Beverly Yuen, the artistic director of Grain Performance & Research Lab, is a part-time lecturer of Republic Polytechnic. She did not know about the art pursuit of her student Kylie Boo until she saw her at The Star Vista selling various products (shirts, stickers, bags) printed with her artworks at a pop-up store on one of the weekdays in November 2018.
Little did she know that Kylie was born with congenital heart disease (CHD) and she skipped school to sell the merchandise with the hope to raise funds to create awareness of CHD among the public with her paintings. The school later knew about their brief meeting and found out that Kylie had indeed skipped her lesson that day. Kylie was counselled by the school, even though the motivation behind it was worthy.
Nevertheless, the school provided her with advice pertaining to how she could proceed with her notable venture. Beverly also stepped in to propose an interdisciplinary project From Heart To Hearts For Hearts to this talented young lady. In this project to be launched online with free access, Beverly expresses with movements and songs to Kylie’s 15 drawings and paintings on congenital heart defects, conceptualised together with the creative input of filmmaker Goh Ying Sheng, who was the director and scriptwriter of the viral mockumentary “Who Stole Tua Pek Kong?”.
“When I looked at Kylie’s paintings, I was drawn to the poignant inspirational images that portray the inner world of the CHD patients. For instance, in one of the painting series “Four Seasons”, each season is depicted within each heart. Kylie had the vision of painting the series when she was in the hospital, wondering how many seasons she could get through,” Beverly said.
Kylie, who sat in during the rehearsals and shoot, found herself visibly moved to tears. She expressed: “Beverly’s performance was intense, and I could see that she was interacting with the paintings not just with her movements, but through a genuine stream of energy sourcing from her heart.”
“I am touched that my voice is finally heard. Beverly performed my emotions.”
To Beverly, though the paintings are inspired by portraying the struggles of patients with CHD, the project is about showing care and love to people around us, especially during this pivotal moment of Covid-19.
“This performance sourced from my heart, as the director and solo performer, to the hearts of many around us. This project is for those who are struggling with the situation, be it emotionally, physically, or financially. This is probably the most meaningful arts project that I have undertaken in my 25 years of pursuit in theatre!” Beverly added.
From Heart To Hearts For Hearts will be available online for free from 29th July to 10th August 2020. Register via Peatix to receive a link to the performance