A Biennale, this word originates from Biennale, an international art exhibition held every two years at Venice, Italy. In today’s context, it is a large art exhibition held biennially. I had visited the past few editions of Singapore Biennale, however, for a children’s biennale, this is something very new, interesting and exciting to me! A large art exhibition for the children, a Children’s Biennale at the National Gallery Singapore. The Gallery’s Children’s Biennale is about dreams and stories.
From 20th May 2017 to 8th October, the children in Singapore has a large art exhibition dedicated to them, to learn, participate and enjoy themselves at the National Gallery Singapore. Since June is the school holidays season, it’s a perfect time for parents to bring their children down to National Gallery Singapore for Children’s Biennale, the first ever Gallery Children’s Biennale!
At the Gallery Children’s Biennale, there are many artworks for the children to learn, enjoy and have fun. For the parents and adults, you can also participate together with the children too! What are the artworks and activities that you can do together with your children at Gallery Children’s Biennale?
Let me share with you my (back to being a child) journey into Children’s Biennale at National Gallery Singapore –
First and foremost, pick up a Gallery Children’s Biennale Art Pack at Level B1 ticketing counter, costing just $5, they are the passport kit set to have fun there, information and tools, consisting of activity cards, kid-sized festival pass, cute rainbow pencil and many more! Once you have the Children’s Biennale Art Pack, it’s time to start the fun rolling with your children!
Open the festival map, you can see that the artworks are spread over 4 levels, Level B1, 1, 2 and 3. You can choose your own adventure flow or you can start from Level B1, followed by Levels 1, 2 and 3. Every artwork tells a story, whereby the child can learn and see the world through the eyes of the artists. Let me start from Level B1
Rock & Sphere
Ian Woo | City Hall Wing, Level B1, Auditorium Anteroom | Until 24th September
What can happen with two objects that can be taken apart and rearranged into something else, new forms, shapes and sizes, based on your own imagination and creativity.
Time to let the children unleash their creativity and imagination!
Homogenizing and Transforming World
teamLab | City Hall, Level B1, The Ngee Ann Kongsi Concourse Gallery
Navigate your way through the maze of glowing orbs that change colour and produce sounds when touched. Probably another one of the visitors favourite artworks of Children’s Biennale!
The Obliteration Room
Yayoi Kusama | Supreme Court Win, Level B1, Concourse Gallery 2
This artwork, in my personal opinion, could be the most popular artwork of Gallery Children’s Biennale. A creative and colourful avenue for the children to paste colourful stickers all over the furniture and walls of this white room.
I can’t wait to see how this room transforms into on the last day of the Gallery Children’s Biennale. I haven’t paste my colourful stickers yet and I want to return back there again.
Firewalk: A Bridge of Embers
Mark Justiniani | Supreme Court Wing, Level B1, Outside Concourse Gallery 2
Take a walk, on this very special bridge. You MUST LOOK DOWN while you walk and do not be afraid! Observe and discover the many different artefacts and items, from the excavations of the former Supreme Court building below.
Chng Seok Tin | Padang Atrium, Level 1
The artist’s woodcuts on the wall tell a few stories. The children can feel, touch and colour out the stories from the woodcuts on a piece of tracing paper. This form of art and craft paperwork brought back memories to me when I was a young student doing such form of art and craft. Somehow, it can be pretty therapeutic art and craft activity.
From Rochor to Kallang
Vincent Leow | City Hall Wing, Level 1, City Hall Foyer
An interesting (and probably a little bit abstract) artwork, inspired by the iconic colourful HDB blocks of Rochor Centre, they had recently relocated to the Kallang area. Listen to the sounds of nature as you explore those wooden towers with interesting items kept inside the bird traps.
Let Your Imagination Take Flight
City Hall Wing, Level 1
Visit the refreshed Keppel Centre for Art Education, explore the spaces and activities that the children would love.
A Guide to the Flora and Fauna of the World, Children’s Edition
Robert Zhao | City Hall Wing, Level 2, Social Table
The human race has changed the Earth landscape tremendously over the centuries. What are some of the animals, plants and environments that have been affected by the actions of the human race? Visit this artwork to discover and learn more about them!
Lynn Lu | City Hall Wing, Level 2, Singapore Courtyard
This is an interesting artwork. There is a cloud artwork beside the wall, your family can sit down together below the cloud, then everyone of you pop your heads into the cloud, look at the questions posed by the artist and answer them.
This Changed My Life
Lynn Lu | City Hall Wing, Level 2, Singapore Courtyard
This is one of my favourite artworks! We usually pen down our memories, thoughts and feelings on pieces of paper, at this particular artwork station, it’s slightly different. The children (and adults) can pen down a significant memory on a piece of ribbon. Thereafter, bring it into the room and tie it across the room, forming a web of shared memories.
I am wondering how all those web memories would transform into, as more visitors contribute and pen their significant memories?
The Sonnet in Blue
Tran Trong Vu | Supreme Court Wing, Level 3, Supreme Court Foyer
This is like a playground, a maze of handmade flowers with poems and stories written on the petals. The children will love to play hide and seek with you at this artwork!
As an adult, I really had a great time at the first Gallery Children’s Biennale! Personally, I think inside every adult, there is a child inside you that is waiting to appear again, enjoying the carefree childhood fun days.
To all parents with children and adults with nephews and nieces, the National Gallery Singapore Children’s Biennale is something magical, fun, experential, interactive and learning. This is an excellent and wonderful family bonding time, the young children can learn about artworks, explore their curiousity and creativity.
If you are an adult (young or old), why not visit Gallery Children’s Biennale, explore the artworks and be a young child again? I am planning to go back and revisit the National Gallery Singapore Children’s Biennale again. There are some artworks that I haven’t fully cover/photograph in detail and I also want to play with the artworks again. Which artworks do you think that I would be going back to?
For more information and details of the Children’s Biennale and other programmes, visit their website – www.childrensbiennale.com. If you are sharing your Children’s Biennale adventure photos on social media platforms, do hashtag #childrensbiennale !