Monthly Archives: May 2012

Art Garden at Singapore Art Museum

We went to Art Garden at Singapore Art Museum on Monday with Selena, her two boys and Vonnie and had such a blast! We have been going to Art Garden every year since it started and I think this year’s is a lot more interactive and hands-on, which is great for the kids.

Anya got very excited when we passed Walter sitting in front of SAM while we were on the bus and as we were walking towards SAM at 8Q, she was happy to recognise the cheerful Dancing Solar Flowers which were also on display last year.

SAM at 8Q

staring at the dancing flowers

The first installation we explored was Echoes-Infinity-The Forest, a carpet of flowers created with special pigments that fade as visitors walk over them. Anya was quite taken with the idea that she had the ability to change the artwork and went dancing around the room trying to make as much of an impact on the flowers as she could.

the original appearance as seen on the video

wild child dancing around the room

After removing the booties we had to wear to enter the room, we made our way up to the 3rd floor. There was a long mural called Kakhé spanning the 4 storeys of the stairs. I thought it was rather strange-looking and somewhat disturbing because the figures didn’t have eyeballs but Anya liked it and asked to take photos with the mural.

she calls this the man who doesn’t wear clothes

Adrian standing in a strategic location

We spent quite a bit of time at Dress Me Up, another repeat from the previous Art Garden. It was Anya’s favourite from last year and she had a good time dressing the characters up. Adam also had fun sticking pieces on the cake and trying to chomp on them. I wish they would position everything lower though! It’s still quite difficult for the smaller kids to reach all the pieces.

In the next room was The Art of Imagination by the same artist and the kids were quite eager to add their own drawings to the boxes. Adam was kept occupied by a young lady who was very charmed by him and she made him a box to play with and took photos of and with him.

Adam busy with his cake

Anya playing dress-up

us sitting under a tree

Adam ‘helping’ to make a box

the older kids hard at work

adding to the artwork

The kids loved the Reactive Wall and Let’s Dance which allowed them to express themselves through sound and movement. Anya was a bit self-conscious about speaking into the microphone even though she was quite fascinated by how the sounds made the pictures on the wall change and move. But we all enjoyed dancing and being silly and then watching our own performance. The dancing made us very tired! After that, we headed to the 4th floor to fold origami flowers for Grow the Garden in the Dark and to make friends with a giant 5QU1D!

Asher making the wall react

watching various people dancing

boogie wonderland!

the growing glowing garden

the giant squid is pleased to see us

We made our way back down to level 2 to design our own clay flower magnets with everyday ordinary objects as inspired by Everyday Wonders. It’s a pity the kids couldn’t touch the clay shapes in the installation though! We then did some colouring and stamping at the Activity Room. Finally, we had a few exhausting mad games at Ping Pong Go-Round, the donut-shaped ping pong table!

creating our own unique flower

Everyday Wonders

in the activity room

my extremely artistic drawing

two against three

very happy kids

We have to go back again another one or two times because we didn’t manage to watch the short films and animations. I think the little kiddos had so much fun and really want to make another trip too!

Check out Art Garden at SAM at 8Q from now until 12 August. Admission is free for children below 6 years old and students. Adults pay $10. There is free admission every Friday from 6-9pm.

Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall (晚晴园)

As part of Children’s Season 2012, Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall (晚晴园) had an Open House over the weekend so Anya and I made a trip there on Sunday. The villa served as the headquarters to Dr Sun Yat Sen’s revolutionary activities in Southeast Asia and was re-opened to the public last October after a year of renovation.


the villa

love the ‘stache on the Sun Yat Sen dragon!

bronze statue of Dr Sun Yat Sen

Before entering the memorial hall, Anya spent some time drawing a picture to contribute to the exhibition of children’s drawings on childhood. Her artworks are usually quite messy and abstract so I thought her drawing of herself under a rainbow was pretty well done. I don’t know what they are going to do with the picture when they are done with the exhibition but I would very much like to take it back!

