Gallery Children’s Biennale 2023
*The International Museum of Children’s Art (Norway) presented at The National Gallery in Singapore.
27 May 2023 to 31 March 2024
The highly anticipated Children’s Biennale by National Gallery Singapore is returning for its 4th edition. From 27 May 2023 to 31 March 2024, visitors can explore 11 new artworks by international artists that spotlight four core values: Care, Collaborate, Imagine and Respect for free. Set to spark conversations around the pressing issues of today, the Biennale uses questions such as “what kind of world do we live in today, and what kind of world would you like to live in?” to craft its theme of ‘Let’s Make a Better Place’. Each artwork is tied to one of the four core values and leverages artistic concepts to bring to the fore the relevant issues in an easy- to-understand manner for children. The Biennale continues to offer families an immersive experience that invites open communication, creativity, and reflection about the future, and aims to inspire children to take an active role in shaping a better world for themselves and others.
The Gallery is proud to feature artists from Thailand and Malaysia for the first time at the Biennale, highlighting the Gallery’s ongoing commitment to showcasing exceptional talents from Southeast Asia. The artists include Tawatchai Puntusawasdi (Thailand), Fadilah Karim (Malaysia), Kumi Yamashita (Japan/USA), artworks from the International Museum of Children’s Art (Norway), Arahmaiani (Indonesia), Singapore artists like Chiang Yu Xiang, Izziyana Suhaimi, Ly Yeow, Wang Ruobing, and a collaboration between LittleCr3atures®, Lynette Quek and Jevon Chandra (Singapore/Indonesia).
“The Gallery Children’s Biennale for this year centres on the theme of ‘Let’s Make a Better Place’, with the goal of instilling in children a new sense of responsibility and confidence to explore their potential in creating a brighter future. Through its exhibits, workshops, and activities, the Gallery Children’s Biennale aims to provide children with opportunities to discover and express their own ideas and perspectives. By engaging with art in this way, children are encouraged to explore their own identities and develop a sense of self-awareness, as well as an appreciation for the diversity of human experience. Ultimately, the Biennale hopes to foster a generation of young people who are not only passionate about art, but also committed to making a positive impact on the world around them.”
INSTALLATIONS, ARTWORKS AND ARTIST INFORMATION:
The Magic Forest by International Museum of Children’s Art | Opposite Keppel Centre for Art Education | Level 1 | City Hall Wing. The Norway institution presents “The Magic Forest”, which features artwork by children that responds to the theme of the ‘environment around us’. Visitors can admire the display of art, create their own pieces at the activity table, and contribute to the forest’s growth. The Magic Forest aims to inspire visitors to respect their surroundings and consider the future they want to create together. (Enriching on-site programmes and performances for all ages. To further enhance visitors’ on-site experience at the Gallery Children’s Biennale, there will be a myriad of complementary on-site children’s programmes by artists and partners for all to enjoy. Visitors can pop by the two artworks – The Magic Forest and Can you see the forest for the trees? to enjoy free art-making activities or attend fun and interactive experiences, such as sonic exploratory sessions by LittleCr3atures®, roving theatre performances by Five Stones Theatre, craft workshops facilitated by the artists who also conceptualised the artworks, and more.)
When I Am With You by Ly Yeow | Padang Atrium | Level 1 | Supreme Court Wing. When I am With You is inspired by intertidal explorations at Changi Beach. The work invites children to walk through, feel, connect, and identify with marine life, learning to respect the creatures that call the intertidal areas home. Drawing from Ly’s own personal memories and experiences, visitors can explore an interactive artwork featuring tactile exploration and illustrations.
Tide by Wang Ruobing | City Hall Foyer | Level 1 | City Hall Wing. Titled Tide, Wang will be presenting an immersive kinetic artwork inspired by the moving tide, the rise and fall of sea levels. Simulating the movement of the tide, the artwork uses marine debris collected from coastlines of Singapore by non- profit groups like Our Singapore Reefs to draw attention to the dangers of pollution and the harm it causes to the environment.
