UCCA Beijing

UCCA Recommends: “If Only for a Second”

2013.12.19 - 2013.12.31

About this Program

A new project from The Mimi Foundation gives cancer patients the chance to feel carefree again.

UCCA Co-Founder Myriam Ullens de Schooten established The Mimi Foundation in 2004 to help cancer patients alleviate the suffering brought on by the disease and improve the lives of patients and their families. Recently, the foundation produced a short film and book entitled “If Only for a Second,” a project that aimed to create a truly carefree moment in the lives of cancer patients. For the project, the foundation invited professional makeup artists and a team of stylists to give twenty patients an outlandish new look. Participants were brought to a photography studio, where they were instructed not to open their eyes during the makeover. Kept in the dark about their new looks, a camera behind a one-way mirror captured the moment they opened their eyes. Greeted by extraordinary versions of themselves staring back at them, the participants experienced a moment of sincere astonishment and joy. UCCA has acquired video materials from the shoot, and the Center is proud to share this charming and touching video with Chinese audiences.

Ullens Center for Contemporary Art Co-Founders Baron and Baroness Guy and Myriam Ullens de Schooten are longstanding supporters of non-profit cultural programs and philanthropic organizations. The Mimi Foundation’s mission is to “improve the quality of life of people affected by cancer.” In the past, the foundation has organized a series of non-profit projects aimed at supporting cancer patients. “If Only for a Moment,” the Mimi Foundation’s most recent project, was divided into two parts: the production phase, which took place in June 2013, and the video exhibition, which took place in November 2013. This project was inspired by a patient who, discussing her life before receiving news of her illness, told the foundation, “You know what I missed the most? Being carefree.” This motivated The Mimi Foundation to design a project that would help cancer patients regain a sense of profound mirth, if only for a moment.

As Myriam Ullens de Schooten expressed, “It is heartbreaking to hear that you have cancer. All of a sudden your life and your world are turned upside down. Having an operation is always difficult and exhausting, the treatment afterwards often long and arduous. Everybody experiences the impact of the disease in a different way, but the burden on the patient and his or her immediate environment should never be underestimated.”

About the Mimi Foundation

The Mimi Foundation is a Belgian-based cancer support non-profit, with additional centers in France and Switzerland. The Mimi Foundation has made it its mission to contribute to the improvement of the quality of life of people affected by cancer, more specifically during the entire period of their chemotherapy/radiotherapy treatment. Every year the Mimi Foundation helps nearly 15.000 patients in its well-being centers.