May 25, 2019

Best 8 Installations at Children’s Biennale 2019 for Kids with itchy fingers

Media Invite

Back for the second edition, the Children’s Biennale has opened at the National Gallery Singapore from now and will run all the way until 29 December 2019.

This year’s exhibition is themed ‘Embracing Wonder’ and invites kids all all ages to experience a new dimension of creativity and open themselves up to wondrous surprises. We had a sneak peek at the various installations and let's just say the kid in me couldn't resist having a go too. 🤣

Through 11 imaginative artwork installations, kids can embrace a fantastic, magical world by composing their own tunes, braiding giant tresses, wandering beneath massive lanterns, popping into a dome, and more. And the best part? It is all FREE for for Singaporeans and PRs!

Here are the TOP 8 works that kids will absolutely spend the most time at:

Supreme Court Wing, Level B1, Koh Seow Chuan Concourse Gallery

Without a doubt, this is the most Instagram-worthy installation of the lot. But more than just jazzing up your Instagram feed, the six life-sized, interactive lanterns encourage individual and group play. Kids can head inside into the largest lantern and rotate the turnstile.

And this is the beautiful effect it conjures up.

These lanterns are inspired by damar kurung, traditional Javanese lanterns that feature paintings of everyday life in Java. The artist has decorated them with distinct patterns, colours and characters, inviting everyone to imagine a world where everyone is loving and caring.

Like fireflies in the forest at night, kids can follow the markers on the floor either on their own or with friends, and be dazzled by the lights!

I know I was. LOL.

City Hall Wing, Level B1, The Ngee Ann Kongsi Concourse Gallery

If you have kids aged 10 and below, I personally feel this is the BEST installation to bring them to. Comprising of five rooms – Discover the World, Friendship Room, Family Room, Self Room and BIG HUG’s Little Museum - this multi-room installation is filled with fun and familiar items from everyday life.

Activities in some of the rooms let them imagine their future as one of many interesting professions, through learning about colours, positive and negative spaces as well as friendship and teamwork. There are plenty of touch and play elements throughout the big space so kids with itchy fingers can rejoice!

City Hall Wing, Level B1, The Ngee Ann Kongsi Auditorium Anteroom

WARNING: This room can get really really really noisy!

All thanks to the ingenious pairing of hollow pipes and soft balls, this installation allows kids to throw the balls against the pipes to create music. Well, that is the idea anyway but no maater what tune one creates, there is something therapeutic about throwing something against something elses to create sounds.

I know because I tried. Heh.

City Hall Wing, Level 1, Keppel Centre for Art Education Project Gallery

Dayung Sampan means 'Row Your Boat', which is exactly what this art installation wants kids to imagine. Here, children will discover a collection of giant objects that seem to resemble a foot or a cage – young explorers are encouraged to use their imaginations, follow their dreams and let their imagination take flight!

City Hall Wing, Level 1, City Hall Foyer

Play by the River is inspired by a painting from 1974 by Singaporean artist Liu Kang titled Life by the River. Kids can play under the trees, say hello to a family of ducks and even play a game of five stones with parents. There is also a multimedia room where kids can customise their own houses and chracters and add them to the huge virtual painting.

Supreme Court Wing, Level 1, Padang Atrium

Two things inspired this interactive artwork: The Oort Cloud, a thick layer of icy particles in outer space, and Blue Mountain, a painting by Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky of horses galloping beneath a hill.

A motion-activated installation with lights, sounds, objects and sensors, the many buttons and textures here represent imaginary terrains in the universe. As kids move closer and touch these objects, different lights and sounds will be activated!

Supreme Court Wing, Level 3, Supreme Court Foyer

The Other Wall reflects an idyllic life in the countryside of Myanmar, also known as the Shwe (golden) land. The artists have tried to recreate the lives of the Shwe people by casting everything, even the plants, in gold!

You will find woodcuts, traditional toys and Burmese alphabets within each house, each handcrafted with care and love. But more important for kids, there are woodblock rubbing stations within the house, where they can grab a piece of blank paper, place it over the woodblock prints and rub away with the wax crayons.

City Hall Wing, Level 1, Outside Keppel Centre for Art Education

This installation brings to life the popular story of Karung Guni Boy written by Lorraine Tan and illustrated by Eric Wong. Ming, the Karung Guni Boy, loves to collect and find new uses for old items. Ming’s innovation and love for experimenting is seen in the creative processes of many artists who find inspiration in everyday things.

Everything here is constructed from cardboard and it looks amazing!

There are other installations that we didn't get to visit during the preview but something tells me they will be just as fun for the kids....

OR for adults too. *ahem*

Useful Information

Gallery Children’s Biennale 2019: Embracing Wonder
Date: Saturday, 25 May 2019 – Sunday, 29 December 2019
Venue: National Gallery Singapore, 1 Saint Andrew’s Road, Singapore 178957
Admission: Free for Singaporeans and Permanent Residents (PRs). Ticket prices start at $20 for others.

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