[warning]Please note that Singapore Pinacothèque de Paris is no longer in operation.[/warning]
Pinacothèque de Paris is the largest private art museum in Paris, drawing about 1.5 million visitors a year. It opened its first venue outside Europe, right here in Singapore earlier this year. I was extremely honoured to be invited to a preview of their Art Academy program.
Singapore Pinacothèque de Paris occupies the 3-storey refurbished Fort Canning Arts Centre. There, you will find 3 exhibitions: The Collections Gallery, The Features Gallery and Heritage Gallery, an Art Academy, restaurants and shops.
2 year old MY participated in a Studio Session at their Art Academy, together with two older children aged 5 and 8. As we moved through the museum, the Art Academy Director, Mr Ronald Stones, showed us some of the features of this new museum.
We first came to the interactive exhibition on Level 1.
The interactive exhibition was a great way to engage the kids. It was so bright and cute, kids would naturally be drawn to it.
Following that, we were brought into ‘The Collections’ exhibit.
Unlike museums that often curated artwork by period or genre, the artwork in this exhibition spanned thousands of kilometres and hundreds of years. They were all on loan from private collectors, and displayed in a manner to invoke critical appreciation of the artworks. As we moved through the exhibit, Mr Stones prompted the children with questions.
“Look at this mask and this painting. Why do you think they are placed side by side?”
The older children were quick to point out that they looked similar. Mr Stones pressed on, “How are they similar?” The children would scrutinize the art work carefully to point out anything similarity they could find.
“Now look at these two men. Do you think they are rich?”
“Yes…” the children replied.
“How can you tell?”Answers such as the clothes, the demeanor, the fact that they were plump etc were given.
Mr Stones went on to explain that the two pictures were separated by a golden sculpture (which we were not allowed to take photos of) to signify wealth. Knowing how we Asians love all things auspicious and prosperous, lighting was shone on the golden sculpture to create a ‘golden river’ on the floor.
Suntec City has a fountain of wealth. Singapore Pinacothèque De Paris has a river of wealth. Walk on it and may riches come your way! (I happily walked on it.)
We came to this gorgeous painting, which was my favourite painting in the whole exhibit. It looked so realistic. The details were amazing.
“Look at this painting. Do you notice how detailed it is?” Mr Stones asked the children.
“It looks real. Almost like a photograph.” The 8 year old remarked.
“Very good. Now let’s look at this next painting. Why do you think these 2 paintings are placed side by side?”
It was not difficult, even for the children, to notice the contrast.
“Now look at this painting. Can you find the 5 senses in this painting?” Slowly, the children looked for things that symbolised the sense of taste (the food), smell (the smoke), sound (the violin), touch (the dog) and sight (the eyes).
Above are just a few examples of what we went through. Many of the exhibits were not allowed to be photographed and hence I can’t show you more. I wish I could. It was extremely intriguing, even for an adult. What I loved most was that there was never a right or wrong answer. Mr Stones was always very encouraging. And the children even managed to point out things that he never noticed before.
Now If you are wondering, 2 year old MY couldn’t appreciate or answer any of the above. But the 5 year old and 8 year old were very engaged.
After we completed a tour of The Collections exhibit, we moved through a corridor decorated with pictures showing Singapore’s heritage.
We were brought up to Level 2 towards the Art Studio, passing by an attractive corridor.
And we arrived at the art studio! The children were told that they were to draw reference from the portraits they saw earlier to create a portrait of their own. To get them warmed up, they were first given some randomly cut-out sheets of paper and told to try form a face with them.
And this was what they came up with! MY did not help much, but when we saw the final product, he went, “Crab crab!” Haha…
And it was time for the kids to work on their individual portraits. They were given a blank sheet of paper for the background. A palette of water colour and a variety of brushes were placed in front of them. They were free to use whatever they wanted to paint the background.
And the painting began!
After experimenting around with some brushes, MY decided he liked the BIG brushes most.
And we were done with the background.
Next, the children were to introduce some texture.
They mixed sand of different colours and size with the paint. They were to free to use any sand with any colour to see what they could come up with.
The teacher decided to improvise for 2 year old MY and got him ditch the brush and use his hands.
With paint on one hand and sand on the other, MY rubbed his hands together with glee.
And the hand-printing began!
Painting with his hands was WAY more fun than with brushes for young MY.
He loved the sand a lot and scattered loads of them on his paper.
Next, they were given construction paper and told to tear them into any shape they wanted.
MY was absolutely thrilled to be tearing up paper without getting scolded!
And once they were done with that, they were to start glueing the scraps of paper to their background to form a face.
And we were DONE! MY posed proudly next to his first ‘professional’ art work!
It was very interesting to see what the 3 kids of different ages came up with.
Although there are many art enrichment centres in Singapore, this art studio is pretty unique due to its access to real masterpieces downstairs. With easy access to the galleries, reference to works of art could be easily made. I was told that depending on the type of course, the trip to the galleries may be made before class (like what we did), during class or as a reflection after a piece of work has been created.
After the class, we went to do a bit of shopping at the boutique in the basement. It is really easy to miss out the boutique hidden downstairs, but if you are there with the kids, do check it out.
Within the boutique, there were chair and tables for children to sit down to do simple craft.
You could also purchase some children’s craft boxes to complete at home.
Usually, you wouldn’t think of an art museum to be a child-friendly place. I was impressed by how they have made Singapore Pinacothèque de Paris into family-friendly destination! With the interactive exhibit, art studio and crafting area in the boutique, this is definitely the most kids-friendly art museum I have came across.
Art Academy Schedule (Aug – Oct 2015)
Promotion for Readers
Readers who sign up for above classes quoting “Bumble Bee Mum” will enjoy the following:
1) 20% off Individual Sessions from the above schedule
(cannot be combined with early bird special and 10-week package)
- Lectures: $54.40 (U.P. $68)
- Studio: $38.40 (U.P $48)
If you wish to sign up for a studio sessions for kids under 7, and that you are accompanying the child. You are only required to pay for 1 participant, which is for the child who is creating his own artworks and using the materials in class.
Quote ‘Bumble Bee Mum’ during booking for 20% discount and pay only $38.40!
2) 20% off Family Package Session
(cannot be combined with early bird special and 10-week package)
Understanding that my readers are mostly families, some of whom have young children like MY, the Art Academy has introduced Family Package Sessions. These are fully customisable sessions, tweaked to cater to the age of the children in the family. The timing need not follow the studio timing, and you can arrange for a customised time slot during application!
- Minimum of four paying participants are required for each family package session. Paying participants have to be above 4 years old. One paying adult can bring one child under 4 years old.
- Price is $48 per pax before discount
- Each session is 90min long with customised time slot and activities.
- If your family is unable to meet the minimum 4 pax requirement, you can find another family to sign up for the session together.
If your family has 2 adults and 3 children, 1 of whom is below the age of 4, a family session costs $48 x 4 = $192.
Quote ‘Bumble Bee Mum’ during booking for 20% discount and pay only $153.60!
The above promotions are valid for all sessions before 13 October 2015. For more information or queries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Do note that each class sign up will include an all-day access ticket to visit Singapore Pinacotheque de Paris, which can be used within 3 months of purchased session!
Singapore Pinacothèque De Paris Visitor Information
Address: 5 Cox Terrace, Singapore 179620
Tel: +65 6883 1588
Opening Hours: Sun – Thurs 10.00AM – 7.30PM | Fri – Sat 10.00AM – 8.30PM
Official Website: Homepage | Facebook Page
Read about Raising Our Successful Children‘s version of the visit. 8 year old Natalie is a true art genius in the making if you ask me!