Sensorium 360° at Singapore Art Museum

I’m rather disappointed that there’s no Art Garden at Singapore Art Museum this year. The kids love it and we usually go more than once if we can. But we managed to check out Sensorium 360° the other day and there are some installations that are appealing to and suitable for kids. It’s an exhibition of Southeast Asian and Asian contemporary art that explores how sensory experiences locate us in understanding the world and knowing the self and is on until 22 October.

Sensorium 360°

Sensorium 360°

I was there with Anya and her classmate and The Overview Installation was their favourite and they went through it at least 3 times! You have to put on a pair of goggles that replaces your normal viewpoint with an image streamed from closed-circuit televisions so you see yourself from a third-person point of view or from above or ‘god view’. I tried it too and it’s like a computer game and the effect is quite disorienting. A simple maze becomes extremely difficult to navigate!

The Overview Installation

The Overview Installation

this is what they see

this is what they see

making their way through the maze

making their way through the maze

Another favourite was noon-nom where the kids got to jump around and hide in a roomful of boob cushions. The kids called it the xiao long bao room and I can totally see the resemblance. The installation supposedly questions prevailing attitudes towards the female breast in order to reassert its significance as a natural form that symbolises nourishment and comfort, and emphasises the importance of touching and feeling as a means of reconnecting in human relationships.

noon-nom

noon-nom

boobs everywhere!

boobs everywhere!

Cage  uses green lasers to create two virtual cages and is supposed to trigger instinctive responses of disorientation and even anxiety in viewers. The kids didn’t seem anxious at all and had fun trying to climb over, wriggle under or squeeze in between the laser beams without getting the light cut off.

Cage

Cage

climbing over laser beams

climbing over laser beams

In The Sensoroom, visitors can relax in a reading corner of specially selected books and participate in the activity stations that explore the senses of the human body. Some of the items in the touching station were missing and probably taken away by other kids (or adults).

The Sensoroom

The Sensoroom

what's inside?

what’s inside?

There were a few other rooms that the kids didn’t find that interesting and one that was full of glass so I was a bit nervous when they were in that particular room. But we still spent a couple of hours there and I had to drag them away eventually. You can refer to the exhibition guide for more information about the different installations in Sensorium 360°. I like how all the installations challenge the way we use our senses and our perceptions.

There is a Tree in the Heart of Death

There is a Tree in the Heart of Death

smells

smells

leaving a message

leaving a message

hanging up her disc

hanging up her disc

honey

Project: Honey Sticks (6,425)

My favourite was Twinning Machine 4.0 because I actually managed to take a photo of myself (taking a photo of myself). An interactive installation, the video captures the viewer and projects the life-sized image onto a screen, but with a few seconds’ delay, so it really feels like you are looking at a twin or a ghost of yourself.

Twinning Machine 4.0

Twinning Machine 4.0

I'm there too

I’m there too

I’m glad we managed to have a good time at Singapore Art Museum even without Art Garden but I’m really hoping that they will bring it back next year in some form or other. Sensorium 360° is until 22 October and there are programmes you can sign up for and worksheets for older children to guide them along.

Read more about Sensorium 360° at Mum in the Making.

Bubble Magic – Bubbling Over With Fun!

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I took the kids to Bubble Magic yesterday, and as I expected, they LOVED it! They could barely sit still in their seats and were bouncing up and down in excitement and exclaiming aloud whenever some new feat of bubble wizardry was executed.

Bubble Magic is a two-man show combining the beauty of bubbles with clowning, lighting, music and costumes. It’s full of fun and surprises and will delight people of all ages. The show was created and directed by the master of bubbles, Pep Bou. The Spanish-born artiste has been playing with bubbles for more than three decades!

The kids were highly amused by the comical antics of the two men and visibly awed by the dizzying display of bubbles creatively presented with shadows, lights, smoke, colours and music. The bigger the bubbles, the louder the applause and the cheers! I was suitably impressed by sight of a toy train making its way through a bubble tunnel without the bubble bursting.

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Personally, I would have liked to see a bit more audience interaction and participation during the performance, but there is no doubt that Bubble Magic is a big hit with the kids, so check it out before the September holidays end!

SEASON DETAILS
VENUE: Jubilee Hall Raffles Hotel
SEASON: Until Sun 14th September 2014; 11am & 1.30pm
TICKETS: from $70
BOOKINGS: Tickets available through SISTIC (Internet: www.sistic.com.sg; Hotline: 6348 5555; All SISTIC authorized agents island-wide)
Official Website: www.lunchbox-productions.com

Potted Potter – Laugh-Out-Loud Funny!

