Singapore Children’s Season 2023 has started this weekend, from May 27, and it runs till June 25. The highlight of the Children’s Season, which is organised by National Heritage Board (NHB) with participation from the Museum Roundtable (MR), is a series of 30 comic art workshops, to be conducted by 14 talented local artists and arts educators.
MR is a collective of museums established by NHB in 1996 to promote a museum-going culture among Singaporeans. The roundtable has more than 60 public and private museums and heritage galleries, spanning diverse categories of focus and interest: Art, Culture & Community, Defence, Healthcare, Lifestyles & Collectibles, National History, and Science & Innovation.
This year is the first time that NHB and MR are hosting comic art workshops across the participating museums for Children’s Season. The workshops aim to introduce the museums to the young ones through hands-on and immersive experiences, as well as to impart many kinds of visual communication skills and provide opportunities for families to spend time together.
Held across 10 participating museums and galleries, the comic art workshops will allow participants to create their very own comic artwork, with inspiration drawn from the rich content available at each venue, be it artefacts, items, or themes. All 30 sessions will feature themes unique to each session.
The range of skills that can be picked up by comic art workshop participants include story-telling techniques, conceptualising story structures, drawing inspiration from everyday life, character design, drawing expressions, creating thought and word balloons, adding depth and dimension to drawings, producing mini-books, costume design, and environmental design.
For instance, at Singapore Mobility Gallery, young ones can dream up cars of the future and try their hand at doodling and transform random squiggles into cool and crazy cars under the guidance of an artist. Over at The Peranakan Museum, participants can reinvent a classic fairy tale in comics and imagine “What if Cinderella were Nyonya?”
Family-friendly programmes by Museum Roundtable members
Aside from the comic art workshops, the 25 participating MR museums will also offer their own curated programmes for Children’s Season 2023, in line with the theme of “Hopes and Dreams”.
For example, young visitors to NUS Museum can ‘Be an Archaeologist for a Day!’ (title of the workshop). Working together with their families, participants will dig up broken fragments and attempt to reconstruct them to make interesting inferences from their discoveries. This activity will take reference from actual archaeological sites in Singapore that are featured in the NUS Museum’s Archaeology Library.
MINT Museum of Toys has the programme ‘Colour Your Own AR Toy’, which invites participants to design their own Augmented Reality toy. From a selection of nine occupations (such as astronaut or astronomer) inspired by a vintage toy from the Museum’s Outerspace collection, participants can express their creativity through colouring an artwork of their chosen toy. All completed artworks will then be scanned and projected onto the spaces around them.
Children’s Museum Singapore (CMSG) will be offering four programmes centred on occupations. Two of the programmes are paper-craft workshops by UK-based designer and artist Diana Beltran Herrera, titled ‘Make-your-own Pop-Up Garden with Imagine a Garden Artist Diana Beltran!’ and ‘Make-your-own 3D Assortment of Fruits with Imagine a Garden Artist Diana Beltran!’ Here, families can try their hands at making their own 3D paper sculptures of birds, flowers, leaves and fruits, and visit the Imagine a Garden exhibition in CMSG to view Diana’s exquisite paper sculptures.
For more information on Children’s Season 2023, families can visit go.gov.sg/nhbcs2023 and view the e-booklet for the full list and details of programmes.
List of participating MR museums
1. Asian Civilisations Museum*
2. ArtScience Museum
3. Children’s Museum Singapore*
4. Eurasian Heritage Gallery*
5. Former Ford Factory*
6. Fort Siloso
7. Indian Heritage Centre*
8. Intan @ T-Play
9. MINT Museum of Toys
10. MOE Heritage Centre
11. National Gallery Singapore
12. National Library Singapore
13. National Museum of Singapore*
14. NEWater Visitor Centre
15. NUS Museum
16. Police Heritage Centre
17. Science Centre Singapore
18. Singapore Art Museum*
19. Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre
20. Singapore Discovery Centre
21. Singapore Maritime Gallery*
22. Singapore Mobility Gallery*
23. Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall
24. The Gem Museum
25. The Peranakan Museum*
* Museums offering the Comic Art Workshops