One Of Us

This story is one of nostalgia and the stigma of mental illness in Singapore. Find out more about Uncle Sim, a resident at IMH, and his passion for art.

Sim Kah Lim took an interest in art from a young age. He participated in his first art competition at 8 years old and took home the top prize – the first of many that followed.

However, Kah Lim began hallucinating as he grew older. At 15, he was diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Unable to live independently, Kah Lim spent short stints in the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) and moved there permanently when his family was no longer able to care for him. Cindy recalls, “When my brother was admitted, we were very worried, especially my parents. We didn’t know whether he would be able to adjust to life in IMH.”

Kah Lim has been persistent in his passion, spending hours every day painting. All this time, he has kept one dream close to his heart – to host his own art exhibition, just like the ones he used to visit.

In June this year, T-Touch volunteers fulfilled that dream. Unbeknown to him, Temasek staff organised the exhibition of his paintings in the foyer of Temasek’s office in Singapore. They brought him to the venue from his hospital room for an ‘official opening’, complete with a reception, and surprised him with a crowd gathered to view his paintings.

On arrival, Kah Lim’s joy was evident. He was full of smiles and warmed up to the guests, shaking their hands and enthusiastically posing with his pieces.

T-Touch is a volunteer initiative by Temasek staff and champions causes that Temasek employees support on a personal level, while promoting initiatives that benefit our communities. More about T-Touch here.



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