I caught POTTED POTTER last night and laughed my head off! The crazy combination of unapologetic silliness, unrelenting slapstick, lame jokes, ridiculous costumes, and random hand puppets had me rolling in the aisles. At one point, the audience was asked to participate and call out certain words but I was laughing so hard I just couldn’t catch my breath to join in!

Potted Potter

Potted Potter is all seven Harry Potter books condensed into 70 minutes with an actual Quidditch game thrown into the mix. Back by popular demand after a sell-out season in Singapore in 2012, Potted Potter will play at the Jubilee Hall at Raffles Hotel until 14 September (this Sunday!!) and there are only 10 shows. Spot your favourite Harry Potter characters, and do look out for the dragon!

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The two actors, James Percy and Benjamin Stratton, have incredible chemistry and comic timing. They managed to sustain their energy level throughout the performance, which is quite a feat considering that it’s just the two of them on stage the entire time! I love how they don’t take themselves too seriously and are so utterly manic and irreverent.

My favourite part of the show was probably the Quidditch game! They asked for volunteers from the audience, and lucky for us, the two who came forward were extremely enthusiastic and really got into their roles and it got the audience very excited indeed. And take my word for it, the Golden Snitch is the most memorable bit of the Quidditch game.

Potted Potter will have you in stitches, whether you are a hardcore Harry Potter fan or someone who has no idea what the books are about. It is definitely worth watching!

SEASON DETAILS

VENUE: Jubilee Hall Raffles Hotel
SEASON: Until Sunday 14th September 2014
TICKETS: from $70
BOOKINGS: Tickets available through SISTIC (Internet: www.sistic.com.sg; Hotline: 6348 5555; All SISTIC authorized agents island-wide)
For more information: www.lunchbox-productions.com or www.pottedpotter.com.au

Octoburst! 2014 + A Giveaway!

We are big fans of the Esplanade, especially their performances and activities for kids. Just last Friday, I took Anya and her friend to watch the shadow puppetry show ‘The Cat Who Grew Fat & Other Fables’ as part of Moonfest 2014. We are now looking forward to the annual Children’s Festival held in conjunction with Children’s Day known as Octoburst!

Octoburst!

This year, Octoburst! is from 3 to 6 October and will include performances, workshops and activities, both free and and ticketed. Here are some highlights of Octoburst! -

Octoburst! Children’s Drawing Competition & Colouring Fun

If your kids like to colour or have a talent for drawing, register them for some colouring fun or a drawing competition. They may get their artwork displayed on the Esplanade Community Wall from 4 Oct to 2 Nov!

For the drawing competition, an A3-sized drawing paper with a special Esplanade stamp will be provided on the day of the competition. Participants are required to bring their own drawing materials. Only crayons, pastels and/ or colour pencils are allowed. Colouring sheets will be provided for Colouring Fun. Participants have to bring their own colouring materials.

Date: 3 Oct 2014, Fri
Time: 8.30 – 11.30am
Venue: Meeting Point at Esplanade Concourse
Details: Colouring Fun for children between 2 & 4 years old; On-the-spot Drawing Competition open to children between 5 & 12 years old (Category A: 5 & 6 years old, Category B: 7 – 9 years old, Category C: 10 -12 years old)
Registration: Pre-registration is required for both Colouring Fun and Drawing Competition and can be done online.

Parent-Child Workshops

Pinhole Monster

Octoburst!

When I was a kid, I made a pinhole camera and was amazed to see the image projected inside! Find out what you and the kids can make with items from around the house, cardboard pieces
and a monster-sized imagination. Tap into the creative minds of your little ones in this workshop that blends science and art by creating a “Pinhole Monster”, a pinhole camera that projects the view from the outside into a black box.

Date: 4 Oct 2014, Sat
Time: 2.30pm (2hr 30mins, with breaks)
Venue: Esplanade Bay Room
Details: Recommended for children aged 6 – 12.
Tickets: $28 for one pair of tickets, available from SISTIC

Kamishibai Storycrafting

Octoburst! Gather around and listen closely as master storyteller Kamini Ramachandran weaves tales of wonder and magic through the Japanese art of kamishibai, a visual form of storytelling. After the storytelling session, take on the role of a storyteller for the day. Children and their adults will get a chance to illustrate their own story by making kamishibai story cards and also spin their own fantastical tale.

Date: 5 Oct 2014, Sun
Time: 2.30pm (1hr 30mins, with breaks)
Venue: Esplanade Bay Room
Details: Recommended for children aged 4 – 8.
Tickets: $28 for one pair of tickets, available from SISTIC

Kirigami Pop-Up Card Making

Octoburst!
Learn kirigami, the Japanese art of paper cutting and folding by magically transforming a plain piece of paper into a 3D pop-up card filled with intricate shapes, unique designs and vibrant colours.

