An art competition and exhibition organised by Action for
Date:†† 14 to 23 December 2002
Art is a vital source of inspiration and a powerful medium of expression.
The message being conveyed by a good artwork should enable it to be
understood by anyone, regardless of the cultural differences and language
barriers that may exist. This is the undisputed power of art over other
forms of communication.
Art Against AIDS is an effort on the part of Action for AIDS Singapore
to harness and transform this unique power of art into a force for good.† Art can be a potent instrument that can help prevent the further spread
of the devastating HIV virus in our society. Art can sensitise our community
to the issues surrounding HIV and AIDS through the message contained
in the image. Indeed, art can become a powerful force that empowers
and galvanises our community to take action in the face of devastation,
death and dismay.
All the artists featured at this exhibition clearly wanted to make
a strong statement against the AIDS epidemic - namely that it will take
courage and determination from every one of us, if we want to leave
behind a brighter future for our children - a future that is free from
the menacing grip of HIV and AIDS.
We are extremely grateful to our sponsors, Durex and library@orchard
of the National Library Board, for their gracious support. Our sincere
appreciation to our judges, Dr Roy Chan, President of Action for AIDS Singapore, Ms Ketna Patel, award-winning artist & founder of UTU
Artworks and Mr Anuar Abu, Design Director of Leo Burnett for their
We congratulate all winners of Art Against AIDS 2002 on their achievements!
Feisal Abdul Rahman Chairman
Art Against AIDS 2002
Source: Action against Aids
Sulaiman Bin Hussin
My artwork reflects on how women are often seen
as objects of desire. Here I also highlight the issues of sex
workers who are in the high-risk category and are partially responsible
for transmitting the virus. The woman with a mask symbolises how
the virus is often hidden. People are usually more attracted to
her physical beauty and allure without realising the consequences.
The black lines on her body and face represent infected blood.
The feathers worn by the woman has a sexual connotation while
the ballerina dancing on cracking ground represents how ignorance
and unprotected sex is like dancing on thin ice. The pair of hands
touching the woman's hips represent lust and desire. In the background,
a face sheds tears of silent suffering. The eye tells how judgmental
our society can be. Though we may be concerned with the erosion
of social and moral values in our society, we should also not
be quick to judge others. We must instead focus on how we can
make things better through understanding and education.
Alluded Identity Deprived Sociality
Sexuality, taboo, eroticism, gore, exploration and
curiosity, interaction and exchange, pleasure and pain, sociality
and banishment. The gesture of the hands are simple enough to
be overlooked, or it could relate to countless narrative contents.
The seemingly innocent, yet telltale marks on a diseased hand
could just be a lesion; a small wound. But what would we have
assumed? Should we reconsider how society feels about AIDS or
ignore it? Should we continue to allow society to stereotype AIDS
and the victims with discrimination? If not then we should prod
reconsideration of their judgements.
Legacy Of Hope
The most profound wisdom is to show respect to human
vulnerability. We are aware that people are resilient, but we
didn't consider the fragility. Behind every soul who cries out
for help and understanding, there may be a million more that deserves
your attention. People sometimes regard this as an almost perfect
excuse for not helping the person whose cries they hear. So when
does one begin, stop or choose the one who is more deserving of
your help? We will never know, and there's no need to know. Take
hold of the one who happens to be nearest. AIDS is a disease of
our time, an arduous journey to acceptance that we will have to
walk together. In the face of this dire situation, we all have
to give what best reflects humanity in this contemporary life,
and dedicate ourselves to that. Our efforts may not result in
full regeneration, but it will reflect the basic form of humanity
in our society. Take it as a test of individual responsibility
towards society and our children. Employing red ribbons with tags
addressing positive attitudes and behaviours, I seize this as
an opportunity to reinforce the kinder attitudes and behaviours
one should adopt in the face of AIDS and AIDS patients. The rice
grains are no longer just a depiction of a staple food, they relate
to people, wisdom, civilisation and the relentless effort one
has to contribute to nurture a better environment and attitudes
towards the AIDS disease and AIDS patients. I wish to remind people
that the future is too important to be lost under the burden of
unnecessary ignorance, denial and discrimination that plague the AIDS disease. We must face and fight the disease together. Let
us feed and pass on this legacy of hope.
