Imaginarium -- A voyage of big dreams

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Museums aren't exactly my cup of tea. Boring. Nerdy. Or so I thought. The last time I visited a museum was erm..hmmm..Never? I've always thought that they were boring stuff and so did my parents. Parents back then weren't very well informed and hence, I was mostly spending my time at playgrounds or playing Barbie dolls at home. Things have changed. 

Over the weekend, we visited The Singapore Art Museum (SAM). It was my first time there. Talk about being Suaku (country pumpkin). I heard of the annual contemporary art exhibition for children being held at SAM8Q. This year, it's new edition, IMAGINARIUM made quite a hype and I decided to make time for it before it ends. In spirit of SG50, this year's exhibition is inspired by the crescent moon on the Singapore flag, a symbol of a young nation on the rise and with it, the capacity to dream big and think large. Indeed, there were several space at the exhibition which inspires creativity.

 Very often, we hear that children these days lack creativity. Creativity is at the core of all problem solving, whether you are solving a math problem, writing an essay or designing a science project. Children need to explore challenging situations, engage in creative play and learn that failure is an option. In recent years, there has been an emphasis on beginning academic training for children at younger and younger ages. The choice of early academic intervention in the form of 'drill and test' activities are very popular with many preschools. While there are no scientific evidence that the push to engage preschool-age children in early academics actually works, there is some evidence that they may turn out to be more stressed and less creative.  I guess schools should take a step back and have more of such activities to encourage creativity. How else can we create the next Mark Zuckerberg or Steve Jobs?

I was pretty impressed with the line-up of activities which inspires all to dream big and think large......


Illustrations were sprawling across the walls leading up to the four levels of the building. It was actually a storytelling of Singapore's forklore and inventive vision of the future. However, all I knew was I was captivated by the gorgeous doodles! Great photo opportunity! heh!

Let’s Make! Studio

This installation invites visitors to create small objects using textiles, which capture their thoughts about the future of the country. Big and Small K were a little too young for that I feel.

Dream House

Filling a house with candy that visitors are invited to take and ‘plant’ in a garden, Lee Jeeyoung presents these sweet treats as symbols of a child’s wishes and desires. This has got to be the favourite for both my children. Big K exclaimed, "It's the Gingerbread man's house!" Indeed, it looks delicious enough to be eaten! Dream House is a delightful space where our inner wishes for the future can be projected, and be encouraged
to flourish. Small K was also having fun, touching a feeling his way around.

We Built this Estate!

For a child, the world is a giant playground. With housing blocks designed like giant Tetris pieces, visitors are free to create whatever they can imagine, and build a world of tomorrow. Really nostalgic! I should have kept one of the 3 Tetris handheld games I threw away whilst decluttering. 

Greenroom II: Interstellar Overdrive

Bicycles, generators, LEDs and stereo equipment.
Activated only through interaction between the artwork and the visitors, this work prompts us to think of how our future cities might be powered, and how this might change our lives. This was a good place for me to teach Big K about how one energy can be converted into other forms. As we rode one of the bikes, it lit up an LED panel in front of us and she was intrigue by it all.

Kiko’s Secrets

Kumkum Fernando invites us to broaden our minds by entering the magical worlds hidden within three secret boxes and beyond. In this work inspired by the wonder that children experience as they explore the world around them. For the artist, Kiko’s Secrets seeks to recreate these sensations for both young. One of the exhibits was this wall which had various shapes. You'd have to pick a matching plastic piece to place onto the board. Big K had fun doing this matching activity. 

So that ended our day at the museum. Was very glad we managed to make it and were lucky enough to find parking. SAM has limited free parking lots so you may want to park at Waterloo street or NTUC building which is just adjacent. Else, take an MRT. It is a 2-minute walk from Bras Basah MRT Station. 10-minute walk from Bugis, Dhoby Ghaut or City Hall MRT stations. 

We ended the day at around 630pm and rushed home to cook dinner. Apart from decluttering the house, to get ready for our big move, I've to declutter my fridge too, hence cooking on weekends are now pretty inevitable. Yes, my fridge has tons and I cook lunch on weekdays too just so you know! You would think that with such limited time, dinner would have been sloppy. Well, see for yourself! *Beams in pride. Not too bad eh? *wink

The Imaginarium installation is ending on 19 July 2015, so if you haven't visited the place, Do go check it out with your little ones!