Interactive artworks, artist performances and hands-on workshops await families at Singapore Art Museum’s seventh edition of Imaginarium which will run from 6 May to 27 August 2017.


We’ve got the scoop on all the artsy fun lined up for families at Singapore Art Museum’s (SAM) Imaginarium: To The Ends of The Earth! This year’s Imaginarium will take a closer look at our surroundings and the environments we dwell in through the eyes of nine contemporary artists. The nine interactive artworks on display will invite visitors young and old to reflect on Earth’s magnificent marvels while contemplating the relationship us humans have with our ever-changing surroundings. Get ready to be inspired by contemporary art while partaking in some lighthearted play as you interact with each unique artwork!

 
That’s not all. A series of Imaginarium: To The Ends of The Earth programmes will be running at SAM throughout the four month span of the exhibition. We absolutely love that they have all been curated with families in mind, with some even specifically tailored for little ones! Curious as to what they are? Scroll on to find out 18 reasons for you to bring your kids to SAM’s Imaginarium: To The Ends of The Earth, starting with these nine mind-blowing artworks!

(See also: 5 Child-Friendly Digital Artworks at Future World at The ArtScience Museum)

1. Lie of The Land by Bounpaul Phothyzan (Laos)

The landlocked nation of Laos has suffered various claims over its land. Despite gaining independence in 1953, the country continues to bear the scars inflicted upon its soil from past wars. Laos is the most heavily bombed country in the world with thousands of undetonated bombs still scattered across the land. In Lie of The Land, metal bombshells have been repurposed as planters filled with flowers and shrubs to make a powerful statement about the resilience of the human spirit.

2. Lizard Tail by Hiromi Tango (Japan/Australia)

Lizards can be found in a wide variety of environments and most are well known for their ability to shed their tails when faced with danger so as to distract predators while they make their escape. Lizard Tail will immerse you in a colourful and interactive soft-sculpture environment as its artist shares stories of adaptation and survival based on the metaphor of the lizard’s ability to regrow its lost tail. See below for details on performances and workshops pertaining to this creative work of art!

3. Where Am I by Calvin Pang (Singapore)

In today’s fast-paced world, how many of us actually take note of and appreciate our natural surroundings? Local artist Calvin Pang’s Where Am I encourages visitors to closely observe and develop a sense of awareness of one’s surroundings. This whimsical artwork consists a series of clustered mushrooms painted in vivid shades. It aims to illustrate how surprises come in all shapes and sizes and can even be chanced upon along our well-trodden routes to trigger sheer delight!

4. The Origin: The Tree and Me & The Unborn by Nandita Mukand (India/Singapore)

Made of newspapers coloured with natural dyes like henna, turmeric and coffee, The Tree and Me is inspired by the old trees along East Coast Park. Just like the aged trees of East Coast Park, this ‘tree’ too carries within it the stories of generations. The Unborn was inspired by seeds the artist encountered on a walk through the Spanish wilderness in Catalonia. Made from seeds and pods mainly from pine and cypress trees, it symbolises the miraculous potential of new life that seeds carry.

5. Another Island by Nipan Oranniwesna (Thailand)

The floor of this exhibit is embedded with a whopping 598 photographs of our little red dot, each encased in a tiny bubble. Thai artist Nipan invites you to step up onto the platform to view these vignettes of Singapore from a different and more intimate perspective. How many of these photographs can you recognise? How much has changed in our country since they were taken? Don’t be surprised to hear whispers from beneath the floorboards – they are meant to imitate the sounds from the environment we live in!

6. Wanderland by Mary Bernadette Lee (Singapore)

Here’s another work of art by a homegrown artist. Some of the mesmerising objects that make up Wanderland include bulbar hangings that spring back upon release, teepees with mobiles suspended from within, and textile birds flapping across trees. Whether it’s a trek through a tropical rainforest or an evening stroll at the nearby park, this artwork sure does evoke vivid memories of one’s past experiences with Mother Nature.

7. My Wonderful Dream by Eko Nugroho (Indonesia)

My Wonderful Dream is a land without borders. Here, fantastical characters drift freely across islands and continents. It is also a land where people recognise each other’s similarities rather than the differences between their cultures. This work of art suggests that life would be so much more beautiful if we could all live together in peace, happiness and tolerance. But it also raises an important question – in our rapidly changing world, is harmony achievable or just a dream? Ponder on that.

8. Floating Mountain by Unchalee Anantawat (Thailand)

This work of art is quite literally the stuff of dreams. Floating Mountain is inspired by an imaginary landscape that the artist has explored in her slumber. Unchalee hosts a vivid memory of jumping from a floating mountain into a blue sea. In her reverie, she has revisited this magical land several times and eventually found similarities between her dreamscape and the waking world. As you gaze upon this artwork, open your mind up to imagine what other worlds might be like – it’ll be quite an adventure!

9. LICENSE 2 DRAW by UuDam Tran Nguyen (Vietnam)

Isn’t the Internet’s ability to instantly connect people at two ends of the world simply amazing? That’s exactly what LICENSE 2 DRAW revolves around. Be prepared to be greeted by a robotic drawing machine which drags coloured markers across a sprawling canvas. This tech-inspired artwork is operated by the L2D application which can be downloaded onto mobile phones. Yes, that means one can participate in this work of art from anywhere on the globe. If that’s not uber cool, we don’t know what is.

