We brought the girls to visit the newly opened National Gallery twice during the school holidays.
The first time we went, it was on a Friday evening in mid-December, and it was really quiet and empty. All the workshop rooms were open with 1-2 facilitators in each room, and we hardly met other kids there.
The girls really liked this room where they could ‘paint’ little animated woodland creatures and release them onto a large screen.
Entering into the Keppel Centre for Art Education proper, there were many little studios where they could explore various crafts, from writing a postcard to an artist, to colouring a 3D cityscape.
The awesome cavernous room below is called the Project Gallery, where special activity kits can be purchased for $4 per kit.
Along the corridor, there is this amazing cityscape of Singapore. Since I can’t put it better, here’s the description from the official website:
In July 2014, Stephen Wiltshire, commissioned by Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) as part of its 30th anniversary celebrations, visited Singapore for the first time. He went on an hour-long helicopter ride to view the island’s skyline, and then drew the city on a 100 x 400 cm canvas, which he completed in five days within full public view at Paragon Shopping Centre. SPH presented the artwork to the nation as a gift for Singapore’s 50thanniversary.
Born in London, Wiltshire is an artist who draws and paints detailed cityscapes, often from memory after observing them briefly. As a child, he was diagnosed as autistic and did not relate to other people. Though he was mute, it soon became apparent that he communicated with the world through the language of drawing. In 2006, he was named a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) by Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of his services to the art world.
What a meaningful piece of art to inspire our children with. Created by a savant, who has taken the path less travelled.
The room that the kids enjoyed the most was the Art Playscape. Created by Sandra Lee, it really feels like we entered a beautifully illustrated children’s storybook. The many photos from our two visits say it all.
Another installation that caught the kids’ interest was “Chair” by Matthew Ngui in the DBS Singapore Gallery. It was really quite fascinating how it ‘pieced together’ visually at a certain angle when it really comprised a series of disjointed parts. If you look closely at the photo below you can see how the chair has gaps around the seat area.
That is because, when you go closer, it really simply looks like this.
It only looks ‘whole’ when seen through a camera lens. With the naked eye, it’s still hard to see it as a chair, even from the designated viewing spot. The wonders of perspective and how light travels in straight lines I suppose!
All in all, the Keppel Centre for Art Education is a great place to spend an hour or two. Much more meaningful than roaming around a mall. I explored the National Gallery myself and was so happy to get lost in the rooms and corridors. More of that in a future post!
Address: 1 St. Andrew’s Rd
Tel: 6271 7000
- Sun–Thu, Public Holidays: 10am–7pm
- Fri–Sat, Eve of Public Holidays: 10am–10pm
There is free entry for Singaporeans and PRs to the Keppel Centre for Art Education. However, all visitors are required to book tickets online before entry.