Tag Archives: Visual Arts

National Gallery Singapore Children’s Biennale

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

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.

Level 1

Being Yourself

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.

Level 2

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?

Level 3

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 !

Created with flickr slideshow.

A Changed World-Singapore Art 1950s-1970s

The World today is Changing, sometimes slowly, sometimes rapidly. How does Change affects a country? How does Change affects Singapore in the 19th century till today in the 20th Century? There had been so many changes in Singapore, from a sleepy fishing village to a major hub for the shipping route and today, it’s a major cosmopolitan country in the world. A Changed World seeks to explore the development of Singapore’s art scene in light of the rapid changes that took place in Singapore after the Second World War.


Walking through the A Changed World exhibition, it was like walking into a time machine and going back in time to Singapore’s history. The beautiful and amazing artworks by the talented artists were so powerful and absorbing, visitors were able to feel the artists’ own engagement with changes in Singapore’s political, economic, social and urban landscape, and how they expressed their responses through their beautiful and mesmerising artworks. From the post-war period till the 1970s, there are over 120 paintings, drawings , prints and sculptures from the National Collection.


When you are walking through the various artworks in the various segments such as Building A Nation, Embracing Modernism etc in the Exhibition Gallery, read the words and thoughts by the various artists that were penned down beside their works. You would be able to reinforce the words and thoughts that were put across when you are viewing their artworks. There are some artworks that blew me away, one of them is the oil on canvas painting by Lai Kui Fang, his big oil painting is on the “Construction of Sheares Bridge”. Do visit the exhibition and spot this oil canvas painting, you cannot miss it because it is not only big, it is also very beautifully painted!


Exhibition Details

Title: A Changed World – Singapore Art 1950s-1970s

Location: National Museum of Singapore, Exhibition Gallery 2, Basement

Period of Exhibition: 25th October 2013 to 16th March 2014

Opening Hours: 10am – 7pm (Last Entry at 630pm)

Admission: Free

Spread the word, tell your family members, loved ones and friends! Visit A Changed World and experience for yourself the history, developments and changes in Singapore’s (political, economic, social and urban) landscapes through the eyes and artworks of the various talented artists. It’s like going back in time, walking through the timeline of Singapore’s growth and development through Singapore Arts from the 1950s to the 1970s.


Through my photography journey over the past 25 years, I am able to appreciate the artworks, paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures that are exhibited at A Changed World – Singapore Art 1950s-1970s. Even though I failed terribly in painting and drawing back in school, over the years as I grew older, I slowly to appreciate and respect artists who produced such great and talented artworks.

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

Everyday Aspirations by Karen Mitchell

The Singapore Night Festival 2013 recently concluded their 6th edition over the weekends of Friday 23rd & Saturday 24th August and Friday 30th & Saturday 31st August 2013. It had been a great fun and excitement of arts performances and festivities around various parts of the National Museum of Singapore, Armenian Street, Singapore Arts Museum and other parts nearby these few areas. I had a fun time at  the Singapore Night Festival 2013, covering, photographing and documenting the Singapore Night Festival 2013 on both weekends, Friday 23rd & Saturday 24th August and Friday 30th & Saturday 31st August 2013, with lots of photographs taken during the Night Festival 2013!


There were many artists and performers during Singapore Night Festival 2013, there was one particular visual artist, that caught my attention and the visitors that came to Singapore Night Festival 2013 as well. The visual artwork was titled “Everyday Aspirations” by Karen Mitchell, on display at the alley between The Substation and Peranakan Museum during both weekends of the Singapore Night Festival 2013. Her visual artworks was about “Aspirations”, that are one-word, collected from friends, friends of friends etc, resulting in a total collection of 365 “Everyday Aspirations” of ordinary people that were selected and their texts were laser-cut onto wood panels. Visitors to the “Everyday Aspirations” visual artwork were able to shine the light (even their own lights) through the wood panels, casting shadows of these Aspirations, projecting the Aspirations across towards the walls and ceilings. The occurrence of the the different sized shadows from the different lights projection through the wood panels, gave a shared aspiration to themselves and the people around them. This served not just as a big shadow, it made an imprint into a person’s memory, not just for themselves, for the rest around them too!


The “Everyday Aspirations” visual artwork was something that I really liked a lot, each word meant something to me, inspiring and encouraging. I enjoyed the first weekend on Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th August to photograph different views and perspectives of “Everyday Aspirations” beside just shining the light through the word and projecting it on the wall. I had fun playing with the words and shadows, I composed a bokehlious straight line photograph of the “Everyday Aspirations” words. This visual arts display at Singapore Night Festival 2013 was popular with the visitors, this special collection of 365 “Aspiration” words means something to them, deep in their hearts and minds. They were all searching for a word among the many words of “Aspirations”, to take and leave an imprint for their hearts, minds and souls.


Looking at the size of the crowds, taking photographs and shining light the words, “Everyday Aspirations” was definitely something that touched their hearts. I was planning to go back on the second weekend to continue photographing “Everyday Aspirations” by going there earlier to avoid the crowds. However, something unfortunate happened, with “Everyday Aspirations” unique feature and close connectivity with the audience, there were 114 visual art pieces of “Everyday Aspirations” that were missing after the first weekend on Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th August. It was very disappointing for Karen, the artist herself, and for Singapore Night Festival 2013 visitors. An online message went viral, asking them to be returned back to the artist for the second weekend, however there wasn’t much news. Instead, at the end of the second weekend of the Singapore Night Festival 2013, another 74 pieces of her “Everyday Aspirations” were lost, making it a total of 188 pieces missing! The loss of the missing artist artworks will not reflect well on us, the visitors to arts festivals and events.


While the loss of the missing artworks is painful and disappointing for Karen, it’s also a testimonial for her visual artworks “Everyday Aspirations” that connects people with words to their hearts and souls.