Thursday, June 11, 2015

Masak Masak 2015 @ National Museum of Singapore

One of the first adventure we went on this holiday is Masak Masak 2015 at the National Museum of Singapore. We were invited to the media preview on a Saturday, the first day of the hols, but could  not make it as EV had swimming and Chinese lessons. So we went on our own just a couple of days ago, a good choice, I must say, because it wasn't that crowded, and the kids had ample time and space to enjoy the exhibits. Though, at this very moment, EV is taking Masak Masak's 'Baby Block’s Day Out' brochure and telling DaddySay all about the dragon bouncy playground at the museum's front lawn, trying to convince DaddySay to bring her there over the weekend. I think she needs to try very hard; we've already got play dates lined up this weekend.

First, a quick visit to the Leading Ladies exhibition just beside the Rotunda.
Yes, back to Masak Masak. Mademoiselle Maurice’s Spectrum of Paper at the Rotunda near the entrance is quite a welcoming sight of kaleidoscopic colours. The kids were so tempted to jump up and touch it. Me? I was just happy to get pictures of the kids with the suspending origami display alone, something I can't expect to do on a weekend.

Going on a weekday also makes it easy to find a seat at Food for Thought. EV’s good memory meant she remembered our last adventure to Masak Masak last year and our pancake brunch at Food for Thought. So similarly, she was looking forward to it this time. She woofed down her pancakes in record time, clearly getting ready for an afternoon of fun at the displays.

Our first stop was the Level 1 Concourse, where Alexandre Dang’s Dancing Solar Flowers and Garden Games by the School of the Arts are. EV and AA were curious why the flowers were moving, so it was a great opportunity to tell them all about solar energy. Of course, they spent the longest time at the four extra large old-school games. They couldn’t figure out how to manoeuvre the ping pong ball through the vertical maze at first, spinning the maze so fast that the ball flew out, but after some guidance, EV got the hang of it. AA just didn’t have the patience, and just moved on to the next thing that grabbed his attention - the flower of plastic cup phones. EV had a ball throwing the hoola hoops over the ‘cans’, and later, decided to do the twist with the hoops instead.

I think it’s safe to say that we spent the most time that day at the Level 1 Salon. We were amazed by the splash of colour by the continuation of the Spectrum of Paper display, this time, looking like it's flying across a blue sky. Queen of the Forest by Jeremy Hiah was a little understated, because it looked rather different from the picture used in the 'Baby Block' Day Out' brochure. So much so that EV came running to me later when we were home, and claimed that she had not yet seen the display. The image showed a big flower with birds and butterflies around it, but the actual display had no big flower, and looked rather bare, with just a few bird and butterfly puppets on it, or perhaps we missed it. I had to remind EV that we did see the display, that she made the butterfly puppets, but she didn't want to put her puppet on the display, and she went oh! So while I do hope that the images used in publicity materials are more accurately portrayed, I do understand that it's difficult to, especially when the displays are not already up.

Simple Pleasures in Life and Life’s Best Journey is With The One You Love by Jeanette Aw wwere quite interesting. On one side of the wall, kids could add colour to the illustration, while on the other wall which was painted black, kids had to use a stick to scratch the paint off. Quite a thrill for both EV and AA.

Chopping time came next at the basement, at the Memory Stations. Obviously, EV and AA had fun chopping, and it was a respite for us adults. I spoke to them about wood block printing, and how it is done. What impressed me at this display was how EV and AA managed to 'read' one of the images about a boy missing out on school. Somehow, EV was attracted to this picture, and asked what it was about. I didn't tell her and instead asked her what she felt it was about. She said she felt it was something about missing school. After a few prompting questions, I found out that she could identify clues that told her that two boys were going to school, and one didn't, because of what they were wearing. She was also able to tell from the boy's casual clothes and facial expression that he was feeling sad. Wow. This meant she can read between the lines, and infer something that's not literally there. Looks like I need to train her more in this aspect.

On the same level is the Wanderlust display by Crystal Wagner, a gigantic, life-size structure made of recycled plastic materials. It spans more than half of the basement, with tunnels and little 'hills' for kids to play. Pretty impressive. Needless to say, EV and AA had a ball crawling in and out and hiding from us adults, especially when we said it was time to go.

Our last stop for the day was the Play@NMS on the third floor. EV remembered this from our last visit, and she just had to go there. For us adults, it was an excuse to let the kids play, while we sat and rest our feet.

Will we go back again? Sure, why not? If not for the other displays, then for Luma-City, a larger-than-life toy vehicle display, which this mummy totally forgot about because of exhaustion. But it'll probably not be over the weekend. We still love the relative peace that the weekday offers.

Have you visited Masak Masak? Please do! It's cool (literally and figuratively), creative and inspiring, for both kids and adults.

Masak Masak 2015
Now till 10 August
93 Stamford Road
Singapore 178897
Opening Hours: Mondays to Sundays 10am to 6pm
Free admission to the festival


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