Saturday, November 29, 2008

Sch. Holiday Treats: Visiting the Singapore Art Museum

Its the school holidays so its time for my girls to explore various parts of Singapore, tourist spots and museums for some learning experience. We checked out the Singapore Art Museum on Thursday to see what its all about.

The last time we hit exploring a museum was the National Museum. Post for that can be found HERE. The people over at the National Heritage Board caught my post that was posted up at as a National Museum feature. *Honoured honoured hahaha* and thankfully sent us complimentary tickets to the Singapore Art Museum to check it out. Each ticket costs $8. My mother in law came along too!

So at around 3pm that day. We reached the museum. Posed in front of the sign up front and then head in.

Passed our complimentary tickets to the gentleman over the counter who promptly gave us little blue stickers which we stuck on our shirts and went in.

First thing I noticed were the lights... very pretty lah! But must be such a pain to upkeep. Very nice though... then I looked around and then noticed.. chandeliers! ..... I like!

Very nice... apparently according to CJ, the S.A.M was converted from the Old St. Joseph's Institution of way back then. And SJI was his school. :) So looking around the place, you can see where the old chapel was and the various "classrooms" and halls and stairwells where students once roamed.

We went up a spiral staircase and was greeted by this "devilish" dog creature thing on a plastic cushion which was pearched on a gondola... hmn.. it gave off some sexual sadomachoistic underlying vibes with the part man part dog thing exposing its penis and being strapped up with needles... and horns etc... okay.. thinking too much... moving on....

Then here was this statue of a wired man.. interesting.. then we entered various rooms. Frankly, I was uninspired because looking at things in terms of symmetry, repetition, space and materials was not something I really wanted to visit again in terms of design and pattern. School is over! But the girls seemed like they were enjoying themselves running from hall to hall...

The rooms were cold and we walked along the spaces looking at what was displayed on the walls and on the floor. Various shapes and abstract pieces all around.

Once in a while we would come across some pieces that made me stand and stare for a while. I remember doing something like this for design class when I was doing my advertising & design studies some years back...

Structures on the wall. I found this one quite striking.

And we entered a dark corridor attracted by some moving screens and walked into a dark room where there was a bench and these 3 screens. Each showing the same scene but from different angles. It was of this lady in a leather outfit sweeping silver plastic balls in a garage. It would start with her sweeping and the balls bouncing around and you could see this done from all 3 angles. I would assume that this was to give the impression of perspective.

We walked along the halls and came to a local artist corner where there was a carpeted area with soft PVC covered "blocks" and the girls took the opportunity to play and stack these soft blocks. Lauren with her castle.

And Eirian didn't really build anything, she just pushed the blocks about and was categorising them by colour.

They played for awhile whilst I strolled around the area looking at paintings done by local artists.

Then we went up to the 3rd floor which had a Korean Art Exhibition. Some pieces were somewhat peculiar, abstract, some with alot of clutter and there were pieces that were done 3D style. I like this piece because it reminded me of Toy Story, the cartoon.

The 3D pieces was what I found interesting bc they were flat art pieces but were painted with such depth of shading that they looked like they were popping out and 3D! I stood in front of each piece to sway left, right, front and back just to admire how holographic they looked.

Then we saw this one. From afar, it looked like a small patch of grass which seemed to be like a green glass covered walkway as you walked closer but upon closer inspection. This "walkway" was not grass but made of many many little people supporting the thick glass slabs. Put together, they formed a solid base.

This was interesting to me because I'm sure there are times where we always wonder how things work or how things are built and if there were actually little people like that making things happen. Ie little people in the ATM machines.. or little people in our heads when we have a headache.. or little people in vending machines...

But the best of all was this piece which I thought was absolutely beautiful. I stood looking at this piece for a while because I love how they made that droplet of water look so 3D and showed how water has focal and magnification power of something it's placed against. And colour wise, it was just gorgeous. Somehow though, it seemed reminiscent of an art piece I'd expect to see in a lobby of a 5 star hotel.

Along the corridors, there were many displays of clay art which was made into various abstract forms, there was a long stretch of these shell-like sea creatures that lined the cabineted displays. Along with explainations of various methods of how to manipulate clay... ie. pinching....

