Duration: 3 to 10 June, 2019
Leading faculty: Assistant Professor James Jack and Mr Lawrence Lacambra Ypil
This LAB was an experiential journey through creative arts in the context of Okinawan culture and history.
I firmly believe that the arts plays a vital role in shaping our society. Through the LAB, I had the opportunity of witnessing that first-hand. I saw how song and dance were used in protests and learned about the artists who had contributed to important political scenes in Okinawa. These experiences complemented my time in Arts Tropical Gallery, where I got to interact with some of these artists while I, together with my supervisors, hosted them for talks with the artists. My time in Okinawa is truly one of the highlights of my Yale-NUS experience.
Class of 2022
Being on the Our See of Islands LAB opened my eyes to new ways we can think about the relationship between humans and the earth. From listening to traditional sanshin music at a sustainable living collective to seeing how environmental activists fought to protect a harbour from being filled in, I saw how forming human bonds could be closely linked to forming connections with nature and how we could see Mother Earth not as a resource to be exploited but an active participant we could collaborate with in creating a sustainable future.
Class of 2021
Before the LAB, I had armed myself with courage, fully clothed with my Vaseline and sunscreen. They say that in order to understand the stories, you need to find a way to empathise with all your heart. Flying to the beautiful island of Okinawa, I was met with numerous stories, Ryukyu music, and more importantly a 30-year struggle for acceptance of what is deemed traditional Okinawan culture. Distinct from Japanese culture yet threatened. The people. The music. The sea. They are all connected, and I learned that when one is threatened, they are all threatened.
Class of 2021
I have always cringed at the word 'networking' because it makes me think of firm handshakes and suits. Little did I know how naturally this would happen in Okinawa; from interviewing the artists of BARRACK (an exhibition/art space) to event photography at a Gekijo performance, I was constantly encountering and working with new people. But the best part? I ended up managing my own artistic projects – a short film and an interactive photography website!
Heeeun Monica Kim
Class of 2021
This LAB provided students with an opportunity to experience a large global city and to see it through a historical and urban studies framework.
This LAB explored stories, archives, and imaginaries of interconnection, exchange, and transaction in Singapore and Malacca.