This ki­asu mum brought her boy to the Chil­dren’s Bi­en­nale at Na­tional Gallery Sin­ga­pore three times over the course of a week – here’s why. By Es­ther Tan

Time Out Singapore - - News - Com­piled by Re­becca Liew time­outsin­ga­

A mummy’s guide to the Gallery Chil­dren’s Bi­en­nale

IN THE QUEUE TO EN­TER the Yayoi Kusama in­stal­la­tion in the Gallery Chil­dren’s Bi­en­nale, my 18-month-old son suf­fered a melt­down. Not for any­thing else but im­pa­tience – Orion couldn’t wait to check out the Ja­panese artist’s tech­ni­coloured room filled with polka dots. The tantrum was worth it, though.

When he fi­nally got in, Orion couldn’t keep his hands off the art­works. It was just one of many in­stal­la­tions that en­tranced him, so much so we vis­ited the gallery thrice in a week – never mind that the chil­dren’s art fes­ti­val will be on un­til Oc­to­ber 8. But if you’ve only got an af­ter­noon to spare with your kids, these are the ex­hibits you shouldn’t miss.

Ho­mog­e­niz­ing and Trans­form­ing World

Balls are def­i­nitely Orion’s thing, so this in­stal­la­tion by Ja­panese art col­lec­tive team Lab came up tops. His face lit up the mo­ment we stepped into the room that gen­tly pul­sated with light and sound, wrig­gling out of my arms to boy han­dle the large translu­cent orbs lit­tered across the space. It was al­most like a night­club for preschool­ers.

It was al­most like a night­club for preschool­ers

Rock and Sphere

This was where Orion couldn’t help but let out his in­ner bully. The in­stal­la­tion, by lo­cal artist Ian Woo, com­prised foam shapes large and small that chil­dren were meant to assem­ble into makeshift forts and tow­ers. So Orion nat­u­rally bum­bled around top­pling other kids’ hand­i­work – not so cool.

The Son­net in Blue

It was hard to miss this beau­ti­ful art­work by Tran Trong Vu along the walk­way of the gallery’s Court Foyer. The in­stal­la­tion mim­ics a gar­den of blue and or­ange flow­ers, with arches and tun­nels for the kids to crawl through. As he tried yank­ing out the ar­ti­fi­cial blooms (thank­fully, he wasn’t strong enough), I took the time to read the sto­ries and po­ems, all penned by chil­dren, that were writ­ten on the flow­ers.

Kep­pel Cen­tre for Art Ed­u­ca­tion

Although this was our fi­nal stop, I’ve a feel­ing we’ll be back soon to ex­plore this space again. There are five zones in the cen­tre that show­case a range of kid­friendly in­stal­la­tions. We only man­aged to let Orion ex­plore the Project Gallery, cur­rently ex­hibit­ing The Blue Who Swims

All This Way by artist Betty Su­siarjo. He went all- out in this shim­mer­ing, whim­si­cal world of hug­gable sculp­tures. I, on the other hand, took the chance to take a well-de­served rest in one of the in­stal­la­tion’s lit­tle nooks while keep­ing an eye out for my lit­tle en­er­giser bunny, who used up the last bit of his en­ergy hop­ping on faux tree stumps and grab­bing dan­gling ten­ta­cles hang­ing from the walls.

Gallery Chil­dren’s Bi­en­nale is at Na­tional Gallery Sin­ga­pore un­til Oct 8.

Ho­mog­e­niz­ing and Trans­form­ing World

Rock and Sphere

The Son­net in Blue

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