We entered another room which had a wall filled with these coloured glass bottles with coloured oil. Visually very stunning and if these were Vodka bottles, I would have thought it would make an excellent display at a nightspot.

The girls took another photo in front of a shiny silver reflective wall before we moved on. As you can tell, Lauren really loves that polka dot dress.

There were some pieces of industrial design like this copper pipe piece.

And we entered a room with a really high wall and we noticed that it was tiled with tiles! Differently designed pieces of tiles that they lined up the whole wall. Some with actual objects stuck on them ie teddy bears, rubber duckies, photo frames, and other little toys. The rest were painted. It was like as if a huge group of people came together and everyone contributed a tile and they stuck it up on the wall. There were so many and the wall so huge, even after stepping back, to the farthest wall, I could not capture all of the tiles in one single shot.

And next to it was another huge wall filled with a very colourful drawing of pens & pencils. This picture was only 1/6th of the whole wall. Indeed something very visually stunning.

We went downstairs again after walking about for a short while and entered another room to be greeted with a room wall filled with portraits like this! They all looked like they were staring right at you! Scary....

Right in front of this wall was a table and it had colour pencils and papers for the children to colour so the girls sat themselves down and did a little colouring while I walked about viewing the other exhibits in that room.

I found yet another corridor so I walked in and was greeted by another video wall.

This video projected show was quite strange but yet strangely intruiging. It had a naked woman kneeling and not moving.

And seconds after, from the ceiling came pouring down streams and streams of flour. Right over her head. And she doesn't move while this goes on for about 2 minutes. The flour just keeps piling on her head, shoulders and body and she doesn't move. My mom in law and I just stood there silently and watched as the flour streamed on this woman.

Then it stopped and she shook off the flour from her head and body onto the floor around herself and gathered it into a pile in front of her and then.... water started dripping from the ceiling right into her flour pile and she started mashing and kneading the flour into a huge dough ball.

All the while she was doing that, my mom in law kept on commenting "eeee... eeee.. would u eat that? would u eat that?" ahahaahaha!

That woman made it seem like she was very buay song *not satisfied* while she was kneading the dough, slapping it about and wacking it. When the dough was formed into a ball, she rolled it out and started pull it into little pieces and throwing the individual pieces onto the floor.

When it was all broken up, she gathered it all again and made it on big lump. The End.

That video must have gone on for at least 8 minutes but we still stood there TWICE to watch it. It must have been that she was naked that it was so intruiging. And who makes bread like that anyway!?!

Naked and making bread that way? = Strange = Classified as Art. Wahahhaaa...

Personally, I found the National Museum a whole lot more interesting than the S.A.M. I wouldn't go again unless they have something really interesting. Now that I know whats in there and somewhat now you too.. I'd recommend if you want to bring your kids to a museum this school holiday.. make it the National Museum and leave the S.A.M for a day where you're reflective and want some time alone. Without the kids so that you can sip your latte at DOME which is right at the museum itself - Al Fresco.

Is that me? Yeah.. thats me - not very impressed as I expected to be awed by some arty farty experience.

It was an experience though.

Lauren on the other hand says "so nice! I like!"... err... SOTA* anyone? I think I should start saving up for a course for her there in some years... *SOTA - School Of The Arts* or maybe La-Salle or maybe NAFA.... we'll see... and leave it up to her.


claudia said...

You didn't bring the girls to 8Q sam? There's a Japan Media Art Festival on now leh! Got much things to see!

Just a few steps away from SAM.

Oh btw, I spotted SAM wearing Santa hat today! So cute lah! Ok... out of point... haha!

Aka Pamela S. said...

Whats 8Q? If there's much to see.. I'm going haha.. maybe sometime next week or the week after. :)

kimberly said...

Hi Pamela,

Thanks for the great blog post! Hope visiting SAM was a refreshing experience! As Claudia mentioned, 8Qsam is the contemporary art wing of SAM - it features works that are conceptual and very engaging, highly worth a trip there. It's just across SAM at 8 Queens Street :)

Let us know if you're keen to visit the rest of the museums!

Aka Pamela S. said...

Hi Kimberly, yes please! Thanks!