Wanted: Broken hearts for 'Break Up 2.0' show by Sunway Psychology Club

A visitor at last year's Break Up exhibition browsing at the items on display. Photo: Sunway Psychology Club

Breaking up may be hard to do, but it’s something that almost everyone would have some experience with at some point in their lives, right? The Sunway Psychology Club is once again hosting The Break Up Exhibition in an effort to help and support those experiencing an emotional collapse in a relationship.

“Looking at the statistics of divorce in Malaysia – 40% at the moment – we felt it was important,” said Mengzhen Lim, a lecturer with the Department of Psychology at Sunway University.

“While some groups work to prevent separation, our focus is to support people who are going through crisis. We must acknowledge that separation is part of almost all of our lives.”

The Break Up Exhibition was first held last November at the gallery in Sunway University, Selangor. The one-day exhibition, themed “Explore the Hidden Feelings and Move On” attracted over 500 visitors, and more than half of those who turned up responded positively to a post-event survey, suggesting that the topic had been one of interest.

The unique, creative approach of tackling a controversial subject as break ups struck all the right notes, and was able to encourage the sharing and exploration of hidden feelings and experiences.

Visitors to the exhibition were also offered a free listening service offered by the Sidewalk Talk Malaysia Team.

The exhibition sought not just to help those going through the end of a romantic relationship, but also ending close friendships, family feuds or even separation or the death of beloved pets. Through the project, the Sunway Psychology Club wants to share the message that no one has to suffer and carry the burden of painful memories alone.

Lim said that when one is in college, break ups can be especially difficult to get through.

“Individuals going through a break up for the first time during high school might receive more social support than if they experience it when they are a college student. When one is in secondary school, friends live nearby and are able to be there for each other for long hours, giving support. At night, they are at home where parents can monitor them and care for them. There is an existing social support system already in place,” Lim shared.

A visitor at last year's Break Up exhibition browsing at the items on display. Photo: Sunway Psychology Club

“For people who experience a break up for the first time at college, however, this social support may not be in place yet. They live in a dorm, may not have made good friends, live away from their home town and don’t have parental supervision to ensure they get enough good food and sleep. Social support changes the way someone deals with a crisis,” Lim added.

The Break Up Exhibition in 2018 turned out to be a platform for people to express their feelings and emotions in a positive and healthy manner. In view of this, the club is once again making a shout out to anyone who would like to contribute to the upcoming exhibition, Break Up Exhbition 2.0.

All you have to do is donate an item that was once significant to a previous relationship, along with a short story of no more than 200 words related to the item and the relationship.

“We believe that with this gesture one is able to decide that the item has served its purpose and you are ready to let go and move on from the relationship by sharing your story,” offered Lim, explaining that your stories and items would then be displayed for public viewing at the exhibition which has been scheduled to take place from Oct 18-20 at Sunway University. Rest assured your personal details will not be displayed and kept confidential.

For more details on how you can contribute, go to psychologyexhibition.blogspot.com/2019/06/our-team.html. Everyone, regardless of age or gender, and anyone around the world, can contribute items. Closing date is Sept 13 for sending in items.

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