Imaginarium : A Voyage of Big Ideas

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Come  set  your  imagination  free  with  the  fifth  edition  of  Singapore  Art Museum’s annual contemporary art exhibition for children! Titled Imaginarium: A Voyage of Big Ideas, the exhibition is inspired by the crescent moon on the Singapore flag, symbolising a young nation on the rise and its capacity to dream big and think large.

It focuses on the themes of adventure, discovery, new possibilities, and ‘Big Ideas’.  Both  immersive  and  interactive,  Imaginarium:  A  Voyage  of  Big  Ideas  encourages  both  the young and young-at-heart to wonder and explore, while cultivating an appreciation for contemporary art.  Featuring  emerging  and  established  artists  from  Singapore  and  the  region,  Imaginarium:  A  Voyage  of  Big Ideas presents seven new artwork commissions at SAM at 8Q.

The artworks range from installations which require visitors’ active participation to complete or enhance the artwork, to poetic and contemplative works, and playful magical worlds to roam and discover. The exhibition as a whole has been curated  with careful attention  paid  to  how  children  learn  and  play,  and  to  appeal  to  different  senses,  modes  of  learning  and exploration.

The journey into Imaginarium: A Voyage of Big Ideas begins outside of SAM at 8Q, as visitors are greeted by the magnificent Trees by Takashi Kuribayashi. This installation comprises of cut-up sections of different tree trunks and terrariums sealed in glass boxes, assembled together to form a new hybrid tree. Over time, these sealed terrariums and tree trunks will decay, which in turn will give life to new organisms and ecosystems, eventually  forming  a  whole  new  ecosystem.  Through  this,  Kuribayashi  brings  to  light  our  relationship  with nature and our responsibility to protect it. The piece also raises questions on how we currently co-exist with nature and how this relationship will change in the future.  Upon stepping into SAM at 8Q, visitors are presented with the opportunity to become architects and builders of  their  own  make-believe  cities.

Drawing  inspiration  from  urban  planning,  Singapore  artist  Chiang  Yu Xiang’s We Built this Estate! is an interactive installation that invites everyone to create their own housing estates and city skyline with Tetris-shaped housing blocks. The artwork features clearly-demarcated ‘estate’ areas, roads and other landmarks that they can contribute to as a backdrop of their own cities.  Every journey into the unknown requires a map and playing this role at Imaginarium: A Voyage of Big Ideas is Imagine-a-doodle by Singapore collective Band of Doodlers. With illustrations sprawled across the walls and winding their way up the four levels of SAM at 8Q, the artwork will bring to life a fantastical version of the Singapore story, through adaptations of local folklore and of an imagined future.

The second floor of SAM at 8Q is the designated Imaginarium moonroom, which is a space for exploration and  learning.  Through  the  moonroom’s  specially-tailored  workshops  and  hands-on  activities,  children  will begin their own journeys to experience and engage with art, and to cultivate a love of art-making.   A new realm opens up on the third floor as Singaporean artist Izziyana Suhaimi’s work Let’s Make! Studio explores new worlds through embroidery.

In a designed workspace in the gallery, visitors are invited to make their  own  small  objects  which  capture  their  thoughts  about  Singapore’s  future.  By  adding  these  objects alongside  the  artist’s  creations,  the  artwork  will  become  a  collective  tapestry  of  dreams  about  and  of  our shared future over time.   Occupying  the  same  floor  as  Izziyana’s  work  is  Canadian-born,  Singapore-based  artist  Vincent  Twardzik’s Green II: Interstellar Overdrive. This artwork installation only comes alive when visitors cycle on stationary bicycles  which  are  hooked  up  to  various  objects,  such  as  a  drum,  a  constellation  of  stars  and  text  on  the walls.  Twardzik’s  installation  prompts  visitors  to  think  of  energy  sources,  how  our  future  cities  might  be powered, and the need for collaboration for a sustainable future.

The penultimate stop of Imaginarium: A Voyage of Big Ideas lies on the fourth floor of the museum with two more  works,  one  of  which  is  Dream  House  by  South  Korean  artist  Jeeyoung  Lee.  Tapping  on  visitors’ memories of childhood rewards and precious treats, Lee has created a fairytale-like gingerbread house filled with candy which visitors can pick and ‘plant’ in a larger-than-life ‘garden’. Paying homage to our sometimes extravagant childhood wishes and desires, Dream House is a space for everyone to create a dream world where even all our wishes and aspirations, symbolised by the planting of the sweets, can be cultivated and come to life.

The second of the works on this floor is Kiko’s Secrets by Sri Lankan-born, Vietnam-based artist Kumkum Fernando.  Comprising  three  giant  ‘magic’  boxes,  the  artwork  will  take  visitors  on  a  journey  of  discovery  of magical  secret  worlds,  inspired  by  the  wonder  that  children  experience  as  they  explore  the  world  around them. Built around three themes – the woods, the city, and the sky – each box holds a world that is familiar yet unexpected, inviting audiences to touch, feel, seek and re-discover each world for themselves.

“Imaginarium:  A  Voyage  of  Big  Ideas  is  an  exhibition  full  of  adventure  and  wonder  for  children  and  adults alike. It rouses curiosity, and takes us into uncharted worlds: this is the space of creativity, questioning, and sensory experience, which tickles the thinking process, and leads us to imagine the impossible. For children, it is so important that their first experience with art be exciting and fun. Imaginarium: A Voyage of Big Ideas, being a child-focused exhibition, will certainly be an inspiring artistic encounter for children of all ages, as it offers a range of creative experiences and encourages expression – specially for our young visitors,” says Dr Susie Lingham, Director, Singapore Art Museum.

The  journey  into  Imaginarium:  A  Voyage  of  Big  Ideas  continues  beyond  the  seven  artworks  presented. Keeping  to  the  spirit  of  experiential  learning  and  providing  SAM  visitors  with  an  all-round  experience,  the exhibition will also be accompanied by a number of public programmes. The public can look forward to The Art  and  Science  of  Imagination,  will  gather  parents  who  are  professionals  and  experts  in  their  fields  to discuss how imagination is a vital part of their working lives and how it inspires them to inspire others.

With something  for  everyone  to  partake  in,  whether  you  are  young  or  old,  Imaginarium:  A  Voyage  of  Big  Ideas promises to be a completely interactive and immersive experience.   As  part  of  its  collaborative  efforts,  SAM  will  specially  partner  with  local  organisation  CRIB  –  a  Singapore-based  social  enterprise  which  aims  to  empower  women  entrepreneurs,  particularly  mothers,  with  work-life balance and a fulfilling career while making family a priority. A selection of their products will be on display at Supermama for the duration of Imaginarium.

Imaginarium: A Voyage of Big Ideas will be at SAM at 8Q from 14 March 2015 to 19 July 2015.

www.singaporeartmuseum.sg

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