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Art museum great for kids and adults

The Straits Times | Friday, Sep 26, 2014

Pinaree Sanpitak’s noon-nom installation with bulbous soft sculptures is on display at the exhibition, Sensorium 360° which is on at the Singapore Art Museum.

SINGAPORE - I had a completely different experience from Madam Elizabeth Yong Hoi Yan ("Let down by art museum"; Monday).

My four-year-old goddaughter, her mother and I went to see the Sensorium 360° exhibition at the Singapore Art Museum last month. Her mother and I were a little apprehensive as we were not sure whether a four-year-old would be able to appreciate the exhibition.

It turned out that we need not have worried. My goddaughter enjoyed herself tremendously and we had trouble getting her to leave.

She especially enjoyed noon-nom, which allowed her to take off her shoes and jump around. She also had fun in the maze room, which she went through several times. At the children's corner upstairs, she got to take off her shoes once more to explore.

This is not to say that all the exhibits were suitable for her. She was fearful of the rooms that were dark, but we just steered her away from those exhibits.

Considering how even adults can disagree on whether a work of art is offensive or should even have a place in a museum, we cannot expect every single work to be suitable for every child.

A museum cannot be all things to all people. Certainly, one that is child-friendly does not mean it caters only to children. Otherwise it would be a children's museum, which the Singapore Art Museum is not.

The museum did an excellent job of entertaining children, while providing adults with a thought-provoking experience. This is no mean feat and it succeeded admirably.

- Dawn Kua (Ms)


This article was first published on September 24, 2014.
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