Works of art displayed behind velvet ropes, ancient artefacts…when we think of visits to museums, these are the first things that come to mind. We can forget about bringing our kids – all you have to do is glance away for a split second and they’re probably already blowing spit bubbles on the glass (true story!). At Gallery Children’s Festival: Small Big Dreamers on from now to 9 September, you won’t have to worry about any of that. Through experiential art and active play, kids are actually encouraged to have fun with interactive art displays. And when you give kids the chance to be creative, the possibilities are endless!
Happening from now until 9 September, this year’s festival is inspired by the work of multidisciplinary Singaporean artist Lee Wen, a “Big Dreamer” himself. By following the bold steps that he took to become an artist, your kids may be inspired to follow their own dreams too…
Go on a dream journey with Lee Wen
Your dream journey at National Gallery Singapore begins at Level 1 of the City Hall Wing with Lee Wen’s five interactive installations:
At the Rainbow Concert Hall, kids can experiment with sounds using everyday objects to create their own songs. Inspired by Lee Wen’s painting Yellow Man, Where Are You Going?, it represents his colourful beginning as an art student and the importance of music to his work. When they’re done playing with sounds, they can head to Daydream Tunnel to spin the Wheel of Life and engage with playful characters from Lee Wen’s book, A Waking Dream.
There’s also the colourful Rainbow Passageway that leads to the rest of the installations including Dreamers’ Haven, a wireframe cage inviting visitors to creatively express their hopes and fears on a pair of wings. At Anatomy of Dreamers, kids can learn about how performance artists use their bodies to tell a story by bending and stretching their way out of rope bridges––as long as they don’t get distracted by the red lanterns overhead!
Make art using everyday objects
We all know that foam noodles make excellent swords for epic poolside battles, but did you know they can also be used to make art? At this exhibit by Dutch art collective We Make Carpets, kids can bend, twist and shape pool noodles to create cool colours and patterns. You and your kids won’t look at pool noodles, kitchen sponges––or any everyday object––the same way again.
Instagrammable moments abound
No children’s art festival in Singapore is complete without an installation from teamLab. Take a walk with bunnies and frogs at Walk, Walk, Walk: Search, Deviate, Reunite and try to make your way through a digital maze. Pick a character to follow, put your hand on it and see what happens! Right next to it is Flowers and People – Dark, where flowers can sense where you are and bloom or scatter as they please. Don’t forget to take a photo or two! We suggest standing in front of the flower wall to catch rainbow coloured flowers projected on your face. And if your little ones are feeling brave, you can test their fear of heights on Mark Justiniani’s Passages and Bridges – Evolution of Firewalk: A Bridge of Embers, where they can walk on a bridge and pretend to balance on antique books.
One of the best things we love about kids is that they always make you see the world in a different way. Muddy puddles are swimming pools for worms and bright neon signs are mesmerising wonder – it’s always a treat for us parents to understand how a child sees the world. Your kids are never too young to enjoy art and have fun with it, and Gallery Children’s Festival: Small Big Dreamers is definitely a great place to start. So head down to National Gallery Singapore at 1 St.Andrew’s Road today!
This article is sponsored by National Gallery Singapore