Singtel, in collaboration with SMRT Corporation (SMRT), launched a month-long community engagement campaign to raise awareness of the capabilities of students with special needs in Singapore to foster a more inclusive society. Part of the Singtel Touching Lives Fund (STLF) and Expressions Through Art initiative, the campaign provides a public platform for students from 24 special education schools (SPED) to showcase their artistic talents.
The 36-piece digitised art collection, featuring a variety of scenes from daily life created by SPED students aged seven to 18 years old, will be displayed on the windows of two exclusive art-themed SMRT trains that will run along SMRT’s North-South-East-West and Circle Lines, as well as across publicity platforms such as Stellar Ace’s poster panels and digital screens at selected MRT stations throughout the island for about a month, until December 2023. Stellar Ace – SMRT’s out-of-home advertising arm – is Singtel’s exclusive media partner for this campaign. All the artworks will also be exhibited at 313@Somerset until 19 November 2023.
The campaign was kicked off with the launch of the art-themed train by Ms Jane Ittogi, at Ang Mo Kio MRT station, together with Singtel Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr Yuen Kuan Moon, Singtel Group Chief People and Sustainability Officer and Singtel Touching Lives Fund (STLF) Chairperson, Ms Aileen Tan, as well as SMRT Chairman, Mr Seah Moon Ming and SMRT President Trains, Mr Lam Sheau Kai. Guided by Mrs Liza Ow, Principal of APSN Tanglin School, Ms Ittogi viewed the artworks and interacted with the student artists on board the train as it made its way to Somerset MRT station for the second part of the campaign launch.
” As we progress into a digital future, it’s important that as a society, we embrace diversity, uplift and support vulnerable groups in our community. We’re happy to be able to do this with a like-minded partner like SMRT.”
Yuen Kuan Moon,
Singtel’s Group CEO
Singtel Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr Yuen Kuan Moon, said, “We recognise the power of art in facilitating meaningful connections and conversations and this campaign celebrates the spirit of creativity and inclusivity – in line with our Group purpose to empower every generation. These students, through their remarkable art, teach us the value of empathy and how to harness our strengths. As we progress into a digital future, it’s important that as a society, we embrace diversity, uplift and support vulnerable groups in our community. We’re happy to be able to do this with a like-minded partner like SMRT.”
Mr Lam Sheau Kai, President, SMRT Trains, said, “We are happy to provide Singtel this platform within our transit network for the students to showcase their artwork and creativity to a wider audience. SMRT fully supports this meaningful collaboration which enhances the vibrancy in our stations. We hope their artwork can inspire and uplift the millions of commuters who travel through the SMRT network daily.”
Fostering an inclusive society through art
This second edition of Expressions Through Art spotlights 36 pieces of artworks featuring a variety of scenes from bustling cityscapes with MRT stations and trains and vibrant flora and fauna to scenes from everyday life. Created using watercolour paint, coloured pencils, and markers, the selected artworks were curated by a panel comprising heads of art departments from the SPED schools and are assessed on criteria specific to this sector, including the effectiveness in conveying the artist’s message or idea, creativity, originality, and the use of artistic technique and craftsmanship.
Mrs Ow, who has been working in SPED and art for over 30 years, said, “APSN and other SPED schools have greatly benefited from funds provided by STLF to better support our students in providing them with a well-rounded education and empowering them to live and participate actively and meaningfully in the community. Through Expressions Through Art, students can display their artistic talents proudly and at the same time help all Singaporeans understand and respect of our community.”
Singtel first launched the Expressions through Art exhibition at the National Gallery Singapore in 2022 to mark the 20th anniversary of the STLF, Singtel’s flagship corporate philanthropy programme. Since 2002, the Fund has raised over $57 million in support of the critical educational needs of children and youth with special needs across more than 20 charities, including six SPED schools, which offer customised education programmes for students to maximise their potential and enhance their prospects for integration into society. More details about Singtel’s efforts to support the special needs community and its six beneficiary schools can be found in Annex A and B respectively.