Optical Paths by Tawatchai Puntusawasdi | Outside Koh Seow Chuan Concourse Gallery | Level B1 | Supreme Court Wing. Optical Paths is a visual optical artwork that invites children to challenge their understanding of physical space and depth. He uses lines, colors and space to create a ‘one-point perspective’, which may make objects appear smaller or bigger.
We Move This City by Chiang Yu Xiang | City Hall Foyer | Level 1 | City Hall Wing. This artwork is toddler-friendly. This artwork incorporates the use of moving visuals and soft larger-than-life tetris blocks. The work is inspired by people being on the move–on the road and public transport—and even features its very own MRT cabin. The work invites children to imagine vehicles and modes of transport of the future.
I Love You by Arahmaiani | Supreme Court Foyer | Level 3 | Supreme Court Wing. Explore an artwork based on Arahmaiani’s Jawi explorative works with the aim to encourage interpersonal collaborations, allowing children to understand empathy, acceptance (more so than tolerance) and harmony in their diverse environments.
Foundation Wave | Kumi Yamashita | Supreme Court Foyer & Corridor (Opposite Odette) | Level 1 | Supreme Court Wing. The artwork comprises of two elements: A wall of hand-drawn human profiles along the corridor to Supreme Court Foyer and a sculpture at the Foyer. The profiles resemble waves, gradually transforming to one another. Children are invited to record their heartbeats and hear it play across the space – as a meaningful act of creating connections as a community through the beating of our hearts.
Can you see the forest for the trees? | Izziyana Suhaimi | The Ngee Ann Kongsi Auditorium Anteroom | Level B1 | City Hall Wing. Izziyana Suhaimi is a Singapore- based artist born in 1986. She is known for her textile and embroidery work on photographs and paper. She uses textiles as a medium to express her ideas of time, her identity and where she came from.
SAMA-SAMA (TOGETHER) | Fadilah Karim | Opposite Keppel Centre for Art Education | Level 1 | City Hall Wing. The artwork takes references to the autobiographical nature of her artistic practice. Inspired by key moments spent with her daughter Aira – both at home and in her studio, this artwork brings forth the joys of childhood through the perspective of a mother (or a parent). Visitors are invited to create artworks inspired by their favourite memories, build and spend time in a fort and to draw quirky portraits of themselves and their loved ones. Each activity invites parents and carers and children to experience her work by making memories through art making and interactive play together.
HUTAN | LittleCr3atures® × Jevon Chandra × Lynette Quek | Koh Seow Chuan Concourse Gallery | Level B1 | Supreme Court Wing. This artwork is toddler-friendly. An immersive space inspired by the Tree of Life and the forests of Southeast Asia to demonstrate the connective cultural and spiritual notions of nature and being. Children are invited to journey through the space, engaging with sensorial experiences including light-up mushrooms and a dynamic, evolving soundscape that uses recordings of visitors in the space. The work is open to multi-generational audiences to move slowly, be present and explore sounds and sights of HUTAN’s forest.
About National Gallery Singapore.
National Gallery Singapore is a leading visual arts institution which oversees the world’s largest public collection of Singapore and Southeast Asian modern art. Situated at the birthplace of modern Singapore, in the heart of the Civic District, the Gallery is housed in two national monuments – City Hall and former Supreme Court – that have been beautifully restored and transformed into this exciting 64,000 square metre venue. Reflecting Singapore’s unique heritage and geographical location, the Gallery aims to be a progressive museum that creates dialogues between the art of Singapore, Southeast Asia and the world to foster and inspire a creative and inclusive society. This is reflected in our collaborative research, education, long-term and special exhibitions, and innovative programming. The Gallery also works with international museums such as Centre Pompidou, Musée d’Orsay, Tate Britain, National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo (MOMAT) and National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea (MMCA), to jointly present Southeast Asian art in the global context, positioning Singapore as a key node in the global visual arts scene. www.nationalgallery.sg
The Magic Forest by International Museum of Children’s Art. Archival inkjet prints in custom frames. 2023. Created for Gallery Children’s Biennale 2023: Let’s Make a Better Place. Image credit: Joseph Nair, Memphis West Pictures.