A photoshoot of a memory not yet lived
A photoshoot of a wish reimagined

This is a socially engaged art project for elderly with dementia I produced with artist Walter Ma and Circle of Care Community Support Centre for the Elderly (part of Hong Kong Tung Wah Hospital Group). We invited elderly members to imagine a moment of life they want to live in or relive. We then prepared their tailor-made costumes, props and stage set-up to help them capture their most cherished memory or a dream they would like to fulfil.

This patient here is called Kei Pak, he wanted to sing a song by Andrea Bocelli. We prepared a tux for him and set up the stage with lighting and microphone etc, his caretaker also bought him flowers in advance. As soon as the music started playing, this usually quiet and softly spoken gentleman was beaming with joy and confidence, signing passionately in Italian, as if he regained his liveliness and identity through singing.

Art is the highest form of human expression. This moment deeply touched me and made me question what makes dementia patients loose their memories, but more importantly what can be done to preserve their ability to reconnect with their memories. 

If I were to do a neuroscience experiment, carrying on from this art project, I want to investigate the potential of this project as a therapeutic intervention for improving neural efficacy and cognitive processing of dementia patients. I am interested in investigating the biological underpinnings of how music and sounds activates the  different brain regions associated with imagination and memory.


About the artist: 

Walter is a professional makeup artist, and integrates makeup into his art practices. He sees makeup as a point of departure, and interested in perception of beauty, gender, body autonomy as his subject matter. This time, he would like to use makeup and photography, to help elders with dementia and their family, to capture a cherished memory of a lifetime.

馬浩賢(Walter)是一位化妝師,亦是以化妝品為創作媒介的藝術家。Walter 以化妝為出發點,就美,性別,身體⾃主等主題創作。這次他希望透過化妝以及攝影,和患有認知障礙的長者與家人,一起回味生命中的珍貴故事。

Photographs by Chi Chi Cheng

The project is part of a research titled “Hacking Capitalism – Socially Engaged Art through Alternative Art Economies and Social Entrepreneurship”, conducted by Assistant Professor Kingsley Ng at the Academy of Visual Arts at Hong Kong Baptist University. Please visit Creative Social for more details.

#認知障礙症 #社會認知 #老人與社會 #精神治療 #連繫 
#Dementia #SocialAwareness #OldAgeandSociety #Therapeutic #Connectedness 

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