Welcome and thank you for visiting my website!
I am Michael Tan, an arts-health practitioner, creative health researcher, artist, and educator from Singapore. My work explores and supports the investigation of the role of arts, design, and culture for health, wellbeing, and human flourishing. My interdisciplinary training in art and design, humanities, and social science has led me to develop a growing track record of interdisciplinary creative health research collaborations with colleagues within and outside of academia to transform the culture of care through creativity. My ongoing inquiry explores, interrogates, and imagines care in relation to creative practice.

Some of my notable contributions include:

  • leading seminal research on the State of arts and health development in Singapore, adding new insights from Asia to the growing international literature in this area,
  • established the Arts and Health Repository Singapore, an online resource that actively documents and provides updates on the state of arts and health field in Singapore through a listing of practice, policy, research, and capacity development.
  • developing a practice framework to guide decision-making and actions to foster a caring arts-health practice.
  • developed and taught the interdisciplinary module on Arts, Ageing, and Wellbeing for the MSc in Applied Gerontology programme, School of Social Science, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.  

I am currently an Associate Professor in Art and Design at Lab4Living at Sheffield Hallam University, UK. In my current role, I have developed the new MA in Design for Health Programme (commencing Fall 2023) and am supporting postgraduate education (PhD & MA).

I have served as PhD examiner, external examiner, reviewer, and guest editor for international peer-reviewed journals addressing Creative practice, health, and wellbeing. I am as an advisory board member of the Journal of Design for Health.

With an aim to foster a healthy and compassionate society, my research interest and current inquiries include:

  • Arts, Design, and Culture for Health and Wellbeing
  • Creative Health
  • Mental Health Literacy
  • End of Life, Bereavement, and Loss
  • Creativity, Nature-connectedness, and wellbeing
  • Creative Ageing
  • Young carers

Ongoing and recent projects

  • Dying Matters – a participatory performance exploring our struggles to talk openly about death.
  • Gestures of Care a creative movement workshop exploring the nuances in nonverbal aspects of caring and their perceptiveness.
  • When Seasons Change – Reflecting on end of life with nature & creativity (2022- Present).
  • Care and kindness workshop – a creative-based workshop for mental health nursing students’ use during their community placement in schools. 
  • Art, Visual Literacy, and Dermatology workshop – a creative workshop for dermal clinicians involving visual art activities and visual art viewing
  • Stories from the Pandemic – in partnership with Opus, Compassionate Sheffield, Sheffield City Council, Sheffield City Archives, and Lab 4 Living, the project aims to gather stories from the people of Sheffield to inform and strengthen the city’s memorial plans. 
  • collaborations include The Repository for Arts and Health Resources (Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health, Canterbury Christ Church University), The A-health Project (Mcgill University- Nanyang Technological University), University of Sheffield Deepend PPI Network and Palliative Care Studies Advisory Group and Compassionate Sheffield.

I am also keen to explore collaboration or supervise projects related to, but not limited to the following lines of inquiry:

  • The Future of Care and wellbeing
  • Therapeutic engagements/ experience (e.g. technology-inspired participatory)
  • Therapeutic Objects
  • Communicating Health

I was selected from a UK-wide open call, to join the inaugural National Institute of Health and Care Research (NIHR) GROW Mental Health Research Programme (Summer 2022 cohort), and was a visiting research fellow (Summer 2022) at the Centre for Arts, Design, Social Research for Cosmological Gardens: Cultivating Caring Cultures.

For inquiries on collaboration or supervision on projects related to art and design, for health and wellbeing, please contact me.

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orcid_128x128 orcid.org/0000-0001-8227-0407