Following the successful launch of the digital format of Gallery Children’s Biennale in May 2021, National Gallery Singapore is now inviting children across all ages to embark on an inspiring multi-sensory experience as they explore the nine on-site installations, from 6 November 2021.
Exploring the question, “Why Art Matters”, the various site art installations complement the digital artworks first presented on the Biennale’s microsite and explore themes of Home, Diversity, Environment and Time, bringing to the fore relevant issues of today in an easy-to-understand manner for children.
Here are some of the exhibits not to be missed at the Gallery Children’s Biennale.
Exhibits at Gallery Children’s Biennale 2021
Home Gallery Children’s Biennale 2021
Walkthrough the impressive larger-than-life on-site installation of a cardboard city using a collection of houses and cardboard sculptures. Title Head/Home, this installation is part of art duo Alfredo and Isabel Aquilizan, and The Fruitjuice Factori Studio’s ongoing work, ‘Project Another Country’.
Synonymous with the relocation of belongings and homes, the cardboard used to create this installation was collected by the artists from different migrant communities around the world as well as community groups in Singapore, thus tying together the movement of these migrant communities and the different notions of home and community with the symbolism of the material.
Visitors are invited to co-create with the artists, the installation also features a maker space for children to build their very own cardboard homes according to social distancing rules.
Diversity at Gallery Children’s Biennale 2021
Created by Baguio-based artist, Nona Garcia’s Illuminated installation features four life-sized landscape backgrounds which transport children into an other-worldly space. Visitors will be able to see an array of intriguing x-rayed bones, shells and fossils as magnets.
These magnets are interactive and visitors can place these magnets anywhere on the backgrounds, thus creating their own sceneries of imagination and reflecting their unique perspectives.
Following the theme of co-creating, children who visit the exhibit can view and add to the creations on the walls by other children.
Environment Gallery Children’s Biennale 2021
Named “Calling for Rain”, this welcomes visitors to enter an immersive viewing experience of the short film inspired by Reamker, the Cambodian version of the epic poem of Ramayana.
Created by artist Khvay Samnang, the film takes viewers on a journey through the landscapes of Cambodia as it follows Kiri the Monkey on his quest to save the dying forest and its surrounding environment from the irresponsible behaviour of Aki the Fire Dragon.
Housed in a space that resembles a Cambodian performance room, the installation features actual masks and headdresses used to create the film. There are also pillow rocks that add to the environment and set up. Calling for Rain touches on timely and current issues of environmental damage, such as deforestation, pollution and climate change.
Another exhibition we enjoyed was “Conversations With An Octopus” by Sandra Lee. This installation features beautifully hand-drawn art pieces and walks visitors through an ongoing conversation between The Girl with the Red Shorts and her wise old friend, The Octopus. As they embark on hours of fun activities together, join their discussion of important topics regarding the environment such as climate change.
This exhibition is designed to be wheelchair accessible and features tables and chairs to cater to different heights and various abilities.
Time at Gallery Children’s Biennale 2021
Children will be introduced to the concept of time through fun and engaging artworks with stories submitted from children all over the world in the exhibit A Day’s Book by Joyce Ho. Children can enter an exhibit with shelves of books containing the stories compiled from the months.
Each bookshelf will be unlocked at the end of the month and have stories compiled from the perspective of different collections of stories
Workstations with iPads will be available for children to contribute their stories to the online repository and as the online archives grow, the locked doors will be opened monthly, filling the physical library with more stories of the past and allowing more stories to be shared.
Hybrid Festival Experience at Gallery Children’s Biennale 2021
For a complete hybrid festival experience and to double the fun, visitors are encouraged to participate in both realms – online and on-site. Children are encouraged to touch, move, and interact with the installations, fostering skills such as curiosity and critical thinking as they learn through play.
Visitors who wish to enhance their visit to the exhibition can purchase an art pack for $5 each at any of the vending machines around the gallery. Each art pack is let visitors appreciate and understand the art on display in a fun manner.
They can also interact with the various exhibits on the Gallery Children’s Biennale 2021’s microsite. The nine installations will be located at various public spaces around the Gallery. Access to the Gallery Children’s Biennale 2021 is free and it is open till December 2021.
Find out more about Gallery Children’s Biennale 2021 here.