About Play


'The game is the process, not the finished product. Importantly, when we play and make art, the products we make, the things we do are autotelic – they are their own end in themselves; as Hannah Arendt wrote: ‘only where we are confronted with things which exist independently of all utilitarian and functional references … do we speak of works of art.’ In this way, play could be considered as an anti-capitalistic activity.'

'One must feel secure to play.'

'To play is to experiment, to discover, to recover pleasure, to uncover the secret, do the possible, the impossible, to invent and make the thing that is unmakeable, to cross the bridge you couldn’t cross, light wet fire, walk on water, fly. It is for an agoraphobic to sing in front of a crowd, dance, laugh and cry, paint a picture, forget worries, pain and death, live outside of time, be in the flow, connect, disconnect, reconnect, imagine, make.'

These are some of the important points from this article that I resonated with most. When I first chanced upon this article, it was during a time where I considered more seriously on pursuing the path to teach art. I wanted to learn how art can be integrated into a person’s life and especially so for an age group that I am so biologically different from.

Turns out in hindsight, I was submitting to the desire to spread awareness (on play, the importance of creative expression, among other things) while subconsciously seeking out the confidence to play. Play sounds like such a simple and natural concept but as we grow older, especially in Singaporean context, somehow it becomes this negative thing subjected to guilt and shame. “Don’t waste time, stop playing already!” That’s why this article puts my thoughts back into perspective, that play is important and is a lot of different things altogether. Especially in the context of art, the concept of play can help to bring out not only what’s on the canvas but also beyond what images and words can convey.

Something that I wish I’ve learnt earlier in life was, that play looks like different things for different people and I do it in the only way I know how to that is, by doing art.

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