RGA taps into AI-generated art to shine a light on mental health disorders in Singapore

6 months ago 109

With Mental Health Awareness Month closing out in October, the importance of continuity in the conversation around mental well-being remains imperative. Asia, in particular, suffers deeply in this regard. Exacerbated by deeply-rooted stigmas, many Asian cultures continue to associate mental health issues with shame, hindering individuals from seeking help or discussing their challenges openly. Moreover, a shortage of resources, including mental health services, facilities, and professionals further compounds the problem, making it difficult for people to access the support they need.

That's where aspects such as greater awareness, exposure and education become key to unlocking a sense of freedom to exist, take up space and have their voices heard for those battling mental health challenges.

Creative innovation agency RGA decided to shine a light on this issue, with their world-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 (which closes today) was created by eight Singaporeans who live with various mental health conditions—including schizophrenia, anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder and more—and showcases eight powerful art pieces generated using prompted truths from the people themselves. 

Titled "Prompting Feelings", the idea was founded after RGA & the SAMH identified that one of the applications of Generative AI that had been lacking in the public arena was the visualisation and representation of the complex and often-misunderstood thoughts of those who live with mental health conditions. 

“Much has been said and shown regarding the output of Generative AI 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,” said Ed Cheong, executive creative director for RGA Singapore, in a p...

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