Date: 6 Oct 2014, Mon
Time: 2.30pm (2hr, with breaks)
Venue: Esplanade Bay Room
Details: Recommended for children aged 5 – 9.
Tickets: $28 for one pair of tickets, available from SISTIC

Dance Appreciation Series: Introduction to Ballet Classics by Singapore Dance Theatre

Octoburst! For all aspiring ballerinas! Singapore Dance Theatre brings you around the world by bringing to stage the different sides of classical ballet from Germany, France, Spain, Poland and India. Told through narration and dance excerpts, this hour-long performance specially created for young audiences will feature some of the world’s most enchanting classical ballets like Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Don Quixote, Nutcracker and La Bayadère!

Date: 3 Oct 2014, Fri
Time: 1pm & 4pm (1 hr, no intermission)
Venue: Esplanade Concert Hall
Tickets: $10, available from SISTIC
Details: Recommended for ages 2 and up. Admission for children aged 2 and up. Children who come dressed in their favourite character costumes will get a chance to take photographs with the cast after the show!

Something Very Far Away
A Unicorn Production (UK)

Octoburst! Octoburst!

The performance I’m looking forward to the most is Something Very Far Away.  It is a moving tale about an ordinary man who loves two things beyond all others: the cosmos and his wife Tomasina. After a sudden and tragic loss, he looks to the stars for answers and journeys deep into space to keep the thing most precious to him alive.

The show uses puppetry, music, sound and live animation to create a unique and beautiful performance that will enchant children and adults alike. Check out the production trailer here!

Date and Time: 3 Oct 2014, Fri, 2pm & 5pm; 4 & 5 Oct 2014, Sat and Sun, 10am, 12pm & 5pm
Venue: Esplanade Recital Studio
Tickets: $28 each, available from SISTIC
Details: Recommended for 6 years and up. No admission for children aged 4 and under.

GIVEAWAY!
I have a pair of Something Very Far Away tickets for Friday, 3 October 2pm, to be won by one lucky reader!

To qualify, simply do the following by  16 September 2014, 2359H (Singapore time):

1. Like the ‘In the Wee HoursFacebook page.
2. Like the ‘Octoburst!Facebook page.
3. Like, share and comment on this Facebook post telling me which Octoburst! performance/ workshop/ activity you are keen to check out and why! Tag a friend when you share the post and make sure your post is public.

The Nightingale by SRT’s The Little Company

The Nightingale

The Nightingale

We watched The Nightingale by SRT’s The Little Company today and really enjoyed it. Before the show, I wasn’t sure if Adam would be able to sit still throughout because he didn’t know the story and was quite restless during the last play we watched. But the catchy music and lively dance moves caught his attention right from the start, and by the end, he was asking to watch it again.

The Nightingale is based on Hans Christian Anderson’s story about an emperor who falls in love with the melodious singing of a nightingale and forces the little bird to live in a gilded cage so that it could not leave his side. Eventually, the bird is replaced by a mechanical version made with precious metals and stones and the emperor’s attention is momentarily captured by his new toy until it breaks down one day. He falls gravely ill and his old friend the nightingale returns to his side to sing him back to health.

hurray for the Emperor of China

hurray for the Emperor of China

The play opens with the Emperor, his Protector and two maids singing about how great he is and we get a glimpse into the life of the Emperor. He has everything he wants but is constantly bored and restless and always looking for something new to entertain him. We see how the Emperor’s throne is just a cage and even though he is powerful, he is stuck in the palace.

The Emperor reads about the nightingale and sets his heart on hearing it sing. He sends his Protector to discover where the nightingale can be found. A maid agrees to lead the Emperor to the nightingale. But since he’s afraid of leaving the palace, the Protector is sent in his place to bring the nightingale to the palace.

the search is on

the search is on

finding the nightingale

finding the nightingale

The Emperor has a cage made for the nightingale and it mirrors his own throne. He attaches a golden chain to the nightingale and does not allow it to leave the palace. Eventually, homesick and heartbroken, the nightingale stops singing and the Emperor chases it away. He receives a mechanical nightingale and he clings desperately to it, because unlike the real nightingale, it cannot leave him. The wind-up bird breaks down, the Emperor falls terribly ill, and the nightingale returns to sing to him.

