*Produced by SilverKris for National Gallery Singapore*
Singapore is an art-lover’s playground, packed with world-class art festivals, international exhibitions and exciting programmes all year round. And all that fun isn’t just for grown-ups. National Gallery Singapore may be home to the largest collection of Southeast Asian art in the world, but it’s also a welcoming experience for kids of all ages.
The Gallery’s on-site facilities and digital programmes, such as the ongoing Children’s Biennale and the GalleryKids! website, make this rich treasure trove of art interesting and accessible to little ones. Here are four innovative ways National Gallery Singapore is changing how children in Singapore consume and experience art.
Programmes and art festivals curated just for kids
The National Gallery Singapore is one of the biggest champions for local art and artists, and the city’s leading site for important local and international exhibitions. But fans may not be aware that the themes of each main exhibitions are broken down into digestible programmes and displays for little ones, to develop children’s sense of curiosity and imagination through exploration and imaginative play.
Arguably the biggest highlight in the Gallery’s kid-friendly line-up is the Children’s Biennale. The event has been a staple since 2017, and this year’s edition is a hybrid festival that takes place both virtually and offline. Launched in May 2021 and running till the end of next year, the 2021 Children’s Biennale is centred on the theme “Why Art Matters”, and features nine commissioned online works and on-site installations from local and international artists that explore themes relevant to the times such as Home, Diversity, Time and Environment.
Children will also enjoy a plethora of interactive online games, digital art-making sessions, animated stories, somatic workshops and much more – all inspired by the nine artworks! Its programming aims to empower children with empathy and confidence, so they can navigate a rapidly evolving world with acceptance, openness and empathy. Explore the online festival now at www.childrensbiennale.com. Look out for the onsite festival which will be ready later this year at the Gallery.
Hands-on studios and storytelling at Keppel Centre for Art Education
Within the Gallery sits Keppel Centre for Art Education, a dynamic space where art inspires children through new ways of learning. The Centre is easily accessible and provides a lively line-up of programmes for youth, children and families all year round. This award-winning space has six immersive areas that encourage little ones to tap into their imagination and creativity through self-led exploration.
Discover a collection of larger-than-life sculptures as you wander through Dayung Sampan by Singapore sculptor Zainudin Samsuri at the Project Gallery. The Project Gallery will be refreshed with a brand-new installation – with one of the nine works from the Children’s Biennale, so look out for the work later in the year! Step into the Sculpture Studio and learn about the tools, materials, and processes of sculpture, or drop by the Studio Workshop and enjoy hands-on art activities together as a family. Children can also create art of their own through movement and play at the Art Playscape, or watch robots come alive, leaving random brushstrokes in their trail at the Ink Studio. Join in the fun with a song or rhyme on our weekend programmes where story tellers bring families around the gallery and share stories inspired by art.
Fun at home with a GalleryKids! membership
Bond with your child at home with free GalleryKids! membership. Children can enjoy downloadable activities, art-making videos, games and the ability to submit artworks to showcase on the site – all in the comfort of being home with you.
Membership also includes privileges such as 10% off Gallery Children’s publications and first dibs for the various events and children’s festivals at the Gallery and exclusive dishes at selected dining venues. Visit www.gallerykids.sg to sign up now!
Kid-friendly audio tours
A vital element in any museum visit, the audio tour serves as your personal tour guide, bringing the stories behind the exhibits to life. That’s exactly what the Gallery Explorer app does for adults and children alike. There are immersive, self-guided tours for some of the Gallery’s long-term exhibitions on the app, and special tour guides just for kids.
In the Siapa Nama Kamu art trail, children are exposed to Singapore’s art history, guided along by the Cheeky Gibbon, and aided by artists and friends like Georgette Chen and Mr Curator. They can also try the Between Declarations and Dreams trail, where Sheera the Tiger teaches them about the rich culture and history of Southeast Asian art. The easy-to-use app also lets you interact with fellow art enthusiasts and includes other exciting digital content, a detailed map of the Gallery and more.
Some featured images above were taken prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.
If you’re planning to visit National Gallery Singapore, please check the website for opening hours and visitor information before visiting, and remember to adhere to safe-distancing measures while out and about.