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Starting the holidays on a Voyage of Big Ideas

March 15, 2015

Tis’ the first day of the March holidays today, and we were up and about, dreaming, exploring and embarking on new adventures.

At Imaginarium, that is.

Imaginarium: A Voyage of Big Ideas, the exhibition is inspired by the crescent moon on the Singapore flag, symbolising a young nation on the rise and its capacity to dream big and think large

Imaginarium: A Voyage of Big Ideas, a children’s exhibition inspired by the crescent moon on the Singapore flag, symbolising a young nation on the rise and its capacity to dream big and think large.

Imaginarium: A Voyage of Big Ideas, is the new edition of the Singapore Art Museum at 8Q‘s much loved annual contemporary art exhibition for children. Now in its fifth year running, this exhibition features immersive artworks by emerging and established artists from Singapore and around the region and interactive hands-on activities for “everyone and anyone with a head for ideas and a heart for adventure”. It’s also the first in a series of SAM exhibitions that celebrate Singapore’s Jubilee Year.

We were invited by SAM@8Q and CRIB Society, Singapore’s first social enterprise that aims to empower women entrepreneurs through networking, matchmaking and incubation, of which I am also a member of, for the media preview of Imaginarium.

The exhibition, specially dedicated to children and curated for them to learn and play, is truly one that reflects a learning-through-play philosophy and appeals to a child’s senses and sense of exploration.

The Kao kids got to wander – and wonder – a lot today. At SAM, they gamely put on their sense of keenness and exploration and their most appropriate behaviour (after many rounds of “briefing” before we came, also known as follow instructions! remember a museum is not a playground! make sure everyone gets to enjoy so no yelling and hoarding! be mindful of others around you! and other momspeak), we checked out every gallery at Imaginarium, which spans four levels.

The start of our wandering and wondering at SAM at 8Q: today we have DinoBoy from DinoMama Blog for company!

The start of our wandering and wondering at SAM at 8Q: today we had DinoBoy from DinoMama Blog for company!

Here at Imaginairum, they built their own estates and communities with these tetris-shaped blocks in this colourfully illustrated room…

Drawing inspiration from urban planning, Singapore artist Chiang Yu Xiang’s We Built this Estate! is an interactive installation that invites everyone to create their own housing estates and city skyline with Tetris-shaped housing blocks.

Drawing inspiration from urban planning, Singapore artist Chiang Yu Xiang’s We Built this Estate! invites everyone to create their own housing estates and city skyline with Tetris-shaped housing blocks.

Imaginarium_03

We built this city!

We built this city!

We built this city of tetris shapes!

We built this city!

We built this city!

We built this city of tetris shapes!

We built this city of tetris shapes!

Dropped their jaws in fascination, looking at these fantastical versions of the Singapore story and doodles…

Imagine-a-doodle by Singapore collective Band of Doodlers: illustrations sprawled across the walls and winding their way up the four levels of SAM at 8Q

Imagine-a-doodle by Singapore collective Band of Doodlers: illustrations sprawled across the walls and winding their way up all four floors of SAM at 8Q!

Made music when an adult (yes, their Mama – who else?) cycled on a stationary bicycle…

Here I am, cycling in a dark room, with the boys waiting for energy to transferred so they can start making music.

Here I am, cycling in a dark room, with the boys waiting for energy to be transferred so they can start making music. This is the artwork of Canadian-born, Singapore-based artist Vincent Twardzik’s Green II: Interstellar Overdrive. This artwork installation only comes alive when visitors cycle on stationary bicycles which are hooked up to various objects.

Created a dream world of planting sweets…

Planting rice is never fun. But planting sweets is.

Planting rice is never fun. But planting sweets is.

Nat is lost. In a sea of candy trees.

Nat is lost. In a sea of candy trees.

Someone has a sweet tooth, this is for sure.

Someone has a sweet tooth, that is for sure.

"I wish this was a real Chupa Chups," he said.

“I wish this was a real Chupa Chups,” he said.  This installation is the Dream House by South Korean artist Jeeyoung Lee. And we all know why.

Discovered magical secret worlds…

Entering into a world of magical colours...

Entering Kiko’s Secrets by Sri Lankan-born, Vietnam-based artist Kumkum Fernando. First, the world of magical colours…

And another of bugs...

And another of bugs…

Really weird bugs!

Really weird bugs!

Look, Mama! Look what I found!

Look, Mama! Look what I found!

EGGS!!!

EGGS!!!

And got a good whole hour of hands-on fun adding to a collective tapestry featuring yarn, and weaving, covering spaces and making pom-poms…

Singaporean artist Izziyana Suhaimi’s work Let’s Make! Studio explores new worlds through embroidery. In a designed workspace in the gallery, visitors are invited to make their own small objects which capture their thoughts about Singapore’s future

Singaporean artist Izziyana Suhaimi’s work Let’s Make! Studio explores new worlds through embroidery. In a designed workspace in the gallery, visitors are invited to make their own small objects which capture their thoughts about Singapore’s future.

And so the kids begin... to make something bigger than their lives

And so the kids begin… to make something bigger than their lives

Twirling yarn around nails...

Twirling yarn around nails…

Mixing colours and finding patterns...

Mixing colours and finding patterns…

And while Ben weaved some more...

And while Ben weaved some more…

Becks and Nat chilled at the reading corner, flipping story books

Becks and Nat chilled at the reading corner, flipping story books

And then of course, someone doesn't really read. He goes to make green pom-poms instead.

And then of course, someone doesn’t really read so he goes to make green pom-poms instead.

Hot favourites of the day were yarn, yarn and more yarn, and tetris-shaped blocks.

The next time round, I hope to get them to appreciate more of the details found in these art installations and contemplate on a deeper level what they are interacting with.

There’s just so much to learn and teach through art, and I am glad we had the opportunity to do that today. The kids have been experiencing more of my absence this year, and we finally got some time together today, which would not have been possible on most Saturdays. I think this is the first time this year we are spending so many hours together being meaningfully engaged in something, and I’m glad we did it with Imaginarium.

Tis’ a great start to the March hols!

Candy floss, anyone?

Candy floss, anyone?

***

Imaginarium: A Big Voyage of Ideas beckons the adventurers, the dreamers, and the explorers of today to embark on a journey of discovery, and together, sail towards exciting new horizons. From 14 March to 19 July 2015 at the Singapore Art Museum at 8Q. Free admission for Singapore citizens and Permanent Residents.

Disclosure: We were invited to preview Imaginarium by CRIB Society. No monetary compensation was received, and all opinions here are my own.

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2 Comments

  • Reply Bumble Bee Mum March 15, 2015 at 2:05 PM

    Is this the same as last time’s Singapore Art Garden? What happened to Singapore Art Garden anyway, was so busy last year that I never even noticed it was gone.

    • Reply MotherKao March 23, 2015 at 11:07 PM

      I didn’t go to Singapore Art Garden, so I can’t compare, Bumble Bee Mum! 🙁

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