Sep 15, 2013

50 Greatest Photographs & Essential Eames @ ArtScience Museum

Media Invite
(Daddy visits)

I have always loved the exhibitions at ArtScience Museum, with my favourite ones being the Harry Potter and The Art of the Brick exhibitions. So when the opportunity arose to bring my 3 monkies down to the museum for a triple bill treat, I knew it was too good a chance to pass up.

If you are looking to bring your family down for a day out at the museum and immerse them in exhibitions with such diverse genres, then look no further than what the ArtScience Museum has to offer currently - Mummy: Secrets of the Tomb (history), Essential Eames (design) and 50 Greatest Photographs (artistry).

I passed the initiative to Ash and Ayd and allowed them to choose which exhibition to head off to first and it was National Geographic's 50 Greatest Photographs that we said hello to.

I believe most, if not all, are familiar with the iconic yellow frame that National Geographic is famous for and in celebration of the magazine's 125th year of publication, an exhibition showcasing the 50 Greatest Photographs of National Geographic has been touring the world and it has finally made its way to Singapore.

We all know the saying, that a picture is worth a thousand words. But more often than not, the stories behind the photos are taken and how they came to be produced are equally interesting. Each photograph was accompanied by a  “Behind the Photograph” short description and presented insightful details on how they came to be photographed.

For the wifey and me, this was perhaps the most moving part of the exhibition as the descriptions gave an extremely personal touch to the photographs. Be it whether these famous images were photographed by accident or with great planning, they offered compelling evidence that the photographers did justice to their subjects simply because, every picture was captured perfectly.

What of the monkies then? The boys were notably fascinated by some of the photographs on display, though I have to say that they couldn't really fathom the inspiration behind the picture. Luckily, the exhibition also included some technical insights of photography - elements on what constitute in making a photograph a photograph.

There were six ‘Zoom In’ interactive spaces scattered throughout the exhibition which explained the in-depth the “science” behind a good photograph through the themes of light, color, lens, composition, film, and digital processes. With several hands-on stations for the monkies to fiddle with, I have to say they picked up a fair bit of photography-related knowledge through these interactive spaces.

And in conjunction with the 50 Greatest Photographs exhibition, Marina Bay Sands is currently organising a 'What’s Your Story' Contest where one lucky winner will stand the chance to win a S$500 shopping voucher at Marina Bay Sands and a 1 night’s stay at Marina Bay Sands! All you have to do is to snap a photo with the iconic yellow frame and write in less than 20 words, what the photo means to you. For more contest details or to submit your entry (Closing Date: 6 October), visit HERE.

Onwards to our second exhibition of the day and it was the Essential Eames that the boys picked next. Essential Eames: A Herman Miller Exhibition explores the life and work of Charles and Ray Eames, the most famous couple in design. Yes, my first reaction was "Eames who?"

The names obviously didn't ring a bell but once I stepped into the exhibition, I immediately recognised some of world's most iconic (and widely copied) chair designs which were the brainchild of Charles and Ray Eames in 1950.

Featuring over 100 pieces, the exhibition showcases a number of rare and never before-seen works and images from the Eames family collection, the Eames Office, and the archives of Herman Miller. The timeless furniture creations of Charles and Ray Eames have provided the visual backdrop in homes and offices around the world for the better part of the last century. Yet their influence and innovation extends far beyond furniture, as their distinctive work in architecture, exhibition design, toy making, film and philosophy is prolific.

Well, it sounded pretty heavy stuff for the monkies. Or at least that was what I feared at the start of the exhibition. But it turned out to be quite the opposite.

There were actually quite a number of interactive exhibits for the monkies to get busy with their hands, with toys to play with and buttons to press throughout the exhibition. One particular exhibit which had us stopping for the longest time was the House of Cards, which was essentially a series of notched cards with a variety of images that can be joined together to build different structures. Over 1,500 giant House of Cards were used in making one the largest installation of its kind in the Asia-Pacific region and the monkies were inspired to create some structures of their own as well.

Other fave activities of the monkies included watching balls spin round - which depictied the orbit of the different planets around the sun - in a huge dome structure and constructing with Eames alphabet blocks.

But all that failed in comparison when we got to the tail-end of the exhibition, when the monkies got the chance to put their creativity to the test!

They got to use a wide range of materials, from the traditional to the surprising, to create some miniature furniture of their own. And if you are there during the weekends (3.30pm to 4.30pm), be sure to join in the 'Playing with Masks' workshop as well, where kids will be able to decorate and take home their very own mask.

Truth be told, I had initially thought that the boys would be bored of these 2 exhibitions. But they clearly enjoyed themselves... though I have to add that they were hugely anticipating our next and final exhibition of the day - the Mummy: Secrets of the Tomb - which deserves a separate blog post of its own.

Useful Information

50 Greatest Photographs of National Geographic
17 August - 27 October 2013

Essential Eames: A Herman Miller Exhibition
29 June 2013 - 5 January 2014

Venue: ArtScience Museum, Marina Bay Sands
Times: 10am - 10pm (Last entry at 9pm)
Admission: Click HERE for ticket prices.

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