The Singapore Arts Museum (SAM) is just a stone’s throw away from C’s music class. On Saturday, we decided to pop over for the ongoing Arts Garden exhibition. C enjoyed the interactive exhibits the past two years, and we thought G would be able to appreciate it this year.
We went to the main building of SAM, before realising that the Arts Garden was housed in an extension (SAM at 8Q) on Queen Street this year. No matter, we took the opportunity to take a picture with Walter the colossal bunny, who was at his usual perch on SAM’s front lawn at this time of the year, before walking over to the extension.
At the entrance, the first group of artwork to greet us was LANDscape in the Box by NUS architecture students. We spent a few minutes here in front of C’s favourite box (because it had rainbow coloured strips of acrylic).
Also on the same level was The Enchanted Garden City by Sandra Lee. It was easy to see why it was the kids’ favourite room – the whole room was painted in bright colours, with a rainbow bridge right at the centre of the room. On the walls, there were scenes from traditional fairy tales, with an asian twist.
C and G were kept busy colouring, running around and across the rainbow bridge. There was a magic mirror that projected the completed drawings – C was thrilled to see her drawing on the wall!
The next room we went to was Around the Day in Eighty Worlds, a kaleidoscopic display in a room of black and white murals. A cat, rabbits, broken chairs, broken doors – can you guess a popular children’s tale? The interactive displays included a spinning wheel, a paper puppet, flying birds and even a hoop game. G was running about, examining the patterns and trying his hands on anything could be moved.
For slightly older kids like C, there was also a spider hunt game (which involved a keen eye to spot black and white spiders hidden in the room), and kaleidoscope-making.
My favourite exhibit had to be Stellar Cave II by Julien Salaud. C and G were mesmerized by the effect of white thread in black light.
C got to try making her very own string art in a little room just past the exhibit. She really focused on the activity, and I could see that she was proud of her results!
The Incredibly Magical Expanding Room came next, where the colourful patterns on the wall responded to voices projected into the microphone. Fun technology for the kids! C and G had a blast here, because it allowed them to shout at the top of their voices. G didn’t want to leave the room!
Next up we visited Les rêves engloutis – Glossy Dreams in Depths by Stéphane Blanquet. I could see why this was not a popular choice with the kids from other reviews. There was a swiveling bed that brought you from reality to the deepest fears. The contrast from cheerful and brightly coloured to dark and creepy gave me the shivers. We had 3D glasses on to view the drawings, and there were holographic images featuring scary-looking creatures. C was rather skeptical of the swiveling bed because she was afraid that she wouldn’t return after that, but surprisingly didn’t show any fear of the drawings (obviously her fears did not look anything like the displays). G didn’t show any fear, I think he was more interested in the glasses. There was also a mask making activity which both kids enjoyed.
Last but not least, there was LOVE . REVOLVE THE WORLD by Sun Yu-li, a collaborative effort by the artist and 750 students. Created out of hundreds of panels of art, it represents the connections that exist in the universe and the random nature of everything around us. According to information panels, even preschoolers were involved in this installation (C was really inspired after I told her that)
We spent a total of three hours going through the different exhibits. As it was the weekend, it was rather crowded, especially at the popular exhibits. Both C and G enjoyed themselves. I think I’ll be back again with C to go through the installations in more detail before the exhibition ends in September 🙂
Art Garden is on from 17 May till 1 September 2013
SAM at 8Q 8 Queen Street Singapore 188535
Opening hours: Daily from 10am to 7pm (last admission at 6.15pm) Till 9pm on Fridays
Entrance is free for Singapore citizens (please bring your NRIC), PRs and visitors aged 6 and below.
Which exhibit did you like best?