May 25, 2013

Children's Season 2013: Art Garden 2013 @Singapore Art Museum

(Daddy explores)

Once again, the ever-popular Children’s Season returns with exhibitions and programmes happening in 19 museums island-wide. And what is even more special this year is that all Singaporeans and Permanent Residents will enjoy free admission to National Heritage Board museums and heritage institutions. Which means free Children’s Season adventures for all of us! Woot!

And we sure didn't wait long to put our privilege to good use - the Art Garden at the Singapore Art Museum (SAM) had the honour of being our first museum visit of 2013.

If you are thinking of heading down, do note that the Art Garden exhibition is not housed in the main SAM building but at the SAM at 8Q, a separate building beside Hotel Royal @Queens which is across the street from the main building.

Needless to say, the monkies could not wait to start exploring the moment we stepped into the building. And the first installation that attracted their attention was The Enchanted Garden City.

This whimsical garden city by Sandra Lee is one awesome piece of work! The entire place was just so colourful and enchanting that both the wifey and I were inevitably drawn into its world, particularly this rainbow bridge.

But the part which captured my imagination the most was the beautiful illustrations that filled the entire walls of the room. The illustrations carried the theme of familiar fairy tales that we have known since young, but with an intriguing Asian twist!

That's Goldilocks and the three (Panda) Bears in the above photo. Can you identify the following fairy tales, with its localized icons?

Satay by the Bay?

The monkies definitely had a field day trying to spot the various fairy tale characters and erm, goofing around as well.

And once most of their energy had been expended, they proceeded to draw their own version of an enchanted garden city.

Once they were done, their drawings could then be projected onto one of the walls. Which obviously was the biggest kick of all I reckon.

We then headed to the second floor where Vicente Delgado's Around the Day in Eighty Worlds, a kaleidoscope of all things fascinating and quirky awaited.

The premise of this installation is simple enough - some things may look familiar at first, but a closer look may reveal something different about them.

All the things may look messy and unrelated on its own but take a step back, we can sometimes see things in a totally different light. Or in this case, look out for the 2 sets of footprints at each ends of the room. Stand on it and see that the black box in the middle of the room actually forms a cat’s nose and whiskers with the two lamps as its eyes!

Photo courtesy of Singapore Art Museum

As for the monkies, they were kept busy with the numerous interactive exhibits... which was a good thing as it gave me my own time and freedom to view them in detail.

Ayd broke a chair! LOL.
Using a string to come out with different faces.
Throwing hoops game.

There was an Art Station here too, where kids where use coloured paper to make a collage picture.

It was quite crowded so we proceeded to the next installation on the second floor and this was the one that totally blew my mind!

Stellar Cave II by Julien Salaud is simply put, astounding. This stunning piece of work was made entirely of screws and thread and inspired by the prehistoric paintings in France's Lascaux Caves.

I could only stand there jaw-dropped and marvel at the patience that the artist possesses to have the artwork so painstakingly created. Definitely my fave exhibit of Art Garden 2013, without a doubt.

Kids could also test their own patience in the next room where they could try to make images out of screws and threads on their own. Not an easy task even for me. So I was even more in awe of the artist after that!

Beyond that room lie The Incredibly Magical Expanding Room by Mojoko and Shang Liang, where kids can whisper or shout into a microphone and watch the room transform as all four walls respond to their voice.

Did I say shout? Naturally the monkies needed no invitation to do so.

The final installation we visited was the Les rêves engloutis, or Glossy Dreams in Depths by Stéphane Blanquet on the third floor where we entered a room filled with peculiar objects, 3D drawings and holograms.

Donning our 3D glasses, this work served to expose us to unfamiliar situations and we were supposed to let our imagination take over as we view the drawings. And the moral of the installation? Do not be afraid of what lies ahead. Instead, overcome your fears and bravely face whatever lies ahead.

Hmmm, deep stuff. So it was perhaps more fitting for the monkies that they got to create their own masks at the craft section.

Ale though, preferred rocking on a horse while her 2 older brothers were putting finishing touches on their masks.

The fourth level showcased the art exhibit of LOVE . REVOLVE THE WORLD by Sun Yu-li but that didn't interest the monkies too much.

And so, that marked the end of our visit to Art Garden 2013. All in all, I would say it was time well-spent and the exhibits were really interesting. If there is a place in Singapore to fire up a child's imagination, Art Garden 2013 will be it.

Useful Information

Art Garden 2013 at Singapore Art Museum
Venue: SAM at 8Q; 8 Queen Street, Singapore 188535
Dates: 17 May – 1 Sept 2013
Opening Hours: 10am to 7pm daily (9pm on Fri)
Admission: Singapore Citizens &PRs - Free | Adults - $10 | Children below 6 – Free | Foreign Students & senior citizens aged 60 and above - $5
* All visitors enjoy complimentary entry on Friday evenings from 6pm - 9pm.
Additional Note: Strollers will have to be left on the first floor as there is no lift in the 4-storey building.

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SengkangBabies said...

hi Kelvin,

Thanks for the detail writeup, love the pop-up stories and animations, and I can already imagine my kids running inside the "Storybooks" haha :)

cheers, Andy (SengkangBabies)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this place. Certainly very interesting.

Cheekiemonkies said...

Hi Andy,

No worries. Definitely a must-go! We missed the one last year 'cos of procrastination so I was determined to go early this year! Haha.

Cheekiemonkies said...

Hi Pei Shan,

Thanks for dropping by our blog! Glad you found the post to be useful. :)

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