Imaginarium – Over the Ocean, Under the Sea (2016) @ 8Q SAM, SG
Just launched about 2 weeks ago, visited Imaginarium – Over the Ocean, Under the Sea @ Singapore Art Museum at 8 Queens Street last weekend. This is the sixth edition of SAM’s children-focused annual exhibition – it invites adventurers of all ages into the watery realms of our Earth as seen through the eyes of contemporary artists.
The theme evolves around a whimsical introduction to the many stories and ideas that surround seascapes, Imaginarium: Over the Ocean, Under the Sea presents tactile and interactive works that encourage discovery through exploration and play.
It is my first time visiting a children focused art exhibition which involves not just the sense of sight, but also our few other senses like touch and hearing. It was a eye-opening experience of me.
There is a total of 7 theme zones (excluding activities area) for the entire exhibition – which covers the entire 8Q building.
Each zone has a theme of its own and some zones are interactive while some are more observational type of experience as seen in the exhibition overview plan.
At the first showcase which is right in front of the lawn when you enter 8Q you will notice Showcase #1 – Underwater Labyrinth – Janice Wong. Which is made with lots of sweet food. This is still my favourite among all the showcase #1I have seen thru the 4 floors of gallery. I think because of the simplistic nature of using gummy, chocolates and other sweet stuff to bring out the wonders of the underwater world.
As we step into the level 1 exhibition space, we proceed to Showcase #2 Dimana Mogus? (Where is Mogus?) – Muyana; which show cases the interesting world of puppets.
Initially it gave me some chills looking at things dangling from above…. and when I look below i see nice corals (not pictured). It reminds me of the annual Halloween parties which I use to organise as gathering with my friends.It brings out the visual and tactile aspects of art appreciation through this installation. Where there are cushions which you can lay down on and see from under the sea. A pretty interesting experience – especially for the young and young at heart.
After exiting this showcase, we move up the stairway where a series of wall murals welcome us. It is very nice graffiti art display (Showcase 3 artwork from ‘Apex Predator’ series by artist Yuree Kensaku) – which I shall leave it to your own exploration. And on the 2nd floor is where the activity rooms and moving images room where a 55 minutes series of short clips awaits you in the theatre.
Then level 3 and 4 (Showcase #4 – #7) is where some interesting interactive show case awaits.
Showcase #4 ADA – Karina Smigala-Bobinski; on Level 3 is another interesting experimental experience. A dark room, a big balloon. What will you do with it then?
If you had guessed it? There is some conservation messages surround this exhibit. About our carbon footprint and how it affects our environment.
At the adjacent showcase, we see some interesting art work in Showcase #5 by Krit Ngamsom exploring the deep seas of big fishes – whale and shark theme and its co-relation with food on the plate (not shown). It somehow makes me think about the under sea food chain ecosystem. As fascinating as our human food chain is, each in nature has their own ecosystem as well.
Moving up the staircase to the Level 4, we visit the last 2 showcase.
In the 2nd last Showcase #6 – Plastic Ocean & An Effort Most Futile – Tan Zi Xi, imagine a world filled with plastics. A world that is so full of trash that it now causes extinction of nature – our food source, among other things wildlife and the entire ecosystem. And all that is left is for us to thread in the plastic filled seas. This display felt like walking in a cave. Could hear a parent telling the child about the importance of recycling and not littering. It is indeed a very experiential showcase. Once again using our sense of sight & touch.
And the last piece of the exhibition – Showcase #7 Suara Muara (The Sounds of the Estuary) – Papermoon Puppet Theatre; which talks about the lost and forgotten place in East Java. About the changing times and how history tells about a area’s past. A thought provoking piece of installation, the importance of history and what it tells us about the ever changing world.
Overall, this is a very interactive exhibition good for children and for those of us who enjoys a weekend with hands on art installations – thought we may not be able to touch them. But it is pretty different form of art – reminds me of the secondary school days when I was making wire lantern with recycle materials and doing wire paper mache cat.
Adjacent to SAM 8Q, there is also a upcoming water theme showcase titled “Odyssey: Navigating Nameless Seas” which will begin on 4 June 2016.
Event period: 14 May to 28 August 2016
Website | Address: Singapore Art Museum at 8Q, 8 Queen St,Singapore 188535
*FREE Admission to this showcase on Friday evenings 6pm-9pm.