Art What!: National Gallery Singapore’s Children’s Festival Goes Digital
National Gallery Singapore’s biennial children’s festival, Small Big Dreamers, returns for its second edition with a digital twist from 1st June 2020 to 28th March 2021. Alongside #GalleryAnywhere , #SmallBigDreamersAtHome is part of a concerted effort of key initiatives aimed at bringing more art experiences to its audiences, even while the Gallery remains temporarily closed due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation.
Following the introduction of new weekly activities on Gallery Kids! during the May school holidays, #SmallBigDreamersAtHome is the first 2 online art festival in Singapore that serves up a series of fun and engaging activities for children aged six to 12, featuring interactive games, and easy-to-follow, hands-on activities designed to let them unleash their inner artist while learning about artworks within the National Collection and beyond.
Adventures inspired by Singapore and Southeast Asian art Children’s adventures take place on the new #SmallBigDreamersAtHome interactive site, inspired by the art of five artists in Singapore and Southeast Asia. Holding focus groups with children, the Gallery allowed little ones to shape the festival by selecting artworks they wanted #SmallBigDreamersAtHome to be based on, namely Tropical Fruits by Georgette Chen, Horizontals I by Choy Weng Yang, Gamelan Orchestra by Sudjana Kerton, and Dungun Siri II by Ruzaika Omar Basaree. Completing this line-up is Singaporean artist Yeo Shih Yun, whose work, My INK-credible Adventure, focuses on the medium of ink painting. A digital portal by the Gallery for the audience to get their daily dose of art and virtual experiences in the comfort of their homes.
Visitors will be able to learn more about the artworks, have fun with interactive online games, let their creative juices flow with downloadable hands-on activities, and watch videos that include guided art tutorials. These experiences are brought to life through four experience zones, each featuring content and activities based on the five key artists and their works. From September, a fifth experience zone will be added, featuring scheduled live-streamed programmes for children to sign up for.
Through an immersive art-viewing experience, kids can begin their journey at Artists’ Studio by first learning about the artworks and their respective artists upon which the festival is based. The dynamic interface also brings them up close and personal with all five artworks, unveiling interesting facts and details about each masterpiece as they scroll through.
Under Make and Create, parents can download and print a collection of activity sheets comprising fun arts and crafts projects that invite kids to create, and educates kids about the practice of the featured artists in a child-friendly and consumable way.
Under Play and Discover, kids can have fun with interactive games that also serve to educate them on the artmaking techniques employed within the artworks. Three of such games will be made available from 1 June; namely An Artist’s Tropical Landscape (inspired by Georgette Chen’s Tropical Fruits), Feeling Blocks (inspired by Choy Weng Yang’s Horizontals I) and My INK-credible Adventure by Yeo Shih Yun. Two more games based on works by Indonesian artist Sudjana Kerton and Malaysian artist Ruzaika Omar Basaree will be released in July 2020.
With Watch and Listen, explore a series of on-demand tutorial videos facilitated by educational experts, independent artists, and illustrators, which hope to inspire kids to embark on projects of their own while simulating the artistic practices of some of the featured artists. Fun and engaging storytelling sessions along with sit-down chats with artists, educators and curators will join the line-up later in the year.
Come July 2020, two more interactive games inspired by works of regional artists will be made available. One of them is Music Making, a game that takes reference from Gamelan Orchestra by Sudjana Kerton. The other interactive titled Dungun Dreaming is inspired by Dungun Siri II by Ruzaika Omar Basaree. These will be accompanied by new home-based activity sheets and videos.
In September, the Gallery will introduce the fifth experience zone titled SBD Live!. In this new zone, they will be able to register for, and enjoy a series of approximately seven scheduled programmes such as live-streamed workshops, talks and performances, bringing the fun of a Gallery outing into their homes. As we continue to be more measured with physical gatherings, this new experience will continue to provide regular opportunities for families to bond over art-related activities.
In November, the Gallery will once again introduce new content on #SmallBigDreamersAtHome with more activity sheets, programmes and videos—just in time for the year-end school holidays. Parents and children are encouraged to share their artworks created in response to the festival on social media with the hashtag #SmallBigDreamersAtHome for a chance to be featured in a series of compilation videos under the banner Made by #SmallBigDreamersAtHome.
These videos will be published on the website in August and December 2020, and further reinforce Small Big Dreamers as a festival created for children, and with children. #SmallBigDreamersAtHome also complements other family-friendly online resources and programmes by the Gallery, such as the refreshed Gallery Kids! website which offers new weekly home-based art activities and resources to nurture one’s interest in art.
Says Suenne Megan Tan, Director of Audience Development and Engagement at National Gallery Singapore said: “With families spending more time at home to curtail the spread of COVID-19, we want to provide opportunities for parents to continue engaging their children with art during this time. #SmallBigDreamersAtHome allows children to learn while being in their element with the online platform and ignites their imagination through creative play. We hope that it will serve as a springboard for new and regular visitors to take their own self-guided adventures into the world of art and look forward to welcoming them at the Gallery soon”.
#SmallBigDreamersAtHome runs from now to 28th March 2021. For more information, visit their website here