Bold & Beautiful

Own your body boldly, is the statement artist, Ruby Subramaniam made, painted onto the bodies of 30 applicants. Women of diverse backgrounds share their personal stories in her latest project, a documentary called “Antidote: Uncovering Skin and Soul.” It was completed during her month-long residency at Rimbun Dahan. Today, Ruby shares with us her story.

H&D: Tell us all about your experience working on Antidote: Uncovering Skin and Soul.

R: The project demanded more than an artist to be present. I had to give all of myself, physically and emotionally. I prayed for wisdom to visually narrate their words into shapes and forms, painted directly on their skin. It was a meditative process, almost like a form of prayer for me.

To prepare myself mentally, I committed myself to the three things below:

1. I didn’t interact with anyone outside the project for 30 days.

2. I realised that I was more attuned to other people’s energies by cutting off meat.

3. I do daily meditation to make sure I’m emotionally prepared for the next participant the following day. The conversations I had with the participants were powerful but I needed to ground myself on a daily basis. It did take me a long time to “recover” from the emotional heaviness of the project. But it has inspired me to do so much more!

H&D: In what aspects do you wish you could do more?

R: There are many women who keep reaching out to me, hoping to get a platform to tell their stories. I wish I had the capacity, to interpret more stories into art - but I’ve also learnt that I’m human, and I need to pace myself. It is important for me to take care of myself, and my mental well-being.