The Emperor leaves his palace to see the place that inspires the nightingale’s song and he learns the true meaning of freedom, happiness, love, and friendship. There are quite a few meaningful messages in the play, but they are deftly handled with a light touch and in an entertaining manner that is never too heavy-going for the little ones in the audience.

the Emperor and the nightingale

the Emperor and the nightingale

we loved the show!

we loved the show!

As we left the theatre, we were happily singing bits of the closing song and talking about our favourite characters. Since they enjoyed the English version so much, I’m sure they will like the Chinese one as well!

The Nightingale is playing at DBS Arts Centre – Home of SRT until Sunday, 14 September and tickets are available from SISTIC. You can also get tickets for 夜莺, the Chinese version of The Nightingale (playing from 18 September to 11 October) from SISTIC.

 

Disclaimer: We received three complimentary tickets to watch this performance. All opinions are my own.

Disney Channel’s The 7D

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Disney’s The 7D, a hilarious take on the world of the Seven Dwarfs, will premiere tomorrow (Sunday, September 7) at 11am on Disney Channel (StarHub Ch 312/ SingTel mio TV Ch 234).

This new series takes place in the whimsical world of Jollywood, where Queen Delightful relies on The 7D – Happy, Bashful, Sleepy, Sneezy, Dopey, Grumpy and Doc – to keep the kingdom in order. Standing in their way are two ‘evil’ villains, Grim and Hildy Gloom, who plot to take over the kingdom by stealing the magical jewels in the 7D’s mine.

The talented voice cast includes Kelly Osbourne as the bumbling novice witch Hildy Gloom, and Jay Leno and Whoopi Goldberg in the recurring roles of Crystal Ball and Magic Mirror, respectively.

7D_Image 3 (499x500) Grim-and-Hildy-19 (2) (500x500)

We managed to catch a sneak peek of The 7D at a media preview last month and the kids loved it! They laughed at the villains’ pathetic attempts to take over Jollywood and cheered for The 7D as they faced every challenge head-on and accomplished every task bravely. Even the villains are actually quite lovable in their bumbling way and are obviously no real threat and not to be taken seriously.

I love how the 7D have been creatively redesigned from what we know of them in Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs. The humour is very witty and probably better appreciated by kids above 5 (and young-at-heart adults like myself). Adam really enjoyed what we watched at the premiere though and has been very excited whenever the ad for the show comes on. To be honest, I’m looking forward to the series premiere as much as the kids!

Mid-Autumn Festival @ The Gardens 2014

I love Mid-Autumn Festival! I mean, what’s not to love? Who doesn’t like mooncakes and lanterns? I’m so glad that Mid-Autumn Festival falls during the September school holidays this year. I visited Mid-Autumn Festival @ The Gardens with the husband, all 3 kids and my 2 aunts earlier today and we had a fun time eating and looking at the lanterns. I liked that even though there were a lot of people there, it wasn’t unpleasantly crowded and felt very festive indeed.

There are nightly performances by artistes from Chongqing Song & Dance Troupe and Guangdong Arts Troupe at Supertree Grove. I treated myself to some smelly tofu and fried Oreos at the Asian Food Street (at Palm Court near the Planet Baby sculpture). There’s also Korean street food, okonomiyaki, burgers and more!

performances at Super Tree Grove

performances at Super Tree Grove

lots of yummy food

lots of yummy food

I was immensely impressed by the majestic water lantern displays featuring the Ancient Chinese Palace, The Eight Immortals Crossing the Sea and the Treasure Voyages of Cheng Ho. The kids liked the lanterns featuring landmarks of different countries. There are also interesting thematic lantern set pieces of Racial Harmony in Singapore, SEA Games 2015, and of course, the Chinese Zodiac. I also took many photos of the lanterns depicting Chinese culture and traditions in Taiwan.

Chang E flying to the moon with her rabbit

Chang E flying to the moon with her rabbit

the entire piece

the entire piece

India!

India!

Japan

Japan

one of my favourite pieces: London!

one of my favourite pieces: London!

beautiful floating lantern

beautiful floating lantern

the 8 immortals

the 8 immortals

lanterns featuring Chinese culture

lanterns featuring Chinese culture

reminds me of Cavalia

reminds me of Cavalia

posing with my zodiac

posing with my zodiac

Important Information

Dates: 4 – 14 Sep 2014
Hours: Mon – Fri 6:00 PM – 11:00 PM; Sat – Sun 3:00 PM – 11:00 PM
Venues: Golden Garden, Silver Garden, Dragonfly Lake, Scented Walk, Baby Planet surrounding, Supertree Grove, Supertree Grove Colonnade
Free Admission; Entrance fees to the Cooled Conservatories apply.