I’ve heard a lot about Imaginarium: A Voyage of Big Ideas exhibition at 8Q SAM, and finally got a chance to bring the kids there on a playdate a week ago. It was a nice quiet morning, and we started our day with brunch at the nearby Food for Thought. EV was an angel wolfing up her kid’s pancake all by herself, and even took a bit of AA’s kid’s pasta. AA needed more attention, but he was good overall. He’s proofing to be quite a fussy food connoisseur. When I passed him the kid’s menu, he responded by telling me he wanted pasta, as well as apple juice AND soup. That was a first. But I’m glad that the menu there captured his interest, as he can be quite a fussy eater at times.
The moment we stepped into the museum, the kids made a beeline for the We Built This Estate display at the ground floor. This is probably their favourite display of the whole exhibition; we revisited it after seeing the rest of the displays. The life size Tetris-shaped building blocks in bright colours were absolutely irresistable as EV and AA, along with their friends built fortresses, tunnels, bridges and whatever their imagination prompted them to do. We adults just had to stand aside and watch their creativity soar, interrupting only when things seem to get out of control, such as an over-eager AA carrying a block that’s triple his size and weight, and the older kids having a little tiff.
It took a while to drag the kids to see the other exhibits. We went to the MoonRoom, where the kids could write letters to the moon or doodle on the walls. While the older kids were contented with doing the latter, AA was happy in his own zone, chopping at the stamp counter or sitting in the middle of the room folding paper.
The Band of Doodlers illustrations greeted us as we walked up the four levels. It’s quite an interesting piece of art, which depicts Singapore’s folklore. Unfortunately, with enthusiastic kids keen to explore, we didn’t have the time to linger and appreciate it. It’s definitely a feast for the eyes though.
Vincent Twardzik Ching’s Greenroom II: Interstellar Overdrive is an interactive display which teaches how motion can produce power. Using bicycles that we had to ride on, we could power up light displays and stereo equipment. Fun for the kids, tiring for the adults.
We think that the Let’s Make! Studio by Izziyana Suhaimi was extremely soothing. The room was extremely large, and by the time we got there, the walls were already filled with many pom poms, embroideries and weaving works of art that other visitors had made and put up. Depending on the age of the visitors, each individual can create either a pom pom, embroider or weave. EV and AA did the pom-poms, and rather than put it up on the wall tapestry, they prefered to play with it there and then, running around with their pom poms trailing behind them.
A ‘wow’ display we liked was Kiko’s Secrets by KumKum Fernando. There are three little boxes, each holding a separate display. The one that we liked best, and probably wowed the kids the most, was the glow-in-the-dark art pieces made of various materials. The kids could move around and hold large triangular tubes against the art pieces, and viola! They created kaleidoscopes. Another display allowed them to search for different sized plastic pieces to fit on to a large wall of shapes.
The last exhibit we went to was another of the kids’ favourite. This sweet display is Lee Jeeyoung’s Dream House. There’s a candy house, complete with yummy lifesize lollipops and a garden of sweets at the back - truly a kid’s dream. EV and AA couldn’t get enough of taking the brightly coloured sweet from the house to ‘plant’ on the trees in the garden. At one point, they were determined to collect only purple sweets, and eventually created a tree of purple sweets. AA was also bent on taking the sweets from the house to the little table at the front, running back and forth continuously. It was really a delightful place that the kids clearly enjoyed being in, and again, it was tough when it was finally time to leave.
Despite spending hours at Imaginarium, the kids were still determined to make a final stop - the display on the ground floor with the life size building blocks. It’s amazing how their energy seems to be endless, even though they look visibly tired. For us adults, we were just contented to sit back and watch the kids build their fortresses.
Have you visited Imaginarium? Make sure you do before it ends. As the title suggests, it is indeed an exhibition that ignites the imagination.
Imaginarium: A Voyage of Big Ideas
Now till 19 July 2015
71 Bras Basah Road
Opening Hours: Mondays to Sundays 10am to 7pm, Fridays 10am to 9pm
Free entry for citizens and permanent residents