A Collaboration between Mental Health Hospital and Art – An Interview with Khomsin

We speak with Khomsin, a designer and artist based in Indonesia. We want to know why he sets up Waluyo Jiwo to collaborate with a local mental health clinic.

What inspired you to start the collaboration?

“ It started at my last university assignment and my research in what is happening in communities. Then I started awareness campaigns on mental health  and about people with mental disability. Mental health. Long term mental health condition effects a lot of people  and communities, so awareness needed to be raised.

Then I encouraged the people with long term mental health conditions to create artworks. The work is then turned into merchandise that we sell to fundraise for the local clinic. To go to the local clinic quite often people have to pay privately.  I  also hold drawing workshop once a month with them.”

What impact has your work had to the community?

“Our friends have become more productive. The community can also see that people with long term mental condition can be creative and produce something meaningful.  The local community  highly support the programme through purchasing the merchandise. They can even now have exhibitions with other disabled communities..”

What do you think the main challenges in working with people with long term mental health conditions are and how do you overcome it?

“ The key to overcome some of the challenges is  be aware on how you approach them and the way you communicate. Try to find out and understand what the person is like, their preferences, and what do they normally do on a day-to-day basis.  This way, we know what are the limitations and how we can work with this. Try to approach them personally.”

Why do you think we need to collaborate with disabled people?

“First of all it is our collective responsibility as human beings, morally. Secondly they needed to receive more attention, we as society have been ignoring and setting them aside"

Pictures of the community in the local clinic working on their art.

Thank you for the interview Khomsin, hope we meet again soon.

If you are interested in seeing their work, check out their instagram @WaluyoJiwo .

At the moment Khomsin is also in a collaboration, with Vindy Ariella, artist and the founder of Bipolar Care Indonesia. Together they formed, Lorku. Lorku is creating, designing and producing creative products that helps people with their mental health.

You are also welcome to check out our collaboration with Lorku in a project called Sejiwa. :Sah-jee-waa – One Soul. A project that provides people that are in mental health hospitals with art kits.

Vindy and Khomsin met when they took part in our project Gerakan Kreabilitas, a part of  British Council: Developing Inclusive Creative Economy programme.

If you want to try to collaborate with disabled people, our Inclusivity Toolkit might help by providing you some tips and how to’s. The Indonesian toolkit is available to download in full in PDF format here.