May 13, 2019

Playeum's new exhibition for kids, I-Opener, is created & curated by 2 autistic & 2 Down Syndrome artists - a Singapore (& possibly world) first!

Media Invite

For the past 3.5 years, Playeum have been bringing the world of imaginative play to kids - with various exhibitions where kids got to experiment with speed, kids had the opportunity to engage with nature, create their own stories, dreaming up fun places and most recently, exploring Play-ces through various landscapes.

This time around, Playeum has introduced a brand new hands-on exhibition unlike any other exhibition they have done... simply because the entire exhibtion has been mianly created and curated by 4 artists, each with a disabilty.

Located at Gillman Barracks, Playeum is a museum without walls which hopes to inspire children through self-directed exploration and learning and in the process, establish a culture of meaningful and impactful play.

The new exhibition, I-Opener, features the aesthetic and sensory play-worlds co-created by individuals with various disabilities, and also without. It invites kids aged 1 to 12 to explore their senses through play and the arts.

As we all know, the senses - sight, touch and hearing all play an important role in a child’s discovery of the world as well as their social-emotional development. But more than that, this exhibition DIFFERS from Playeum's previous exhibitions in that instead of just introducing the art of play to kids, it allows kids to step into the world of those with special needs and experience the way how they interact, play and sense the world around them.

There are FOUR main spaces within the exhibition:


Clement Space is a sensorial interactive space designed, produced and created by Dr. Dawn-joy Leong, an autistic artist. Kids can choose to enter the space through the usual doorway or step into her world through a tiny opening in the wall. No prizes for guessing which they would prefer!

In a time in which the world seems increasingly void of calm, the focus of white in her design here allows children to explore their senses by feeling, interacting and changing the moveable elements.

Or they can really just do nothing and lay in the tent... which is what the play space advocates.

The entire space is made of repurposed and sustainable materials, with each handmade detail carefully crafted for the audience to see, touch, and feel.


Cavan Chang is an artist with Down Syndrome. And his Cavan Scope work is an invitation for his audiences to enter his colourful world.

Here, kids can view a myriad of colourful objects inspired by his work and create new collages by playing with his artworks.


SOLScape, is inspired by the two dimensional artwork of Sol Pickens, a young boy with autism. He makes his drawings comes to life and transforms them into three-dimensional structures.

This space features acrylic boxes in which children will be able to create different furniture according to their own imagination.

Kids will be able to transfer their own two-dimensional works into three-dimensional play scapes.

How? By doodling on the blank sheets of papers at the side of the installations.

Once they are done, all they have to do is to flip the panel upright.

And there you go, the drawing forms the second level of the house! So through this installation, kids can imagine how they would like their home to look like. Personally, I was left mightily impressed with this play space!


Jo Devadason is a poet with Down syndrome and the voice behind Poetree. From an early age, she developed a love for books imaginary play and self-expression. Her poetry works can be found throughout the Playeum space.

There is also a large seating area in the middle of the exhibition with 4 different couches, each representing the 4 artists. The fabrics used are chosen according to the artists' taste but parents, this is not a place for you to sit down and look at your phones.

Rather, this space is meant to spur further discussion with your kids about the various installations and promote further free play.

In addition, kids can further explore FIVE other technological inventions and play areas within the exhibition.


This sensory cave seeks to further explore Cavan's colourful world with various textiles.


Here, kids can create colourful patterns just by using their eyes!


Using various transparent colourful films, kids can discover and play with shadows and light.

And see their creations being projected on a wall somewhere else. I won't tell you where... you have to head down to look for it!


Here, kids can doodle on paper and transform their artworks into moving images via a Hologram Projector.


A staple for all of Playeum's exhibitions, this is where kids can explore and express their thoughts through tinkering and come up with any form of creation they desire.

The shelves are well-stocked with a mind-boggling selection of upcycled materials like plastic bottles, paper rolls, caps, and strings.

Here are a few things to note if you planning a trip down:

1. Entry to Children's Centre for Creativity is $22 per child (1-12 years old). One accompanying adult enters free while additional accompanying adults play $10 each.

2. Although entry is for unlimited play for the day, there is a possibility that visits may be kept to 2-hours during busy periods.

3. If you are visiting at 5pm or later (they close at 6pm), admission is by any donation amount.

4. Annual Memberships available at $160 per child, which offers one year's worth of unlimited entry for one child and one adult. This also includes special rates for workshops.

5. There are no toilets and nursing rooms within centre. Toilets are however, located just beside once you exit the Playeum building.

6. No snacks and drinks are sold on premises. There is a cold drinks vending machine beside the washrooms.

Useful Information

Playeum's Children's Centre for Creativity
Address: Blk 47, Malan Road, Gillman Barracks, #01-23, Singapore 109444
Dates: 14 May 2019 - 26 April 2020
*Soft launch from 14 May 2019 to 31 May 2019
Opening Hours: Tues - Sun: 10am - 6pm (Closed on Mondays)
Admission: $22 per child (1-12) | Accompanying adult: Free | Additional accompanying adult: $10
HSBC Employees: 20% off child admission
Baby Bliss Card: 20% off child and additional adult admission
OCBC Baby Bonus Card: 20% off child and additional adult admission
Getting there:
Nearest MRT Station (5 to 10 minutes walk): Labrador Park Station (Circle Line)
Nearest Bus Stop (3 minutes walk): Along Alexandra Road, Opposite Alexandra Point (Bus Stop Number 15059) - Available Buses: 51, 57, 61, 83, 97, 97e, 100, 166, 175, 408, 963 or 963E
*Free Parking on Sundays.

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