R/GA Singapore and SAMH present generative AI art exhibition helping show what it’s like living with mental health disorders
R/GA Singapore presents ‘Prompting Feelings’ – the world’s first generative AI exhibition to show what it’s truly like living with mental health disorders. In collaboration with the Singapore Association for Mental Health (SAMH), the exhibition has been created by eight Singaporeans who live with various mental health conditions – including Schizophrenia, Anxiety Disorder, Bipolar Disorder and more – and showcases 8 powerful art pieces generated using prompted truths from the people themselves.
Prompting Feelings came about after R/GA & the SAMH identified that one of the applications of Generative AI that had not yet made its debut on a public platform yet was the externalizing of the complex and often misunderstood thoughts of those who live with mental health conditions.
Ed Cheong, Executive Creative Director, R/GA Singapore, said: “Much has been said and shown regarding the output of Generative A.I. For this project, we focused on the outcome instead. That technology can be an enabler for the artist in everyone – even those who live with mental health disorders, to express their innermost feelings as art. For most of us, it is hard to picture what it’s like to be in their shoes. With this exhibition, we hope to shed more light on that and in turn, generate empathy and improve mental health literacy.”
For this exhibition, the team from R/GA and SAMH first spent time with each participant in closed door interviews to better understand their struggles, experiences, hopes and dreams. The honest conversations led to the prompted feelings that accurately depict each artist’s unique story. By using a trained model of Stable Diffusion, the team was also able to create specific parameters for the A.I. applications so as not to infringe any copyright of existing work, but at the same time, the final artworks also respected each participant’s preferred style of art.
“The therapeutic power of creative mediums lies not in their ability to increase productivity, but in the ways in which individuals can engage with and derive value from the new medium. Generative A.I. expands our visual vocabulary for feelings and experiences that may elude verbal expression. The artworks it generates also help viewers to experience multiple feelings and thoughts at one go, which may mirror our human experiences of confusion, grief, shock and being overwhelmed,” says Serene Goh, Team Lead for Outreach, Creative Services, Singapore Association for Mental Health. “We are pleased that this collaborative experience with R/GA has enabled our clients to occupy a significant presence and amplify their voices to a fresh audience, prompting feelings and fostering empathy for the mental health cause.”
“‘Prompting Feelings’ has been a special project for us from the get-go. Mental health is an evergreen topic that can be overlooked, and those who have never had the experience can struggle to understand,” says Marianne Whitman, General Manager, R/GA Singapore. “Throughout the process, it’s been incredibly moving to see the artists acknowledging their experiences, and bravely sharing their stories. We hope to prompt some of that same bravery in people to visit the exhibition and grow their understanding and awareness.”
The exhibition is taking place at the Visual Arts Centre Singapore, and runs from October 27, to November 3, 2023. It is open daily from 12 noon to 9pm, and entry is free.
For further details, please head to the Prompting Feelings website.