Singapore is all a-buzz with art geared towards families and children right now, and the latest amazing National Gallery Singapore (NGS) offering is making us weak at the knees from excitement! Currently the Children’s Biennale at the NGS is on the top our list of things to do and see over and over again this summer break, but the NGS have outdone themselves by bringing us the fabulously whimsical work of internationally acclaimed extraordinaryJapanese artist Yayoi Kusama. Her exhibition, YAYOI KUSAMA: Life is the Heart of the Rainbow features over 120 works, including new, never-before-see pieces and is the first major showing of Kusama’s work in South East Asia.
Although not technically aimed towards children (there are some pieces you will be dying to touch and feel – but are not allowed to!) her signature motifs of dots, nets, mirrored infinity rooms and giant pumpkins draw children in like moths to a flame! There are many rooms in this exhibit that children can run through, play and spin around in without doing any damage. This is truly an exhibit that both adults and kids of all ages will love, love, love. And don’t miss the Kusama inspired kid-friendly menu at the gallery cafe, plus some of the wildly wonderful Kusama merch in the gallery shop!
HoneyKids Asia were giddy with excitement to be invited to the sneak preview, here are our favourite Kusama things:
These giant beach balls of bright sunny fun bounce playfully overhead in the main hall of the National Gallery Singapore. My son was obsessed by them and, by being visible at every level, they cheekily followed us everywhere. Big balls of happiness!
I want to Love the Festival Night 2017
This infinity box, something Kusama is known for, will trip you out big time! The kids can poke their heads through the various openings at different levels and when they call out “to infinity and beyond!” they truly will be taken there! Lights and mirrors just dazzle with this, one of a few, infinity boxes featuring as part of the exhibit.
Aside from the rather heavy existential title, this entire room of fish-eyed mirrors is a fun-packed theme park experience that will have the kids giggling like crazy!
With All My Love for the Tulips, I Pray Forever
Big coloured dots and giant pretty flowers are the things childhood dreams are made of (ironically this piece was inspired by Kusama’s nightmares, but we’re not seeing that here!). This entire room is a whimsical light filled garden of giant polka dot tulips, inviting you to tip-toe through, or stomp and clomp until your heart’s content! This big bold piece made us happy! Don’t miss Kasuma’s Obliteration Room which is a more interactive version of this piece and is part of the gallery’s current Children’s Biennale exhibit.
Gallery & Co Yayoi Kusama menu
Technically not art, but I’m calling it as a highlight of the exhibit! The gallery cafe, Gallery & Co, are serving a special Kusama inspired menu that the kids will absolutely love! The pan-seared chicken with pumpkin puree is universally delicious as is this coconut little pumpkin-inspired dessert, and at $12.50, you won’t want to share it!
Also from Gallery and Co., check out their exclusive Kusama merchandise, including the yellow spotted enamel mug and bowl, along with the crazy cool socks – they make for great kids’ novelty gifts with an arty twist.
Special activities for kids and families
Every second Saturday and Sunday from July to September, join the gallery for artist-led workshops and story telling sessions that explore the pattern , shapes and colours in Kusama’s work. Visit www.nationalgallery.sg/learn/families for more information.
YAYOI KUSAMA: Life is the Heart of the Rainbow
Where National Gallery Singapore
When 9 June – 3 September 2017
Time Sun-Thu & PH 10am-7pm, Fri – Sat 10am-10pm
Cost $15 Singaporeans & PR, $25 other, FREE for kids under 6, concession prices for seniors and kids 7-12
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