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Singapore Art Museum | New Offerings For The Young And The Young At Heart!



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This June, Singapore Art Museum (SAM) will be unveiling new offerings for both parents and children to discover contemporary art together.  

This June school holidays, SAM is proud to launch a range of family-friendly programmes, including two new art experiences.

Here's what you and your little ones can look forward to this June:

Superfluous Things: Paper

Photo Credit: Singapore Art Museum

Venue: SAM at Tanjong Pagar DistriparkGallery 2 and The Engine Room
Date: 28 May to 14 Aug 2022

Featuring interactive components, Superfluous Things: Paper highlights the work of contemporary artists as storytellers, evoking precious personal and cultural memories through a long tradition of paper manipulation. 

The vivid artworks will explore the concept of paper as a carrier of ideas and encoded with material intelligence, transforming paper into objects of visual feast and irresistible emotional resonance. As part of the museum’s commitment to sustainability, up to 80% of the material used is paper-based, a renewable resource.

Just a Little at a Time (2017-2022) by Cheryl Teo

Photo Credit: Singapore Art Museum

Just a Little at a Time is a self-initiated project by Cheryl Teo to take on the routine task of making a paper sculpture the size of a matchbox each day. The project, started off as the 100 Days Project in 2017, is based on a prescribed set of self-imposed rules and each miniature would take about five to six hours to complete. According to Cheryl, working in such small scale enables her to see things with fresh eyes, and with each new creation, she is discovering a better understanding of the nature of paper. This relentless pursuit of excellence pushes the boundaries of her craft as she challenges herself to experiment with more complex processes and narratives. The journey has led Cheryl to sharpen her skills, including developing personal techniques in paper construction as well as finding her own artistic voice.

Joli Jolan (2022) by Jumaadi

Photo Credit: Singapore Art Museum

Jumaadi’s art is imbued with a poetic sensibility. Joli Jolan, a word coined and derived from the Javanese term ijol ijolan, references ideas of making an exchange— to swap, to trade and/or to replace. In Joli Jolan, he affords us a glimpse of his grand private cosmology. At first glance it is whimsical but upon a closer look, it reveals a world of peculiarity. A seemingly autobiographical figure carries enormous objects ranging from a pineapple, fishbone, and human foot to miniature mountains and buildings sprouting foliage. Other recurring motifs include the buffalo, tree of life, rootless tree, and tree-less roots. Informed by a traditional Javanese worldview and that of a postmodern nomad living in a global world straddling his studios in Imogiri (Yogyakarta, Indonesia) and Sydney, Jumaadi weaves together a personal iconography of human and organic motifs, where natural and spiritual worlds converge.

Land of Fairy Tales《童话世界》(2010-2016) by Li Hongbo 李洪波

Li Hongbo's paper sculptures brings a breath of fresh air to traditional Chinese arts and crafts. Hongbo transforms the medium of paper, one of the key inventions in Chinese civilisation, through deconstruction and reassembling. In doing so, he creates a shift away from the familiar and the overlooked, drawing attention to the hidden essence of an object's existence, offering the viewer a platform to reconsider current ideas and rethink the familiar. Hongbo loves playing with ambiguity. Land of Fairy Tales features an imaginary map of the world where continents are constructed from layers of paper meticulously glued together in a honeycomb-like structure by hand. Each structure can be laid flat, twisted or stretched. This beautiful large-scale installation of colourful malleable continents subtly reflects the geopolitics of borders and boundaries as active forces and resources in international and domestic political, social, and economic relations.

Eccentric City (2010) by PHUNK & Keiichi Tanaami

Eccentric City is an imaginary floating city that is constructed of tatebanko or Japanese paper dioramas. This traditional Japanese craft, popular in the late Edo period (1603–1867) and the Meiji period (1868–1912), has continued to fascinate Keiichi Tanaami. He subsequently introduced tatebanko to PHUNK, a Singapore art and design collective, for this collaboration in 2010. The cityscape, populated by PHUNK’s black-and-white carnivalesque theme-park universe on one side and Tanaami’s brilliantly coloured psychedelic dreamscapes on the other, portrays the pulsating energy of urban living. These images are somewhat autobiographical. For PHUNK, amusement parks afford relatable childhood memories, while Tanaami's brand of psychedelia can be traced back to two formative periods in his life: the witnessing of the firebombing of Tokyo during World War II and his four-month stay in hospital while recovering from pleurisy in 1981, marked by nightly hallucinations from the strong medication.

There will also be programmes such as artist-led paper craft and creative writing workshops, shadow-play performances, and upcoming editions of SAMily Funday, which feature fun-filled afternoons of art activities for families.

100ish Meaningless Statements (2022) by Nabilah Said

Photo Credit: Singapore Art Museum

100ish Meaningless Statements is a collection of 100(ish) sentences that meditates on, explores, and subverts the uses and functions of paper in our lives, as well as the various meanings ascribed to it. As text, it communicates a spectrum of meanings and provocations to the reader—from nonsensical axioms and philosophical questions, to pop cultural references, commentaries on social relations, and instructions for creative response. The text positions paper as material, and yet also imbues it with personality and voice, giving it agency to turn its gaze back onto humanity and society. In 100ish Meaningless Statements, paper also becomes a placeholder for the self, full of randomness, emotion, and life. It moves us towards a possible future of what ‘paper’ can be—writ large and limited only by the imagination.