10. Catch a short film or two at The Moving Image Gallery

As part of Imaginarium: To The Ends of The Earth, you and the kids can enjoy a special selection of local and international short films inspired by the vastness of distant lands. These short films will be screened on loop for a total duration of 42 minutes. Parental guidance is advised!

Dates: 6 May – 27 August 2017
Venue: Moving Image Gallery (Level 2, SAM at 8Q)
Admission: FREE with museum admission

11. Watch Japanese artist Hiromi Tango bring Lizard Tail to life

Hiromi Tango’s immersive artwork installation Lizard Tail, will come alive right before your eyes through a performance by the artist herself! She will be accompanied by performers from the NUS Dance Ensemble. This is one performance you’ll not be forgetting in a long time to come!

Dates: 6 – 7 May 2017 (Saturday & Sunday)
Time: 1pm to 1.30pm
Venue: Level 1 of SAM at 8Q
Admission: FREE with museum admission

12. Create your own Dream Mobile with artist Unchalee Anantawat

Thai artist Unchalee Anantawat is the mastermind behind the mind boggling artwork, Floating Mountain, a mobile dreamscape at Imaginarium: To The Ends of The Earth. You too can create your very own Dream Mobile using wooden cut-outs created by the artist herself. It’ll make for a great keepsake for the kiddos!

Dates: 7 May 2017 (Sunday)
Time: 10.30am to 12pm (session 1: parents and children* aged 5 to 12), 2pm to 3.30pm (session 2: recommended for ages 13 and above**)
Venue: Level 1 of SAM at 8Q
Admission: $20 (tickets are available on SISTIC and at SAM)

*Each ticket admits one adult and one child, or two children. Children under eight must be accompanied by an adult. 

**Each ticket admits one person.

13. Grow a Lizard Tail with artist Hiromi Tango

Here’s your chance to add on to the Lizard Tail artwork installation by Hiromi Tango! Create your very own lizard tails using materials like yarn and wires and leave your one-of-a-kind creation at the exhibit. You’ll also get to participate in a performance that lets you mimic a lizard’s movement! This workshop is recommended for tots aged three and above. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Dates: 18 May, 5 June, 9 July and 12 August 2017
Time: 11am to 12pm and 2pm to 4pm
Venue: Level 1 of SAM at 8Q
Admission: FREE with museum admission

14. Give your toddler his first taste of hands-on art 

Explore works of contemporary art at Imaginarium: To The Ends of The Earth and then take part in a parent-child art workshop! This workshop is suitable for little ones from the ages of 18 months to three years old. Start them young!

Dates: Tuesdays, 20 May – 20 June 2017: 10.30am to 11.30am, 3pm to 4pm and Saturdays, 13 May – 12 August 2017: 10.30am to 11.30am
Venue: Workshop Space, Level 2 of SAM at 8Q
Admission: $35 for each toddler accompanied by an adult (register on the SAM website)

15. Learn how to make DIY natural cleaning products

Reduce the harmful impact on our environment by learning how to make your very own non-toxic cleaning products for your home and garden by up-cycling fruit and vegetable scraps! Bring home your natural cleaning agents in recycled plastic bottles and spread the message of green living and caring for the environment.

Dates: 22 July 2017, Saturday
Time: 2.30pm to 4.30pm
Venue: Workshop Space, Level 2 of SAM at 8Q
Admission: $5 per person (tickets available on SISTIC and at SAM)

16. Have fun on a Family Night at The Museum

Embark on an after-hours adventure at the museum as you explore the creative artworks and journey through Imaginarium: To The Ends of The Earth with the curators themselves! This is perfect for families with children aged seven and above. Kids must be accompanied by an adult.

Dates: 7 & 21 June 2017 (Wednesdays)
Time: 7pm to 8pm
Venue: Lobby of SAM at 8Q
Admission: $12 per person (tickets available on SISTIC and at SAM)

17. Get your hands on Imaginarium merchandise for the kids

Grab an Imaginarium Adventure Kit for your children before you begin your exploration of the exhibition. Items include the Imaginarium Ranger’s Handbook – a handy activity booklet which will see the kids through the exhibition, magical colour pencils that come in four shades and a set of all-seeing binoculars for little inquisitive eyes to better scrutinise the installations!

Items are sold separately at $2 each. Available at SAM at 8Q from Saturday, 6 May 2017. 

18. Snap a memento of your visit to Imaginarium: To The Ends of The Earth

At the end of your family’s visit to Imaginarium: To The Ends of The Earth, drop by the SAM Photo Booth: The Original Selfie Machine to take a family photograph! Printouts are available for just $2 for two copies. Feel free to go crazy with the poses!

Dates: 6 May – 27 August 2017
Venue: Level 1 of SAM at 8Q

(See also: 12 Not-So-Ordinary Arts Activities That Give Your Child an Extraordinary Talent Boost)

Imaginarium: To The Ends of The Earth Exhibition Details

Venue: SAM at 8Q, 8 Queen Street, Singapore 188535
Dates: 6 May – 27 August 2017
Opening hours: 10am to 7pm (Saturdays to Thursdays), 10am to 9pm (Fridays)
Admission charges: $6 (adults), $3 (students & senior citizens), FREE for Singaporeans and Permanent Residents

Admission to SAM is also FREE for non-residents every Friday from 6pm to 9pm and on Open House days!