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Cosmic bridges, music with plush balls and more at this year’s Children’s Biennale

The second edition of the National Gallery Singapore’s popular event revolves around the theme Embracing Wonder and features 11 works by artists from Singapore and the region.

Cosmic bridges, music with plush balls and more at this year’s Children’s Biennale

One of Eko Nugroho's interactive works in Memories Of Fireflies. (Photo: National Gallery Singapore)

Thinking of where to bring the young ones this weekend? How about dropping by the museum and having fun with art.

Zainudin Samsuri's Dayung Sampan featuring a giant foot. (Photo: National Gallery Singapore)

For the second edition of the National Gallery Singapore’s popular Children’s Biennale, kids – and adults open to embracing their inner child – can walk across a bridge and peer down into the cosmos, throw balls at metal tubes to make music, or explore a lush garden made of paper cut-outs.

A detail from Donna Ong's Every World. (Photo: National Gallery Singapore)

The Biennale, which opens on Saturday (May 25) and runs until December, will feature 11 interactive works by 13 artists from Singapore and Southeast Asia revolving around the theme Embracing Wonder.

Nge Lay and Aung Ko's The Other Wall. (Photo: National Gallery Singapore)

Among these are two works by artists who are currently also showing at the prestigious Venice Biennale in Italy. Singaporean artist Song-Ming Ang’s Chance Operations features various coloured metal tubes arranged like huge wind chimes, which audiences can throw plush balls at to create music. 

Chance Operations, which will be at the National Gallery Singapore, is a new version of an earlier work by Song-Ming Ang. (Photo: National Gallery Singapore)

Meanwhile, Filipino artist Mark Justiniani has remade his popular bridge-of-mirrors at the museum basement to create a piece called Stardust: Soaring Through The Sky’s Embrace.

Mark Justiniani's Stardust: Soaring Through The Sky's Embrace. (Photo: National Gallery Singapore)

“Art is a place for children to learn about themselves, trust their ideas, and explore what is possible, all of which are important in enabling children to become confident, independent thinkers. Hence, we are always looking at innovative ways to engage with young learners to nurture an early interest in art by showcasing how it can be fun, inspirational and educational,” said Suenne Megan Tan, the museum’s director for audience development and engagement.

The Story Of Karang Guni Boy by Lorraine Tan and Eric Wong. (Photo: National Gallery Singapore)

Other works on display by Singapore artists include Every World by Donna Ong, an immersive space recreating underground, underwater and garden landscapes with intricate paper cut-outs; Milenko and Delia Prvacki’s Big Hug, featuring a series of rooms; a 3D motion-activated wall artwork by Hazel Lim-Schlegel and Andreas Schlegel titled The Oort Cloud and the Blue Mountain; Zainudin Samsuri’s Dayung Sampan, which features sculptures such as a giant foot resembling a sampan; and writer Lorraine Tan and illustrator Eric Wong’s The Story of Karang Guni Boy, which sees a children’s story come to life.

Milenko and Delia Prvacki's Big Hug. (Photo: National Gallery Singapore)

From the region, the Biennale also features top Indonesian artist Eko Nugroho, who has created six life-sized traditional paper lanterns depicting Javanese life, and Myanmar’s Nge Lay and Aung Ko, who have recreated traditional Burmese homes featuring a selection of the country’s folk tales.

Hazel Lim-Schlegel and Andreas Schlegel's The Oort Cloud And The Blue Mountain. (Photo: National Gallery Singapore)

Aside from the exhibition, the Biennale will also feature events such as poetry readings, music performances and film screenings. For more information, visit

Source: CNA/mm