School of Creative

Yap Zi Wei

Yap Zi Wei

MA Art Therapy
Class of 2022

Zi Wei is a philosophy graduate and a public servant in the social service sector. Prior to her training in art therapy, Zi Wei has worked for a decade in public service across social policy and programmes, arts and cultural management, and infrastructure planning. She is a recipient of the LASALLE Scholarship for the MA Art Therapy programme, and has served as a student representative for the MA Art Therapy 2022 cohort.

As an art therapist, Zi Wei finds fulfilment in working with people from all walks of life. She sees patterns in many things, magic in the commonplace, and the humanity of every person. Through whimsical re-imaginings of what life offers up, Zi Wei hopes to help others find comfort in difficult moments, and wonder in the everyday.


Tales of the Living: An artwork-towards-death
Mixed media, found & recycled materials
46 x 31 x 19 cm

Tales of the Living: An artwork-towards-death explores the question of life’s meaning, through a living canvas that will one day die.

Primordial life covers the canvas, heralding change. Moss and lichen break down bare wood and rock, for complex life to grow and thrive. On this wild and surreal canvas, creatures of death loom in the verdant overgrowth. Protection is found in a circle of handmade faux rocks, and the spindly arms of a beast.

This evolving work reflects upon the mortality of the artist’s two rabbits, her powerless attempts to shield them from pain, and the shifting terrains of love and loss. Its whimsical yet toxic landscapes contemplate the suffering we bear out of love, the resilient fragility of existence, and the desperate wanting to give anything, just for one more day.

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Thesis abstract

Mending skin with child witnesses of family violence in Singapore

Despite the complex and challenging nature of the grief and loss experienced by child witnesses, there seems to be a paucity of literature on grief art therapy for children from violent homes. The aim of this qualitative practitioner-based thesis is to fill this gap by exploring the processes of mending skin as a therapeutic vehicle in grief art therapy with children who have witnessed family violence in Singapore. Through a visual heuristic inquiry of multiple case vignettes, I sought to illustrate how mending skin may emerge as a process and precipitate therapeutic change for clients at different points on the grief-trauma continuum. By so doing, I seek to supplement the current plethora of trauma-informed interventions for child witnesses with more grief therapy interventions, so as to propel a higher therapeutic watermark for family violence services in Singapore.

Clinical internship

Jan–May 2021
Grief Matters, Montfort Care
Art therapist trainee
● Co-facilitated group art therapy sessions for persons bereaved by parental loss.
● Conducted group art therapy programmes and individual art therapy sessions for persons impacted by grief and loss.

Aug 2021–May 2022
TRANS SAFE Centre, TRANS Family Services
Art therapist trainee
● Provided individual and group art therapy to child witnesses and survivors of family violence.
● Designed and facilitated group art therapy sessions for child and adult populations that have experienced family violence.
● Facilitated an online series of art therapy-informed self-care workshops for staff.