At Gallery Children’s Biennale 2019: Embracing Wonder, you and your children are invited to experience a new dimension of creativity; open yourselves up to surprise, possibilities and pure child-like wonder.
Gallery Children’s Biennale 2019: Embracing Wonder at National Gallery Singapore is the perfect place for families and children to have fun and get hands-on with 11 artworks by 13 Singaporean and Southeast Asian artists. Visit a golden Burmese-inspired house with interactive activities for kids, a room of “embraces” filled with tons of hands-on activities, and many other visually engaging and interactive exhibits. The museum is your oyster.
Read on for our top tips on how to get the most from your time at Gallery Children’s Biennale 2019: Embracing Wonder.
Where to Start Your Visit
National Gallery Singapore is huge and you may be wondering where to start your visit to Gallery Children’s Biennale 2019. The answer is at the B1 Ticketing Counter. While admission to National Gallery Singapore is free for Singaporeans and PRs, you still need to pick up your general admission tickets before venturing off to explore the various exhibits around the Gallery. Plus, you can get hold of a handy brochure on the Gallery Children’s Biennale 2019 at the same time.
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Basement 1 is also a good starting point because that is where some of main highlight exhibits can be found. You can also pick up a special Gallery Children’s Biennale 2019 Art Pack from a vending machine (how cool is that?) to accompany you on your journey through the artworks.
The Full Works – Recommended Route Through The Exhibits
Our recommendation for families that want to experience Gallery Children’s Biennale 2019: Embracing Wonder is to visit all 11 installations. Set aside around three hours or so to complete the visit – it will be time well spent.
Here is a rundown of the recommended route around the Gallery.
Opposite the B1 Ticketing Counter, at the Auditorium Anteroom, is Chance Operations. This room has been turned into a giant musical instrument and everyone is invited to make music in it! Simply pick up a ball and throw it at the coloured chimes to get the music going. Kids and parents can collaborate to create “chance music” together.
Next door, is BIG HUG by Delia and Milenko Prvacki. Conceptualised as an interactive village, BIG HUG is BIG and has more than 30 activities that will evoke the imaginations of kids 3 years old and up.
There are four rooms to explore at BIG HUG – Self, Family, Friendship and Discover The World. Play at a magnetic puzzle wall, peer through handmade telescopes and play with “food” a mosaic dinner table. It is a great space for parents and children bond over fun play activities.
Our personal favourite room at BIG HUG is Self where kids (and adults) can pretend to be different characters by popping their faces through the cut-outs in the wall.
Also at the basement is Stardust: Soaring through the Sky’s Embrace. Step on to a bridge and get teased by an optical illusion which will make you feel you are stepping through the void of space.
Before leaving the basement, visit Kenangan Kunang-Kunang (Memories of Fireflies). This is the work of Indonesian artist Eko Nugroho and makes use of traditional Javanese lanterns as inspiration to create spaces for children to play and interaction.
The five lanterns in the room represent different facets of democracy – Collaboration, Love, Equality, Care and Peace. To activate the lanterns, adults and children can sit or stand at designated floor markers. Watch as the lanterns respond with colours and light. It is an excellent opportunity for children to come together and make new friends as they activate the lanterns together.
One floor up at the Level 1 Supreme Court Foyer, Every World by Donna Ong features five domes with holes in the centre that kids can pop into.
Inside each dome is a fantasy world fabricated out of paper cut-outs. There are plenty of details that will fascinate and spark the imaginations of little ones as they explore the 360-degree landscape.
Venture up to Level 3 where The Other Wall awaits. This installation is the work of husband-and-wife artists Ang Ko and Nge Lay who are from Myanmar. Take a moment to appreciate the visually-stunning recreation of a golden house that kids can enter and explore.
Inside the golden house, children can make woodcutting art and discover stories about Burmese life.
Back at Level 1, The Oort Cloud and the Blue Mountain is a highly interactive work inspired by the cloud of icy objects surrounding our solar system. Touch the objects on the panel to activate “cosmic” lights and sounds. Look out for white circles on the floor, stand on them and discover happens.
At the Padang Atrium is the mural Tightly Hugging Care, Love, Peace. Take a close look at this artwork and see what you can spot different creatures interwoven amongst the intricate corals, leaves and vines.
The Story of Karung Guni Boy is based on the character developed by Lorraine Tan and Eric Wong. Take a picture with a giant cardboard robot and peep into boxes which illustrate the creative process behind the book. Kids can settle down with a book or choose to make their own cardboard robot too.
Over at the Keppel Centre for Art Education, explore Dayung Sampan – Be Your Own Captain On Deck by Zainudin Samsuri. The whimsical works on display are inspired by Malay proverbs and folk tales. There is a sampan that looks like a big foot and a Malay spinning top that looks uncannyingly like a birdcage! Kids can also explore different materials and textures here.
Conclude the grand tour of Gallery Children’s Biennale 2019: Embracing Wonder at Play by the River. Kids can imagine living in a kampong from 1950s Singapore, play traditional games and pose for pictures with a cute family of ducks. It is a chance for embrace the wonderful worlds that can be realised through art.
For The Time-Pressed: Key Highlights Route
For those who are pressed for time, we suggest visiting four key artworks at the Gallery Children’s Biennale 2019. These are BIG HUG and Kenangan Kunang-Kunang (Memories of Fireflies) at Basement 1, The Other Wall at Level 3, Supreme Court Wing and The Story of Karung Guni Boy at Level 1.
These four installations will take you approximately one hour to visit.
Gallery Children’s Biennale 2019 Art Pack
To fully experience the Gallery Children’s Biennale 2019, pick up an Art Pack. Inside you will find cards with 10 hands-on activities that complement the different artworks. There are also materials to make crafts and it comes with a stackable rainbow crayon too! The Art Pack includes a festival name tag lanyard that is sure to make kids feel extra important as they race around the Gallery.
You need not complete the Art Park activities at the museum. Instead, you can bring the Art Pack home and let your child enjoy the crafts at their leisure.
The Gallery Children’s Biennale 2019 Art Pack can be purchased for just $5 from any of the four bright yellow vending machines located at B1 and Level 1.
Online Family Guide
If you want more ideas on how to get your child engaged with the artworks at the Gallery Children’s Biennale 2019, simply access and download the free online Family Guide before your visit.
Inside the Guide, you will find helpful ideas and suggestions for to each artwork. A little bit of prep work will help you make it an even more rewarding time for both your child and yourself.
Gallery Children’s Biennale 2019: Embracing Wonder
Gallery Children’s Biennale 2019 at National Gallery Singapore is an excellent chance to open your child’s eyes to the world of wonder through art and inspire him or her to imagine beyond the impossible. It runs from now until 29 December 2019. Be sure not to miss it!
For more information on Gallery Children’s Biennale 2019: Embracing Wonder, go here.
This feature is brought to you by National Gallery Singapore.