Ubah Rumah Residency Artist

Vivian Lee & Ruth Schooling

Singapore
Researcher-in-Residence
Residency Period:
3 Jul
17 Jul
2024

Vivian Lee

Vivian Lee (she/we) is a social artist, facilitator, somatic therapist, and soil cultivator. She dwells at the intersection of art, ecology and well-being, focusing on regeneration and healing for oneself, communities and the planet. Her embodied practice is climate-aware, nature-centred and trauma-informed.

She sees community as essential, and loves bringing people together for nourishing conversations and mindfulness practices, exploring regenerative ways of being in response to the complexities of a changing world. Her social art and research practice weaves together realities and imaginaries in transdisciplinary and interdimensional fields, tuning into liminal spaces as portals for inspiration and guidance.

Her personal journey in reconnecting to Mother Earth brought her to a village in Northern Thailand where she co-created Garden of L.E.A.H. — a conscious living practice space where the culmination of her soil and social action research took form in the process of learning how to grow her own food and build her own little mud house. Back in Singapore, Vivian guides the vision and shapes the culture of Living Soil Asia - an organisation in education and research in soil regeneration in Singapore.

Currently, Vivian is casting her divining rod into the deep land and waters for the creation of Soil and Somatics, integrating her work in soil regeneration, mindful living and somatic practice.

Vivian is no stranger to the Riau islands, having spent some time in and out of Bintan and a small fishing village named Pulau Dendun some two decades ago. A water baby, she is looking forward to the residency to connect her care for the soil on land and the call of the sea.

More from Vivian here:

https://www.instagram.com/gardenofleah/

Ruth Schooling

Ruth Schooling (she/her) is an artistic documentarian and bridge-woman of the natural and digital world. She is known to be the ‘eye of the heart’ when it comes to supporting the vision rivers, and dreams of like-minded people and organisations whose work centres around communing intentionally with care and the regeneration of body, being, life, and land—within and without.

Her nomadic creative studio and kitchen, Slow Ground & The Botanical Plate, embody both a remembering and a celebration of the intersections of being human living in sacred interconnection with nature. Expressed through the containers of photography, website design and development, conscious digital marketing, mixed media art, writing and food rituals—there lies an integration and exploration of beauty-making, the healing alchemy of body and plant wisdom, the truths of living, the realities of our earthly cycles and an uncensored unfolding of our emotional tides.

Ruth’s gaze and intimate sense of observation are, as she has been told, “gentle yet precise, raw yet with depth”. She sees by listening deeply. Her sensitivity to moving around deepening sensitive spaces and subjects is very much expressed through her creations. Her work reveals an authentic curiosity and witnessing of the world—telling stories of this earthbody. Her niche is working with sense-sitive souls.

She is also currently the digital vision weaver within Living Soil Asia, where she listens intently to the underlying intentions that guide the team's paths, translating insights into strategic and inspiring visual and written languages that come alive on their communication platforms. Ruth is also opening up intentional support to co-midwife the birth of Soil and Somatics.

Outcomes in residency

Coming Home Through Food, Soil and Sea

We are what we eat, and we are how we eat.

Eating is perhaps the most intimate act that we do on a daily basis where we put something into our mouth to become a part of our bodymind—affecting the quality of our lives, and so much more. This alchemising and gathering of food, together with the act of eating, intricately weaves into the fabric of our daily lives, not only shaping our health but also resonating and reaching far beyond our plates.

We are also what our food eats. How we grow our food and the environmental conditions impact the nutritional quality of our food; this in turn affects our individual physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. Taking a wider lens, our individual health also affects our relationships and, hence, our community, society and the world. Taking a longer lens, our health is part of our inheritance from our ancestors, and will also flow into the well-being of our descendants. All is a continuation, as we are not separate selves.

Modern technologies and global trading provide food for us from almost every part of the planet. The health-conscious amongst us are increasingly choosing natural and organic foods—if we can afford it. Most times, these foods come from faraway lands. How much power do we have, as consumers, to shift the needle in the food market, potentially shaping its dynamics to become more supportive and accessible to both planet and people? Many of us are often not aware of our food sources and the energies it takes for our food to arrive onto our table. Much of the industrial food system causes environmental degradation, cultural and biodiversity loss, public health issues and even wars.

This disconnection from the source of our nutriment propagates more disconnections from ourselves, our community and Nature; in turn, this disconnection has led us, humans, to doings that have created the polycrisis we face today.

How might we reconnect to our essential source of nutriments and our authentic self?

In a modern world driven by faceless systems, how might we reclaim agency to choose how we live our lives?

Can an intuitive inner listening to our bellies guide us home?

What deep wisdom are we ready to listen to from the land and sea for guidance?

Visits to the island farm and the turtle sanctuary, amongst other locations, will inform the emergence of stories and outcome of this residency.

Proposed Workshop Offerings:

Soil, Soup, and Social Somatics

Through the practice of mindful eating and conscious consumption, this interactive and experiential workshop will explore what and how we eat as an entry point to connect to the world at large. From silent to social mindful eating and tuning into our bodymind, participants will be guided through a process of deepening awareness and widening connections. Facilitated conversations will include topics on the food system and our place in it.

This is an invitation to open our hearts, minds and souls to listen deeply with compassion, and to tune in to our guts. We will explore the sacred elements and interconnections of food, soil and sea as a way to re-member our way home to ourselves and reconnect to our place in the larger ecosystems. Guests and residents of all species are welcome to join.

Selected Works To Date

Collective Dream Circle at Green Circle Ecofarm: Biodynamic Offerings To The Land (Photos by Vivian Lee)
Collective Dream Circle at Green Circle Ecofarm: Recovery After A Big Storm (Photos by Vivian Lee)
Communing with Care: A Garden Gathering With Food And Songs with Living Soil Asia (Photos by Ruth Schooling)
Urban Soil Regeneration with Living Soil Asia (Photos by Ruth Schooling)
Relating To Land: Witnessing Tengah’s Transformation (Photos by Vivian Lee and Veronica Yow, Images from HDB and Google Maps)