People of the Museum - December 2016 edition
Bras Basah Bugis
Think of a museum-goer and the following groups of people may come to mind - teachers, school children or artists.
That’s not entirely untrue, if you’re thinking of the museums in 1978. Today, our museums offer a variety of things to learn and experiences to be had, not to mention many Instagrammable items and locations. It’s no wonder we are seeing a different kind of crowd, though you’d probably still see a frantic teacher running after a student who has had too much sugar.
This month, we visited the Singapore Art Museum to find out who it appeals to.
Davian Teo, 27 & Priscilla Er, 25
Davian: “I feel that young people do enjoy going to museums and they know how to appreciate the arts. A common remark we hear is that there is a lack of talented artists in Singapore. However, I feel that there are quite a significant number of people who dedicate their time and craft into the arts scene, even making their names known internationally, be it in art, photography, music and film.
I run my own video production company and have envisioned how my dream exhibition at the museum would take shape one day.
It would definitely involve lights and moving visuals because to some people, going to the museum automatically includes photographs and texts. But the experience is what matters the most. It is my dream to direct my exhibition with lights, sounds and visuals that would guide museum goers seamlessly from one art piece to the next.
I’ve come a long way from posting yellowish, low quality photos on my Instagram. When I first started dating Priscilla, our first few dates were mini photoshoot escapades with her being the subject of my photos. If I could describe our first few dates in four words it would be - I shoot, she pose.”
Abdul Qayyuum, 29 & Sadrina Shukor, 24
Sadrina: “We are a couple with a keen interest in photography and museum hopping. If we’re not at the museum, we’re at cafes and if we’re not at the cafes, well, we’re probably at a museum. While we do appreciate all kinds of art, a lot of the exhibitions we like to go for centre around photography.
Exhibitions at museums are getting more tactile, bringing in sensory panels that help engage museum-goers like us better. With technology leading our world, I don’t feel like it has taken anything away from the museum. In fact, it only adds to the total museum experience which is most important. I feel like museums should continue with their efforts to engage museum-goers and enhance the overall museum experience, which will definitely get more people coming in.
Sometimes when we see interesting things happening in the museum on social media, it entices us to come down and check out the exhibitions.
We always look forward to the Singapore Biennale and we really enjoyed the exhibition we just went for at 8Q at SAM - An Atlas of Mirrors. The installations were well thought through and we love the modern take to it. It’s really contemporary and not what people would usually expect to see at museums.”
Lucienne Talia, 16
“I’m actually in the midst of my O-levels. Some people may think that I should be hitting the books but to me, this is a good break from all the revision. My parents have been very supportive throughout this important phase of my life. They are actually the ones who encouraged me to take a break and come down to the museum because they know deep down, I’m more inclined to the arts. While studying for my O’s isn’t the most fun thing for me, I know that it’s going to be a stepping stone for me to do whatever I want to in the future.
The museum shouldn’t just be a place for what some like to call “artistic” people. Art lover or not, the museum is for everyone. Somehow, being at the museum allows you to get in touch with your sensitive side and I like that sense of wonder it brings. It gets me dreaming, in a good way.
I want to study music in Lasalle College of the Arts after I’m done with my O’s. While I’m waiting for that to happen, I’ve been taking vocal classes at Fame Music School. I really enjoy the lessons there and I look forward to the annual performance we put up for our family and friends.”
Look out for the next edition of People of the Museum as we bring you more stories from museum goers.
Author: Bras Basah Bugis
18 Jan 2017