Sunday, March 18, 2012

Singapore Art Museum

Little R admiring the art
Today little R and I went to the Singapore Art Museum, which houses contemporary art from Asia (B had to work as we will be away all next weekend). In general, I strongly dislike contemporary art; so much of it is pretentious or "concept based", meaning it is actually not aesthetically appealing at all (since the idea is the point). It is the rare person who has an idea interesting enough to surmount a lack of beauty (and in my opinion displaying pickled sheep in jars or your bed with dirty sheets does not qualify). Sometimes the art is also not actually made by the artist; instead, they come up with the concept and then hire artisans to do the actual work (like Jeff Koons). I am old school and think that if you did not do the actual work, then you don't count as an artist.
She is fascinated
Singapore is not really known for its art scene, contemporary or otherwise, and so I was very pleasantly surprised by the museum. Like so many contemporary art museums, they focus mainly on rotating exhibitions rather than a permanent collection, so to some extent it is luck of the draw as to what you see on your visit.
Midnight Sea
The main exhibition when I visited was The Collectors Show: Chimera, which was a selection of contemporary Asian artists' works owned by private collectors, in all forms of art, from multimedia to painting to video. I particularly loved Tabaimo's Midnight Sea, a stunningly beautiful animation of ocean waves projected onto the floor of a pitch black room. The walls were lined with mirrors, making the space seem much bigger, and as the sounds of the ocean played in the background, I really felt as if I were on the beach. It was amazing and little R loved it too.

Kusama's Sex Obsession
Little R checking out Yayoi Kusama's work
Laser installation; it's in an old chapel, which is so cool
Two works by Yayoi Kusama were also featured, which I very much enjoyed (I had heard of her before but never seen her work in person), and the laser installation by Li Hui was amazing (this was little R's second favorite; she spent about 10 minutes in total silence just gaping at the smoke, lasers and mirrors in wonder).

After little R got bored of art appreciation, she had a good time strolling the hallways and exploring the courtyards of the museum (it's in a historic building, a former Catholic boys' school). We had a great time. Hopefully if I keep indoctrinating her in how much fun museums are, she will want to go to them when she's older and able to have more of an opinion!
Let's go to the museum again!


  1. Little R is such an angel! My daughter has that same darling shirt but I think it's curer on a redheaded. :)

  2. You know, I just adore how much eye-opening experiences you provide to R!