting to reconnect with people. They also believe in the importance of human connections and relationships.

Over time, Alecia encouraged the seniors to uncover the many abilities and assets that they have – from being community organisers, great cooks, crafting, recycling and upcycling, collectors, teachers, and carers for their environment to bearing a wealth of knowledge about local history and culture.

Creation Process

Inspired by the idea of an alternative shop space in the neighbourhood, Alecia invited residents to the void deck to create personal posters that either expressed a wish or explored issues they care about. These posters evolved into many different participatory artworks.

At the same time, Alecia provided point-and-shoot cameras for the residents to take images of their surroundings and lives. Some of these images were also used in their artworks. All these not only sought to make visible the diverse assets in the community but also demonstrated the abilities of the residents.

Watch this video on the creation process, together with other artworks in the public art installation.



Alecia Neo

Alecia Neo works primarily with photography, video and participatory workshops. She develops longer-term projects involving a variety of individuals and collaborators, overlooked communities, and their spaces. She is also the co-founder and Artist Lead at Brack, a trans-border arts platform for socially engaged artists.

Participant Art-Makers

Cho Win

Jamil B Sereh

Jason Ong

Koh Hong Peng

Kok Tai

Lee Choi Siong

Lim Swee Choo

Saw Lay Hwa

Saw Lay Cheng


Jamil B Sereh

Happiness for me is to be Alone
Aluminium lightbox and perforated lyric book

Jamil’s artwork is inspired by his love for music. His favourite tunes include music by Bros, Michael Jackson’s Heal the World, You Are Not Alone, R Kelly’s I Believe I Can Fly, Seal’s Stand By Me, etc.

For Jamil, good music makes you tap your feet. Singing these songs brought back his memories of dancing at Ngee Ann City’s Fire Disco.

Jamil hopes to connect with residents and audiences through the healing power of music.

Jason Ong

Text on Postcards

Medium: Wooden display cabinet, first-day covers collection, photography series printed on postcards, rubber stamp, wooden writing table, cork pin-board

Inspired by his personal collection of first-day covers, Jason created a series of five postcards printed with photographs he took in his home and around the neighbourhood.

Each photograph documents memories and personal objects which he holds dear.

During the exhibit, the public was invited to write a postcard to someone they would like to reconnect with. The written postcard was mailed out at the end of the exhibition.

Kok Tai


Kok Tai’s work is about gratitude and self-care. She believes that we should learn to enjoy the simple things in life.

She is currently 92 years old and has been a resident at Block 7 for many years.

6 years ago, she had a bad fall, and It was her neighbour who discovered her when she fell. She was grateful for her help.

What she loves most about the estate is the people she can spend time with, such as her neighbours and the volunteers who come by the block.

Saw Lay Hwa and Saw Lay Cheng

Five Stones
Hand-made cloth bags filled with seeds and printed wooden table

Inspired by the possibilities of bringing people together through childhood games, sisters Lay Hwa and Lay Cheng use the game of five stones and hopscotch as an opportunity to share and reflect on life values which are important to us.

Lim Swee Choo and Koh Feng Peng

Happy Life (开心过人生)
Hand-made cloth bags and fabric flowers, hand-made plastic flower ornaments, printed photographs with accompanying video and text, wooden workshop table and art materials

What is a life well-lived? Married couple Swee Choo and Hong Peng reflect upon their life experiences and lessons to share what it means to live and give fully.

The installation features craft lessons, recipes, memories and diverse activities by the loving couple who had recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary together with 150 guests.

This was a special occasion for them as they did not have a proper wedding banquet when they first got married.

Using a series of DIY instructions, Swee Choo likens old and unused bags to one’s ageing body, and encourages audiences to try their hand at repurposing and breathing life back into them.

开心过人生 A Step-by-Step Guide.

Important Tools to Start!

  • Care from family and friends
  • A dose of confidence
  • An active mind and spirit
  • Flexibility: Move More!
  • Creativity
  1. An old bag is like an old body which needs tender, loving care. Choose an unused old bag that you want to restore.
  2. Observe its surfaces. Which areas need fixing or change?
  3. Create beautiful patterns which inspire you. Sew all around it.

Choi Siong And Cho Win

Invisible Man (隐形人)

During the workshop process, Choi Siong expressed her concern about the lack of dignity and care for the elderly in society.

On the other hand, Cho Win, who has worked in Singapore for 4 years as a domestic helper offered her insights from caring for another person’s family in a foreign country.

This series of photographs emerged from a meeting between Cho Win and a Both Sides, Now volunteer, June Goh. The two women met for the first time as strangers, connecting through make-believe.

Workshop Process

Community Voices

“The idea of restoring faith and hope into a community, it can be in very very small ways.”

Alecia Neo, Artist-Facilitator for Restore