in An Open Space
Art & Creativity
Human Nature - Whenever people talk about art, they often associate it with a unique talent only few people possess, or a luxury product of civilization. In fact, Art does exist in every culture’s social and historical development. Creative skills have been seen as an essential part of human nature (Menschenbild), as it fulfills the biological, physical, and psychological needs of humans, and is necessary for societal growth and cultural development.
Self-Expression - One important function of art is that it allows us to express human feelings, which includes everything that may be felt (e.g. sensation, emotion, attitude, mental and physical conditions). While language is a useful instrument to present thoughts and facts, art and creativity can allow us to express our subjective inner experience (e.g. emotions) to the external world.
Communication & Connection - Creative process and expression can benefit communication and social sharing. When it comes to cross-cultural situation, by interacting and communicating though creative expressions, we can build deeper connections and understandings with one another; more importantly, it allows us to see beyond the immediate situation where learned social norms or cultural practices no longer serve its importance, new perceptions and ways of interacting are possible to be re-established.
Learning & Development - creativity is crucial to a person’s mental development and knowledge construction. It is associated with our divergent thinking and behavioral flexibility, through the cultivation of creativity, we become more flexible in adapting to the environment and modifying environment to ourselves.
Open & Safe Space
No matter it is in an one-to-one coaching or a group workshop, it is essential to create an open and safe space for people to be, to explore, to connect, and to share. 'Open' indicates each individual has the freedom to express themselves; 'Safe' emphases the respect and non-judgemental attitude we give to ourselves and to each other.
Low Skill & High Sensitivity
You do not need any artistic background in order to participate. Although the activities are designed based on various art forms (visual, sound, movement, language, etc.), it is simple low skill art making to help open the senses and access our imagination. The emphasis is not on the artistic expertise, instead we use art as a useful tool to find our own resources that we hold within ourselves and that art brings to us.
Fun & Process-Oriented
We learn most effectively when we have fun and are fully engaged. Our approach focuses on the playfulness in both children' and adults' learning; we also value the importance of the whole creative process, in particular how novelty and art materials shape our experiences that open us to new visions and new perspectives.
Different from the pathological approach that mainly focuses on the problems and challenges, work in a resource-oriented way means to find what is working, what makes us healthy, what makes us well in the middle of chaos. We believe by cultivating these factors can potentially improve one's resilience and personal growth. When we only focus on the problems, we tend to have selective attention and tunnel vision that exclude all other possibilities. But when we open up our senses and perceptions, we become more aware of our own hidden resources that would lead to personal empowerment and growth.
Why do we have to use different art forms? Why not just focus on one? The answer is that different art forms have different qualities and connect with different senses. Depends on the time of the day, the environment, etc, we may feel differently during each session. By using different art forms, it gives the flexibility to both facilitators and participants to choose whatever works best for them at that moment. Moreover, it allows facilitators to create a truly personalized learning experience for each participant.
To let each individual take charge of their own learning and development means to trust their knowledge in their own well-being. The relationship between facilitators and participants is unlike the one between doctors and patients. In other words, facilitators are not experts to tell participants what is right or wrong, only participants themselves know what would work best for them, facilitators are here present with them to take a leap of faith and to discover what might be possible.