The inaugural edition of National Gallery Singapore’s Children’s Biennale saw the Gallery being transformed into an immersive playscape filled with interactive artworks, installations and activities over the four-month period that it was running. The Children’s Biennale, which drew to a close yesterday, exceeded expectations having attracted over 286,000 visitors. The positive response amplified the Gallery’s success in bringing high-level artworks that have the capacity to embrace the public and offer art that connects both the child and the adult.
While it was a Children’s Biennale, it saw visitors of all ages both local and tourists, coming together and interacting with the art through questioning, reflecting and sharing their perspectives, thoughts, dreams and stories. The artworks were created with accompanying activities and ideas for discussion that aimed to spark the imagination of young minds, and at the same time, provide bonding opportunities between parent and child.
Bringing Art Out to the Communities
The Gallery wanted to continue inspiring parents and children to use arts as a medium to encourage children to continue dreaming – not just for the art aficionados, but also the man-in-the-street. With this idea in mind, the Gallery took the opportunity to extend the reach to the communities by collaborating with the National Library Board to do a LIVE Doodle Jam at locations around Singapore. The Doodle Jam championed children’s dreams and their stories by involving them in the process – with illustrations being drawn as the children spoke about their dreams and stories. The children’s dreams were brought to life on giant murals at each of the four heartland locations – Jurong, Pasir Ris, Bishan and Clementi. Drawing plaudits from many participants for integrating art into the community, it ended with a final iteration of the LIVE Doodle Jam which happened at the Gallery together with the murals from the heartlands being featured as well.
Gallery Children’s Biennale featured ten interactive artworks created by artists from Singapore and beyond. This was complemented by an array of activities and workshops, that was held throughout the Biennale. Taking place once every two years, the theme of this year’s edition, Dreams & Stories was premised on the belief that every child is creative – everyone dreams and has stories to tell. The Gallery Children’s Biennale ran from 20 May to 8 October 2017.