My HDB Flat
Chua Ai Lan, 38
TOUCH Community Services | i’mable
Chua Ai Lan created ‘My HDB Flat’ to depict her own experiences at home.
The grid of squares in her artwork represents a ten-storey HDB block, in which her family resides in. Each square also represents a window into a room. She draws herself lying on the sofa in her living room. She is tackling a word search puzzle, a favourite pastime of hers.
With her family members around her, she fittingly locates the word ‘home’ in her puzzle, an indication of how deeply she loves her family. The artwork showcases Ai Lan’s cherished comforts. She demonstrates that by keeping calm, indulging in our hobbies, and connecting with loved ones, we can enjoy a sense of security and belonging –regardless of what each day may bring.
Ai Lan was shy and unable to interact comfortably with strangers when she was younger. However, several years ago, she was inspired by her sisters to be more confident and independent. Her self-esteem has grown tremendously thanks to her two sisters, who have made it their mission to support Ai Lan.
With the help of her sister, Nancy Chua, she began to take public transport and interacted with retail staff more frequently. This pushed her towards conquering her fears. Now, Ai Lan ventures out more often on her own and is learning sign language at the TOUCH Centre for Independent Living.
Nancy said: “When Ai Lan is at home, she teaches us what she’s learnt. She has a lot of potential to excel in life. We hope that this National Day project encourages her, shows her that she can make a difference, and that others appreciate what she can do. ”
Ai Lan is testament that if we can provide individuals with special needs with patience and opportunities, they too can blossom and contribute back to society in meaningful ways.