Ignorance Is Not Bliss
Shiah Chyi Yun
Blank as it looks, but filled with rippling consequences. AIDS is spreading, but quietly, represented by the spreading of
transparent dots, which are easily overlooked, like the public
overlooking the precautions necessary to prevent AIDS. To be aware
will be the greatest cure and not to discriminate those who have
already fallen victim to the disease. Most importantly, Ignorance
Is Not Bliss.
Sri Haryanti Binte Ismail
My artwork represents the shattered hopes and emotions
of those affected by AIDS, both directly and indirectly. The sad
face of the woman tells a thousand words. She represents hope
for our future generations. The blue and red ribbons that intertwine
and hold together the shattered pieces of the woman's face represent
the people who give her hope; people who understand and sympathise
with her plight. However, among those who appear to understand
are those who cause the shattering. Although we may not want to
acknowledge it – AIDS affects everyone – every facet of society
is directly or indirectly responsible for this sad situation.
Cocktails or Condoms?
Yve Yuan Yishan
AIDS is mainly transmitted via sexual contact. If
one can choose partners in casual sex; one would have the choice
between risking contracting AIDS and using condoms for protection.
The choice is simple: there is no cure for AIDS. Once infected,
the life of the patient revolves around the cocktail of pills
and HIV treatment. The choice is yours – Cocktails or Condoms?
Beyond this message, this poster raises awareness
of the continued, unsolved existence and impact of HIV. It will
also involve a lot of prompting to make the general public take
a hard look at the values, beliefs, actions and responsibility
that one has, not only about their own health, but also the health
of others around them.
Tan Li Yang Stanley
The four visuals of a stitched up mouth, ear, chest
and eye, exemplifies the idea of the mental anguish of an AIDS
patient in the face of discrimination.
The idea of this poster was taken from an actual
free sex advertisement on a wall in Geylang. By deleting the word
'sex' and replacing it with 'AIDS', I wish to warn the public
that casual sex increases the risk of HIV infection. The feel
of the poster is dark and dirty to emphasise the risk further.
And I Dream To Succeed
Gooi Tah Choe
Anger, frustration and disappointment reside in
a piece of paper folded and carelessly thrown away. For the AIDS
patient, the future is simply unbearable. To help them face their
future, we must understand their pain. The unfolded paper symbolises
our deep concern for the subtle despair in the creases. The words
in bright red are the message of hope that we send to them (elaborated
from the short form
A.I.D.S.) We can change their future by granting
them a renewed perspective of life – a dream to succeed. Our legacy
of love and encouragement will give them the courage to live on.
Don't Be Negative
Against the Positive
The photograph on the right illustrates a helpless, isolated
HIV infected child who doesn't have anyone to care and help him.
In contrast, the photograph on the left shows a normal, healthy
child who has his father's love and care that he wants. HIV-infected
children also need the support and care that we give to all our
children. There is a need for greater awareness of the fact that AIDS is not only an 'adult' disease, newborns and children can
be infected too. And because of this lack of awareness of HIV
infection, it has led people to stigmatise and discriminate against
The Searing Pain
This collage, inspired by a poem by an AIDS patient, screams
to the audience about how they feel while going through the rough
ordeal, trying very hard to break the painful bonds that tie them
down. Unable to move, they are left in solitude to suffer the
tortuous agony. Feeling that they are being discriminated against
– as outcasts of society – they are submerged into their own regret.
Staying in solitude, the virus takes over their life.
The truth may be painful, but we should not run away from it.
These people may not be distant unfamiliar people, and not objects
of mangled pity and aversion.
You and I can help them overcome their agony. We
should not discriminate, but keep them in our consciousness, as
individuals and community, and embrace them with unconditional
Chin Mei Jie Janice
Nanyang Academy of Fine
Who is peeping?† Seeing through the eyes of an AIDS carrier,
they have much more to offer than to remind us of their past and
What Are You 'Looking' For?