hard at work

her picture is second from the right

The memorial hall contains a comprehensive collection of photographs, paintings, letters and other artefacts on Dr Sun, his revolutionary activities and the impact on Singapore and the region. There are also multimedia and interactive displays. Since Anya had no idea who Dr Sun Yat Sen is, I could only interest her in some of the old and more unusual items. She liked being able to put on headphones to listen to a song about Dr Sun and looking at the giant painting of him surrounded by people.

in the first gallery


some photos of the students of NYGH in the third row

a really big painting of Dr Sun sharing his beliefs

After our tour, we sat in on a storytelling session by Kamini Ramachandran of MoonShadow Stories. The two stories we listened to were very interesting but didn’t have anything to do with Dr Sun Yat Sen.

Before leaving, we played a memory game and won an activity booklet which contains relevant  and appropriate activities for children visiting the Sun Yat Sen memorial hall. For the next Children’s Season, they should have the activities set up as stations throughout the galleries, e.g. let kids dress up in the Zhong Shan suit that Dr Sun was always seen in, have a giant map where kids can pinpoint the various locations to which Dr Sun travelled to spread his revolutionary ideas, etc.

the kids taking part in the storytelling

Anya and her activity booklet

There’s free admission this weekend (2/3 Jun)  from 10am-5pm and there will be some activities for children including photo-taking with photo boards and macaroni art. There are also activities such as puppet-making the following weekend.

Gang Kids Roll Call!

Viv and Yun were back in Singapore recently so we had a meet-up at Juan’s place on Saturday. Really nice to see the kids running around and playing together! Almost all the kids were there and we were only missing Alex (#3) who didn’t want to come and play with the rest and Ian (#10) who is in the US. We now have 10 boys and 2 girls in the gang! There are 3 people currently pregnant so we will be adding another 2 boys (gender of the 3rd baby is still undetermined) to the mix! Can we have more girls please?

#1 Samuel & #2 Reuel

#4 Jayden

#5 Anya

#6 Daniel

#7 Sophia

#8 Jotham

#9 Kenji

#11 Adam

#12 Joel

Look how much they have grown since our previous roll call!

Singapore Arts Festival 2012: The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

Photo Credit: Tom Kincaid

I don’t have time to watch very many things these days but I really wanted to catch The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle because I’m quite fond of Haruki Murakami books. I almost didn’t go in the end because I was frightfully tired that day and I really had to drag myself down to the Esplanade. I’m glad I caught the production because it was visually quite stunning and I loved the use of the light/ shadows and the projection of video and photo images. I thought the puppet was a bit overused and it would have been better if the puppeteers had worn black gloves. The pacing could have been tighter at certain parts of the show. On the whole, it was a good adaptation of a Murakami book and definitely better than the movie adaptation of Norwegian Wood. I’m now tempted to re-read the book but don’t know if I have time for the 607 pages!

Singapore Arts Festival 2012: Kids Arts Village

We went to check out the Kids Arts Village at the Singapore Arts Festival 2012 Festival Village at Esplanade Park on Friday. We started with Tangle, an interactive theatre experience for children by Polyglot Theatre. The children were each given a ball of elastic string and encouraged to weave and tie the string around the poles, creating a visual arts installation. Performers known as Weavers move within that space and interact with the children and their string creation.

on our way to the village

where do we go from here?

Festival Village


the Weavers

interacting with the kids

all tied up

kids running wild

Anya really enjoyed winding the ball of string around. The problem was that she enjoyed it so much that she got horrendously upset when she couldn’t get another ball of string after using up hers and she threw an epic tantrum. Of course, I told her she was behaving badly and then refused to entertain her until she had worked through her rage and sobbingly asked for hugs. Sigh. Fortunately, after she had calmed down, we manage to enjoy the rest of the activities in the Kids Village.

