Kindness Appeals to the ImagiNation

Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong (centre) and Minister Lawrence Wong at the launch of ImagiNation - an exhibition at *Scape created in celebration of Kindness Day SG on May 29, 2015. -- PHOTO: SINGAPORE KINDNESS MOVEMENT
Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong (centre) and Minister Lawrence Wong at the launch of ImagiNation – an exhibition at *Scape created in celebration of Kindness Day SG on May 29, 2015. — PHOTO: SINGAPORE KINDNESS MOVEMENT

Singapore, 29 May 2015 – At this year’s annual Kindness Day SG, the virtues of kindness, graciousness and consideration were remembered in a different way from years past. Building on the Singapore Kindness Movement’s theme of “A Nation of Kindness Starts with One”, ImagiNation is an experiential exhibition that allows viewers to peer into a world where generosity, understanding and goodness are not the exceptions, but the norm. Held at *SCAPE Playspace, the exhibition transports viewers into “imaginary” situations where kindness triumphs over unkindness… except that each of these zones, save one, are inspired by real acts and real stories from all around the world.

ImagiNation marks a departure from previous Kindness Day SG events, trading a celebratory tone for a more introspective one. Organised into five separate zones, viewers are offered glimpses of acts of kindness, ranging from simple everyday kindness, to tremendous exceptional acts of selflessness – telling heartening stories of generosity, neighbourliness and forgiveness. The journey into the world of ImagiNation culminates in a fifth zone featuring an interactive short film titled SW/TCH, directed by Kirsten Tan of Zhao Wei Films, which invites viewers to make up their own minds – will they choose to live in a Nation of Kindness?

A recent winner of the top prize at the prestigious Torino Film Lab and whose work will feature at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Tan said “In SW/TCH, two starkly different sides of Singapore – the ‘best’ and ‘worst’ case scenarios – are presented through the technical possibilities of this split-screen narrative. The true reality of Singapore lies somewhere along this spectrum, and hopefully, as we toggle between the two worlds of the different screens, we realise it is up to us to pick a point and decide what we want our country to be, and to realise that our actions are more than the sum of its parts.”

The exhibition was opened by Guest-of-Honour Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong at a ceremony held earlier today. Mr. Goh also helped induct 10 individuals and organisations into SKM’s Kindred Spirit Circle, which recognises their independent, ground-up efforts to make Singapore a kinder, better, more gracious place.

“I support SKM’s effort to make Singapore a Nation of Kindness. This is a noble vision worth pursuing.  It will make Singapore a truly wonderful, happy home which we will bequeath our children.  But the effort needs to be ground up and not top down,” said SM Goh. “The recipients of the Kindred Spirit Circle certificates today have shown us how this can be done.”

Now into its third year, Kindness Day SG is an occasion for Singaporeans to come together to celebrate kindness and graciousness, and to inspire one another towards the vision of a Nation of Kindness.

In the weeks leading up to Kindness Day SG, students participated in school activities to commemorate Kindness Day through resource packages specially prepared by SKM. While primary school students received a bumper issue of the Kindsville Times newsletter packed with activities and games, social media-savvy secondary school and junior college students were asked to reflect on good values they have learnt and acted on, and to document them with the hashtag #7DaysOfKindness.  For the first time, pre-schools were also involved in commemorating Kindness Day SG this year, further emphasising that gracious habits should be inculcated from a young age. A total of 564 pre-schools islandwide committed to this year’s initiatives, with teachers carrying out daily classroom activities in the week leading up to Kindness Day SG.

On the corporate front, a record high of 54 companies and organisations have also participated in Kindness Day this year through the Kindness Day toolkit provided, urging staff to engage in kindness-related activities within their departments and seeding kindness at the workplace.

“While campaigns that spell out desirable and pro-social behaviours have been effective in the past, as a society, we have grown up. Not every situation is as simple as black and white, and doing what is right and kind and gracious is as much a matter of good upbringing as it is about personal conviction and choices,” said Dr. William Wan, General Secretary, Singapore Kindness Movement. “By being more emotive and introspective, we hope to gently provoke more thought and consideration about what our shared future might be like, and inspire each one to desire and own the making of a Nation of Kindness.”

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