a Mother in Search of the Unbearable Lightness of Being

Imaginarium: Over the Ocean, Under the Sea

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Finally managed to bring Olive for her first Imaginarium experience at Singapore Art Museum (SAM) at 8Q where we had a play-date with mamas and bubbas Lolla and Bibi, Janne and Jojo, and Gill and Gideon whom we acquainted with, over Instagram! After all the exchanges via Instagram, it’s always nice to finally meet the people we so often “see”, in real life. And what’s even better is when the mamas we meet are so down-to-earth and so true to their online personas that it felt as though we were friends for a while now. The people observing our interactions (if any) wouldn’t have known that it was actually the first time we met.

So the group of us whisked our kids from one exhibit to another, sometimes terrorizing the museum attendants, especially those watching over exhibits where installations were fragile and cannot be touched. IMG_1133

(b. 1984, Indonesia)
Dimana Mogus?
(Where is Mogus?)
The child-friendliest exhibit of all, where the kids could go wild and run, jump, roll around, and touch the sea monsters and corals made from yarn, cotton, felt etc.IMG_1130


One of these octopus monsters is Mogus.

Aside from the self-exploration, I took the opportunity to teach Olive some colors by asking her to find and touch the corals of a specific color.

There was a lot of dancing involved too, whenever Olive was happy.


And plenty of photo opportunities for me to go trigger happy.

(b. 1967, Poland)
My favorite exhibit, also Olive’s least favorite exhibit featuring a giant glowing sphere with charcoal studs affixed on its surface. The charcoal studs made marks along the walls, ceiling, and floor as we pushed the sphere around, symbolizing how we so often leave marks or damage our environment while interacting with it. Through this installation, I also discovered that my little brave-heart has grown to be afraid of the dark. I didn’t want to pick Olive up and carry her because I wanted to see if she could overcome the fear of darkness on her own, with some encouragement. But lucky for Olive, her 6th grandaunt, one of her fiercest protectors, carried her immediately and kept them both at ease. IMG_1190

(b. 1983, Thailand)
Damien, I’m Famished (After Damien Hirst);
Bryde’s Fountain (After Marcel Duchamp); and
Surrealism Spiced (After Salvador Dali)
Not much to say about this exhibit, except that it was not quite suitable for kids simply because “NO TOUCHING!” Good to note that Olive could restrain her urge to touch the installations and view them from a safe distance. Gives me confidence to bring her to more art galleries in future.



With yiyi Dawn, part of Olive’s entourage.

(b. 1985, Singapore)
Plastic Ocean
A no-touching/tugging exhibit full of rubbish. Olive enjoyed this garbage galore so much that she snatched my camera away from me to snap pictures of all the trash hanging around.

Processed with VSCO

Little photographer at work again.

(f. 2006, Indonesia)
Suara Muara (The Sounds of the Estuary)
Exhibit meant to showcase Java’s forgotten little China, a tiny town on the northern part of Java, which was once an important port for commercial and maritime affairs.


Playing the part.

Beyond the Deep Blue: Short Films Screening
We spent some time just outside this theatre where there was a nice cosy area with sofas and childrens’ furniture and books that kept the kids occupied.

An activity room where kids and adults can make origami. I don’t think any of us made any successfully though.

We were there from the time SAM opened, at 10am to about 1pm before the hunger pangs got to us and we adjourned to Food For Thought for lunch. Definitely a morning well spent with this bunch, and with my aunt and cousins too! IMG_1206

Imaginarium: Over the Ocean, Under the Sea
6th edition of SAM’s children-focused annual exhibition
Runs from 14 May 2016 – 28 August 2016
Free admission for Singaporeans and PRs
Check out SAM’s website for more details!

Author: JaniceT

A Mother in Search of the Unbearable Lightness of Being.

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