The next activity we tried out was UV Art. The kids painted monsters on a piece of paper using florescent paint and were then brought into a UV-lit dark room to transfer their monsters onto a wall full of glowing creatures. Very cool! The paint had a very strong odour which made me feel a wee bit sick though!

painting monsters

check out her very unusual monster

pointing out her favourite monster in the room

Our next activity was Fest Goes Green where the kids recycled used and unwanted materials by making them into hats and other items. After that, we contributed to an artwork for a welfare home at Splash Art. Anya drew a flower which she then pasted onto a piece of art.

working on her hat

trying it on for size

very pleased

picking an excerpt to base her drawing on

I have created art!

After all that time under the sun, we popped into the Festival Cafe to cool down with some mint ice-cream with rainbow sprinkles and M&Ms. Then we caught a The Young Ones! Performance Showcase production at the Main Stage. The one we watched was ‘The Legends of Sisters’ Islands’ by Jun Yuan Secondary School. The performance was okay but the sound system wasn’t working very well so it was quite hard to follow. It was nice sitting out there on a picnic mat but Anya was more interested in digging in the sand instead of watching the show!

Festival Cafe

watching The Legend of Sisters’ Islands

sand-covered child

not quite sure what she’s trying to do here

On the whole, I think we had a great time despite her meltdown in the earlier part. She says she wants to do the string activity again (but without getting angry) and I would really like to bring her to the Kids Arts Village one more time before it ends if I can!

The Festival Village is open from 4pm-12am (Sun-Thu) and 4pm-1am (Fri-Sat) until 2 June. Tangle takes place at 4pm, 5pm and 6.30pm. Registration required. The other Kids Arts Village activities are from 4pm-8pm. There are also Spooky Stories by Children on 1 & 2 June from 9-10pm.

Mother’s Day Gifts

One final Mother’s Day post! For Mother’s Day, I got a little pot of flowers made by Anya in school and the book of devotions she put together in Sunday School. The husband got me a DODOcase for my iPad and I absolutely adore it because it makes my iPad look like a hardcover book plus it has my name on it! I also bought myself a little gift from Etsy: a trio of sterling silver bangles, held together by a heart, with the kids’ names and birthdays and our names and wedding anniversary stamped on them. I love being able to carry my little family around like that. :)

my personalised DODOcase

hand-stamped bangles

Cold Storage Kids Run 2012

Anya and Adrian took part in the Cold Storage Kids Run on Sunday morning but we definitely didn’t have as much fun as we had last year! We walked over from Funan Centre where we had parked and didn’t have much time before we had to report for the race. Anya really enjoyed taking photos with mascots before the race last year so we tried to find some to take photos with but the Singapura Finance one turned us away and the Colgate mascots simply couldn’t look in the right direction!

So we gave up and Adrian and Anya went to report for the race while Adam and I went to position ourselves at an appropriate location to wait for the two of them to run past. While waiting for them, we sought refuge in the shade of a generator opposite the City Hall building. That was literally the only patch of shade available! I saw a few people casting me envious glances as they waited for their family members to run past. Even though we were not in direct sunlight, it was still ridiculously hot and we were melting!

Adrian and Anya were in the 3rd wave for their category so they had to wait under the scorching hot sun for quite a long time before finally being flagged off. By that time, Anya was wilting and very grouchy. She didn’t want to run and was being extremely whiny the entire time. I tried to be as encouraging as possible but I eventually lost my temper with her because she dragged her feet the whole way, refused to run even a single step and just kept whining about wanting a drink that was not water! ARGH!

By the time she crossed the finish line, she was in tears and I was in a very bad mood and Adrian was also losing his cool. We left quickly and made our way back to Funan where we bought cold drinks. After cooling down, I had a good talk with her and we were reconciled. Really don’t know if I’ll sign her up next year unless she really, really wants to take part! I think they should provide some shade for spectators and reduce the amount of time that the competitors have to wait in the hot sun!!

poor guy in Appleton costume must have suffered heatstroke

bouncy castle that we didn’t have time for

Adrian and a wilted Anya

an encouraging bunch of cheerleaders

not satisfied with water

crossing the finish line in tears

getting her medal