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Reviving Forgotten Memories with UNDEAD 2022 — Dementia Awareness Through Art

Portrait of Boy George by Danny Raven Tan

UNDEAD 2022

“UNDEAD” 2022 by Danny Raven Tan, a sole caregiver for his 89-year-old mother living with dementia, is a cheeky twist about how the world is “touched” by the longevity of the memories and legacy we leave behind after we die. Singaporean favourite Tiger beer, the spectacular musical Phantom of the Opera, Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse of the Heart, iconic comic characters like Catwoman or Calvin & Hobbes, a perfume like Chanel №5, adored by millions of women or even the euphoric Ben & Jerry’s ice cream are just some of the many timeless “product”.

Two signed acrylic portraits of enigmatic celebrity Boy George and Singapore’s favourite actress, Zoe Tay, painted by Danny Raven Tan will be displayed during the show. For those who may not know, Boy George is the lead singer of the 80s pop band Culture Club with global hit songs like “Karma Chameleon” and “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me”. While of course, local star Zoe Tay, is a Singaporean actress and former model. She has been referred to as the “Queen of Caldecott Hill” and “Ah Jie” by the local media since the rise of her popularity in the 1990s.

In line with simpleArte’s vision to combine traditional and digital art, these two artworks are also available as NFTs.

Close up of Boy George by Danny Raven Tan

Raven will share his story between Boy George and himself during the exhibition. He will also relate how Art has become an integral part of his caregiving journey and how appreciating art can touch our hearts and improves our quality of life.

This exhibition is in collaboration with The Enabling Festival 2022. This annual event is currently in its 5th year and is presented by Enable Asia to raise awareness for dementia. Both events are curated to inspire and encapsulate the true meaning of “Touch is Memory”.

Official The Enabling Festival 2022 poster

The Enabling Festival 2022

“Too often we have underestimated the power of touch and its potential to heal when words become cumbersome.

Touch is our first language. It is where we begin our journey to communicate. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has created worlds of isolation for all of us and is particularly challenging for caregivers and persons living with dementia. The lack of physical interaction has reminded us of the importance to stay in touch.

More than ever before, we need to re-activate the sense of touch in our lives and daily living. A single touch can help reduce anxiety and make us feel secure, psychologically safe and less alone. It can even reduce pain and the feeling of social exclusion.

It is simple. It is real. It is free.

Have you hugged or touched your loved one lately?”

Danny Raven Tan

Biography of Raven

Life has finally come full circle for Danny Raven Tan.

When Raven was in college, he dreamt of pursuing art as a career but it was not supported by his family. He was told to stop dreaming about it and so, he worked in the corporate world reluctantly.

He was not happy.

However, after graduating from the National University of Singapore (NUS) and working in industries that had no relation to art for 20 years, he found his “home” in LASALLE College of the Arts where he worked for 6 years. Now as a co-founder of EnableAsia and also the sole caregiver of his mother with dementia, Raven continues creating art every day. Since 2015, Danny Raven Tan has had 2 solo exhibitions at The Tiffin Gallery.

He is happy.

Danny Raven Tan and his mother who has dementia

About Raven’s Art

The art medium Raven uses is acrylic mixed with oil, crystal resin, sand gel, paper, gold flakes, Chinese ink and even nail polish. He loves to experiment and push boundaries. He is very much influenced by Austrian artist Voka, who coined the term Spontaneous Realism to describe the dynamic creative process of his representational and impressionistic imagery. The explosive colours and energetic brushwork in his paintings describe familiar images in a personal manner.

His works are generally conceptual, impressionistic, and provocative — some even controversial. He is experimental, likes pushing boundaries and capturing the energy and vitality of his surroundings with rich and vibrant colours, and documents dynamic compositions with bold brush strokes.

The sheer anticipation of translating his emotions and ideas onto a white canvas is both exciting and agonising! He absolutely enjoys being lost in this uncertain journey of timeless space filled with possibilities.

He does not deliberately try to advocate controversial issues with shocking images through his works. He feels that art should not be sensationalised rather, art should comfort the disturbed, and disturb those in comfort. He believes art can communicate what words cannot.

“I believe I was created to create. If you stop dreaming — you die.” Danny Raven Tan

Part of the proceeds from any artwork and merchandise sold will go to Enable Asia where the money will be used to support people with dementia and their caregivers. The exhibition will be held at the simpleArte gallery from 19 September 2022 to 30 October 2022.

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Melodie Chong

Melodie Chong

I like to write and make pretty sentences