Chin Mei Jie Janice
Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts
AIDS carriers are restricted in the frame of life,
facing the rise and fall in it, just like the figure portraits
in my work. The dripping marks symbolise stains of tears, sweat
and blood. They are actually no different from any of us. However,
they see the world in a way which normal people don't. Whatever
is left are the memories. Happiness or sadness? The most important
fact and point is that we discover the truth of life through their
Lin Qing Jiang, Terence
Nanyang Academy of Fine
This painting shows a forceful, black blob that
symbolises the AIDS virus. Beneath it, rays of colour are revealed
to hint the trace of hopes for humankind. The black blob is in
the stage of devouring human lives and hopes. To stop such a predicament
from advancing, this painting seeks to inspire or even warn humans
of the severe outcome that the world is facing.
Give Heart To Our Future
Tan Chuinwei Michelle
Nanyang Academy of Fine
The work refers to a future that is bleak and yet
retains an element of hope and optimism. Compassion comes from
the heart and that only protects us from the harsh and cold reality.
Part of the baby's heart is formed by the AIDS awareness red ribbon,
signifying both the need for empathy and compassion when regarding
this issue and the way AIDS has become part of our society's social
Red Ribbon Ambassadors
AIDS and its continuous existence in the future has called for
more public awareness and support. Due to the progressive epidemic
effect, the fear of becoming a part of the epidemic draws people
back. Therefore there is a taste of prejudice and discrimination
directed at the more unlucky ones.
This poster educates the public to evolve from their
negative thoughts and feelings on AIDS into positive actions against
it.† Picking up the unfortunate ones (People With AIDS - PWAs),
allowing them to live in a supportive environment. Then can we
work towards a better future.
Stand With And By Them
Ng Yong Chien Marcus
Anderson Junior College
Spheres signify the human race. Beige is used to show that man
is not perfect like white but as close to white as people yearn
to be. Sadly, there are people who have been affected by the undesired
HIV (red spheres). The smaller red sphere symbolises the young
in our society and even they are not spared the virus. There is
a larger space around the "red adult" than the "red
child", this shows that our society tends to care for the
affected young as they think they are innocent and that the adults
deserve to be condemned for their own actions, thus avoiding them.
However we should care for those affected equally.†
For the social stigma to be removed, people should
be educated that they would not be affected by just standing next
to PWAs. As friends and family members, we should instead stand
by them and support their every action.
Use A Condom
Chee Tai Wai
LASALLE-SIA College of the Arts
This poster is targeted at individuals that lead
a very active social life, especially those who do not have sex
with regular partners. The concept is to use a familiar item to
remind the viewers to practice safe sex. At the same time, the
poster also introduces the importance of research on this disease
to find the cure in the future.
Action = Life
Ong Zhi Wei Raymond
Taking action has become a survival strategy for
many long-term survivors of AIDS.† Such action must be carefully
planned and executed. It is often risky, usually a matter of life
and death. The experiences of those who have died, as witnessed
by those who have survived, have proven, time and again, the treatment
activist axiom that "Action = Life".† So what are you
waiting for? Get treated.
We know about AIDS, how it's transmitted, how many people have
died, what its structure is.† So you can help stop it from spreading.
Together lets stop and prevent AIDS.
Ng Sui Ling
Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts
This poster promotes the education of HIV/AIDS and
dispels any preconceived notions of what they believe in. The
main figure in shadow is to show how HIV/AIDS patients are being
blindly prosecuted by these rumors, beliefs and discriminated against by society on the right, who believe they know everything
on HIV/AIDS. Only with proper and relevant education can we help
HIV/AIDS patients and protect our next generation.
Formed in 1988, Action for AIDS (AfA) is a community-based organization
and a registered charity. Our objectives are to provide support and
assistance to persons living with HIV and AIDS (PWAs); to increase awareness,
education and understanding of AIDS and HIV infection; and to combat
discrimination and stigmatisation of (PWAs) and their loved ones.
Action for AIDS is entirely self-funding. We receive donations from
private individuals, foundations and businesses. We do not receive monetary
support from the government, but collaborate in many areas with governmental
Feisal Abdul Rahman, Chairman
M Hadi Masuri
Janice Chia, Librarian, National Library Board
Tan Ngiap Heng, Photographer, The Pond
Jolene Sin, Designer, Ounce Concepts & Design
Rashid Saini, Photographer
Peter Chua, Photographer, Caesar Commercial Photo