After the inspiring experience at Arts garden in 2011 and 2012, we are excited to check out Arts garden this year.
We were rewarded with a fun-filled day, appreciating fairy tales, enjoying illusions and experiencing many many visually exciting environments. Here’s what we saw, starting with our unanimous favorite.
Fairy tales and Nursery Rhymes
The Enchanted Garden City by Sandra Lee is fairy tales come alive in a visually exciting way.
Ever seen Goldilocks and three panda bears? The Little red riding hood in a Peranakan dress? The prince coming to save Rapunzel on an elephant? A dragon under the bridge? Every corner has something interesting and imaginative to be discovered. There are lots of stuff to keep the kids busy in this room.
A treasure hunt worksheet help the kids look for hidden items all over the room. My boy quickly get to work.
There are little surprises to be discovered everywhere. A tree that display a different season on each side. A rainbow bridge immediately attract the kids attention. Kids can climb up and down and see how the room look differently from the bridge.
The bridge has little shape peek a boo holes in the shape of birds that kids can peep into the fairly tales around them. There is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. The river beneath has Merlions swimming happily and Kois and paper boats.
There were more to discover under the bridge too. A sleeping dragon, an one eye monster and a mirror that captivated the kids as they used it to look at reflection of the river beneath.
The inviting table in the shape of a pond had plenty of materials to encourage the kids to draw and do the crosswords and paper games provided.
Kids got to experience their own art when they scanned their works using the “grand father’s clock and having it exhibited in a big magic mirror in the ‘forest’.
There were much more to explore and do in the room. Besides the bridge, the tree and the little red riding hood and the tree panda bears, there were plenty to see.
Room of Dreams
At first sight, Les rêves engloutis – Glossy Dreams in Depths looked like a quirky looking kids room with intriguing wall paper and a cool rocking horse.
But sit on the little kids bed and the wall behind can spin and you end up in a totally different room! An eerie looking room. Be warn. This room can be scary for little kids. My eight year old ran out quickly the first time even though I was quite amused by the sound effect and cute elephant.
A younger kid who went in burst into tears. The kids got braver after they had some chill out time drawing, stamping and coloring on the mask at the crafts area and started playing, pretending there was a monster and zooming in and out while wearing the monster mask they made using one of the mask shapes outline provided.
Turns out the room is meant to get people to learn to overcome their fears and tackle their life with gusto.
It was lots of fun. We just wished that there were proliferation on the paper as cutting out the intricate shaped mask and eyes is not exactly easy.
While my 8 year old was scared at first, I was amused when he listed this room as his second favourite.
Cats, patterns and kaleidoscope
Around the Day in Eighty Worlds is visually stunning. With two paper lanterns on each side of the room decorated with black coloured paper to look like the eyes of the cat. Stand on the foot print on either side of the room with the outline of a cat’s head for the most effect.
The exhibit is divided in to two parts. One is a playroom with paper-mache toys decorates with patterned paper. The room is full of sticking prints and interactive toys. Kids have lots of fun pulling on the seagull’s string to see the wings flap, spinning the wheel, playing with hoops.
The short chairs and planes and the clock offers plenty to look at. But the face that move when you use the foot pump is pretty addicting. Kids can also check out what the other side of the room look like on a kaleidoscope.
The clock has a plastic spring the kids love the pull. I like the print and the spider and wish I can bring it home.
There are lots to pull and play.
The big Kaleidoscopes gives the kids another unique view of the surroundings.
We like how the activities on this side of the room relate closely with the art exhibits. You get to trace the shape of a cat using the stencil provided and glue the pieces of patterned paper on it to form a collage. Add colours as you please with the materials provided.
You can also get a kaleidoscope kit with a donation of two dollars. Decorate the exterior then paste the three pieces of plastic mirror then fold it into a prism and you get to see everything in the room in a new angle.
Animations and short film
The animations and short films features many works by local directors and students this year. It is impressive to learn that many of the works are done by students.
Each story seem to feature a different medium. A number of stories are quirky and heart warming at the same time. Our favorite is “Little Secret” about two siblings who found a puppy at their doorsteps one day.
Many of the animation using 3D and drawings have some lovely story telling. It is also interesting to see students use different medium tell their story. I like the visual presented in “Dave” by Nanyang Polytechnic students where everything are made from cardboard.
Gone Fishing is made out of plaster? Amazing thing is it’s made by only one secondary school student.
We were quite mesmerized by Stellar Cave II . Inspired by prehistoric paintings in France’s Lascaux Caves, this amazing, stunning piece is only made out of ordinary threads and screws.
The helpful student facilitator in the room share with me that it takes them many days to complete the intricate string work after the artiste set up the initial positioning of the screw and base string work.
Kids get a taste on what making a picture from strings and screw is like. It is quite an addicting activity and surprisingly,my active eight year old patiently finish his rabbit before proudly showing it to me.
Boxes of interesting landscape and interiors
LANDscape in the Box show case the once familiar landscapes of sunny Singapore in an assembly of 134 boxes, each one designed by NUS Architecture students. Each box have something interesting to see and some can be tempting to touch even though there is a sign that says no touching.
Sound and Visual
The Incredibly Magical Expanding Room feature a a familiar set up from past years. You speak into the mike and the surrounding images change depending on the volume and the tempo of the sound. The visuals seems less exciting compare to the ones we saw in previous years and did not hold my eight year old’s attention for very long
Art from teamwork
Love. Revolve around the world is a collaborative work between local sculptor Sun Yu-li and 750 students. It represents the connections that exist in the universe and the random nature of everything around us. The art work it self does not interest my eight year old very much. However, I like the idea that many people can work to create a visually interesting piece that still looks like they belong together.
Good old Walter the Rabbit
Yes. The cute rabbit that has been there for the past seasons is still there at the front lawn.
Summing it up
There is mostly new things to see this year. And mummy love how most of the rooms have activities that tie in with the kind of art and craft work presented. Many items are visually captivating, imaginative and inspiring, showing us the different mediums we can use to create.
My boy who is usually not so interested in drawing or art and craft actually complete a number of drawings, a cat collage, make a kaleidoscope, a mask and string up a picture from screws. Time past by really fast and after revisiting his favorite rooms after making the first round, we are surprised that we spent almost 5 hours there.
When: 17 May to 1 September 2013 | 10am – 7pm (Mon – Sun) 10am – 9pm (Fri) Last admission to the museum is at 6.15pm
Where: Singapore Art Museum at 8Q , 8 Queen Street
$$$: Free for Singaporeans and PR. Free for kids 6 year and below. $10 for adults, $5 for Students & Seniors aged 60 and above . Enjoy free admission on Fridays, 6-9 pm.