Extension of the Exhibition @The Engine Room

An extension of the exhibition, located at The Engine Room, invites audiences to activate their imagination and curiosity through play. Visitors can create and tell their own shadow-play story with Jumaadi’s paper cut-outs; explore perceptions of scale with Cheryl Teo’s miniature sculpture, adapted and supersized; and get up close to the world of PHUNK in the form of a giant pop-up book.

For more information on Superfluous Things: Paper, you may visit this link

SAMily Funday

Venue: SAM at Tanjong Pagar Distripark
Date: 4 to 5 Jun 2022
Time: 1pm to 5pm
Fee: Free admission

Join us at SAM for a supersized, fun-filled weekend as you explore the fascinating possibilities of contemporary art with your family and friends.

SAMily FUNDAY is designed for all ages.

[Drop-in Activity] CREATE: Bind a Book

Venue: Corridor outside Gallery 2
Date: 4 to 5 June 2022
Time: 1pm to 5pm
Fee: Free admission

Channel your creativity and make a personalised hand-bound book with just paper and glue!

[Experience] PHOTO: Say “SAM!”

Venue: Roving
Date: 4 to 5 June 2022
Time: 1pm to 5pm
Fee: Free admission

Capture your new memories at SAM with a polaroid picture! Look out for our photographers who will be roaming about.

[Tour] Curator tour for 'Lonely Vectors'

Venue: Meet outside Gallery 1
Date: 4 to 5 June 2022
Time: 1pm to 1.30pm | 3pm to 3.30pm
Fee: Free admission

Join our SAM curators, Joella Kiu and Kenneth Tay, as they share insights on Lonely Vectors, a multi-venue exhibition that reflects on the flows of goods, people and histories and the different ways in which they connect.

[Drop-in Activity] CREATE: Tatebanko

Venue: Corridor outside Gallery 2
Date: 4 to 5 June 2022
Time: 1pm to 5pm
Fee: Free take-home activity 

Tatebanko or paper dioramas were popular in the late Edo period (1603–1867) and the Meiji period (1868–1912). Design your own carnivalesque theme-park universe or psychedelic dreamscapes. Make your own tatebanko, taking inspiration from PHUNK and Keiichi Tanaami's Eccentric City.

[Film] Kalachakra' by the SAtheCollective

Venue: The Engine Room
Date: 4 to 5 June 2022
Time: 2pm to 2.15pm | 4pm to 4.15pm 
Fee: Free admission

'Kalachakra' or ‘Wheel of Time’ can signify larger movements of energies such as the cycles of the planets in the universe, or personal movements such as the cycles of human breath. This shadow puppetry short film was borne out of that idea and created for young and old alike to enjoy. Presented by SAtheCollective, this project is supported by the National Arts Council under the Digital Presentation Grant.

This programme is a part of Children's Season 2022.

[Tour] Family Tour of 'Superfluous Things'

Venue: Meet outside Gallery 2
Date: 4 to 5 June 2022
Time: 1pm to 1.30pm | 3pm to 3.30pm
Fee: Free admission

Journey into the world of paper with SAM programmers as they share insights into Superfluous Things: Paper, an exhibition with interactive components for the young at heart.

SAM Late Nights

Venue: SAM at Tanjong Pagar Distripark
Date: 3 June 2022
Time: 6pm to 9pm
Fee: Free admission

Explore SAM after hours and curate your own evening from a variety of events - experience a performance, see an exhibition, listen to live music, make art, and more.

Art in the Commons: Data Visualising Jurong featuring Berny Tan

Photo Credit: Singapore Art Museum

Venue: Science Centre Singapore
Date: 16 Jun to 11 Sep 2022 

The second edition of Art in the Commons: Data Visualising Jurong returns with a new art installation by Singaporean artist Berny Tan, exploring another area of the Jurong district –Chinese Garden, located in Jurong Lake Gardens. Closed for redevelopment since 2019, the Chinese Garden can only be experienced in fragments today: viewed only from a distance, in photographs, and in memories.

a shapeless mass; a network of times (2022) by Berny Tan

a shapeless mass; a network of times takes a look at this iconic site of Jurong in its inaccessible state and examines how it exists in people’s memories. The installation is a machine-knitted “diagram” derived from the artist’s analysis of memories about the Chinese Garden which have been contributed by members of the public. These responses range from the detailed and heartfelt, to the brief, vague, and even inaccurate. The title is a reference to how these responses evolve from a shapeless mass of collected data into a textured network of collective memories which, for all their differences, describe a common space.

For more details on Art in the Commons: Data Visualising Jurong, you may visit this link


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This article is prepared by

Leona Quek
Blessed with 3 handsome and loving boys in her life. Two of them call her Mommy, the other calls her Wifey. Every night, she wishes for an early bedtime, but misses her babies as soon as they sleep.

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