Let me start this post off with a disclaimer: I love everything that Playeum does and no, I was not paid to say this... even though I was invited down for a sneak peek at its latest art festival for children.
Playeum is Singapore's first non-profit centre for creativity and culture. It is also known as 'The Play Museum', a museum without walls which hopes to inspire children through self-directed exploration and learning.
I first came into contact with Playeum back in 2010 when I brought Ash and Ayd to the Old Ford Factory and Reflections at Bukit Chandu and they had such a blast going through all the installations and getting their palms and feet covered in paint!
So when I learnt that Playeum's signature event - The Big Draw 2014 - will be returning this weekend, I already made up my mind to bring the monkies down. And after sneaking a peek at the various art installations, I was sure they would love every single activity.
This year's Big Draw features 5 different artists and experiences which looks at innovative large scale drawings in response to our theme “It's Our World”. Kids will be invited to wonder (no typo there) through the WILD DRAWINGS, explore the LAND OF TIME and help create a rainforest at the RAINDROPS, draw or paint plants or creatures that matter in the COLOURFUL JUNGLE.
WILD DRAWINGS is an interactive art installation that invites families to observe plants that grow in the wild, or weeds - plants that we usually do not pay any attention to. Kids will be tasked to identify actual weeds, match them to the cards provided and learn more about their role in nature.
Kids will also be able to interpret for themselves how weeds grow by using strips of cloth to twirl around bamboo poles.
Somehow, projection images on a wall never fail to intrigue and excite kids. But rather than just dancing or creating silly shadows in front of the projector, this installation requires kids to colour in the lighted spaces on the screen and forming a unified masterpiece in the process.
If your child loves Play-doh, then RAINDROPS will be the one to zoom to. Related to The Big Draw's theme of "It's Our World", the clay-play session will be centred on the rainforest theme.
Children will be invited to create trees based on their own imagination and together build a forest that is inspired by ripples, raindrops and raintrees using clay.
The installation will grow into a rainforest as more kids keep adding trees of their own to the collection.
Inspired by the story of the Gunung Daik Mountain in Indonesia, LAND BEFORE TIME allows children to learn about the olden days when kingdoms were built around a mountain which was worshiped by people.
Using their imagination, children will be encouraged to sculpt a landscape around the mountain using the paper mache technique.
If you have a child that loves drawing on every conceivable space - walls, floor, or even stairs - then COLOURS OF THE JUNGLE will be a paradise in his/her eyes!
Yes, the entire area is wrapped in brown paper and kids are free to draw anywhere based on their own imagination and creativity.
Basically, anything goes and hopefully by the time the festival draws to a close, every single artwork will come together to form a jungle that comes to life through art.
But wait, there is a final art interactive station that no child should ever, ever miss. POI PAINTING takes place outdoors and is derived from Poi Spinning, a classic performance art which is often seen in the form of fire swinging.
But for this installation, fire is swapped for PAINT. Bottles with punctured holes are filled with paint and kids will be able to contribute to an giant art piece just by swinging them wildly and letting the paint splatter all around.
Cue wild screams of laughter, joy and pure madness.
And this is what the aftermath looked like.
Your child's clothes will probably look like this too, so it might be wise to bring along a change of clothes if you are planning to head elsewhere after the festival! Fret not though, the paint is utterly washable. Do note, however, that Poi Painting will only be available between 4pm and 6pm on both Saturday and Sunday.
Collectively put together, there is no denying that Playeum's The Big Draw 2014 will definitely thrill every child... and every parent too. After all, how often can our kids get to totally mess up a place other than our own home?
And the best part? It is FREE Admission for all!
So see you at The Big Draw 2014 this weekend and let your kids share their world through drawings, colourings, clay figurines, paper mache, or a photo.
The Big Draw 2014 by Playeum
Block 7, Gillman Barracks, Singapore 108935
Dates: 8 & 9 November 2014
Opening Hours: 11am to 6pm
*Poi Painting between 4pm and 6pm on both days.