National Gallery kicks off celebrations

Above: People participating in the art installation by Tay Bee Aye called Draw, Weave, Knot at the carnival at the Padang. Left: Dancers performing during Empty Frames, a series of dances inspired by the National Gallery's collection. The carnival be
President Tony Tan Keng Yam and his wife Mary with Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu (left) and National Gallery chairman Hsieh Fu Hua (right) at the launch of the National Gallery's arts carnival.ST PHOTOS: MARK CHEONG
Above: People participating in the art installation by Tay Bee Aye called Draw, Weave, Knot at the carnival at the Padang. Left: Dancers performing during Empty Frames, a series of dances inspired by the National Gallery's collection. The carnival be
Above: People participating in the art installation by Tay Bee Aye called Draw, Weave, Knot at the carnival at the Padang.ST PHOTOS: MARK CHEONG
Above: People participating in the art installation by Tay Bee Aye called Draw, Weave, Knot at the carnival at the Padang. Left: Dancers performing during Empty Frames, a series of dances inspired by the National Gallery's collection. The carnival be
Dancers performing during Empty Frames, a series of dances inspired by the National Gallery's collection. The carnival began at 5pm yesterday and lasted till midnight. ST PHOTOS: MARK CHEONG

Light and sound show featuring classic S'pore artworks and arts carnival draw crowds

The stately facade of the newly opened National Gallery Singapore was transformed into a massive canvas yesterday, as classic Singapore artworks were beamed onto it in a light and sound show as part of its opening weekend celebrations.

Paintings on display in the Gallery which depict Singapore life through the years, such as Liu Kang's Life By The River and Cheong Soo Pieng's Drying Salted Fish, were presented in a video montage projected onto the City Hall edifices, complete with lights and a rousing score.

A blown-up version of Cultural Medallion recipient Chua Mia Tee's painting of his wife, titled Portrait Of Lee Boon Ngan, was mounted on a giant frame on the steps of the Gallery's City Hall wing.

While many took out their camera phones and selfie sticks to capture the show, Mr Lim Su Min, 69, chose to sketch the scenes before him.

The director of a community development body said: " I liked how they animated the paintings and strung them together."

Civil servant Suriana Sulaiman, 38, who was with her four-year-old daughter Iffah Alia, said that the light show was a "good eight-minute summary of the major paintings on display".

"It helps younger Singaporeans to understand what it was like in the past. But nothing beats going inside to appreciate the paintings in person," she added.

The $532 million museum was created from the former Supreme Court and City Hall.

Many in the audience also stopped by the arts carnival at the Padang, which started at 5pm and lasted till midnight.

Some people visited the food stalls, while others watched percussion and dance performances or took part in interactive art installations, such as graffiti artist Nur Iman's Still Art, But Not On Stage, where members of the public were invited to create their own street art on a wall.

Sales manager John Boladian, 47, and his daughter, Sophia, eight, were among the festival-goers drawing on the wall.

He said: "I took time off work to take her here. It's nice that we get to participate in creating art, as everyone has different perceptions of what art is."

Others came to soak up the festive atmosphere.

Senior analyst at NTUC Enterprise Caroline Fernandez, 48, was there with her five friends. All of them were previously lawyers called to the Bar at the complex.

"We came to reminisce. It's good that they're doing this to create buzz for the opening of a museum, " she said.

President Tony Tan Keng Yam, who officiated the Gallery's grand opening last night, said: "The Gallery strengthens our sense of identity. It will be an attractive arts and cultural destination for not just Singaporeans, but for all."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 28, 2015, with the headline 'National Gallery kicks off celebrations'. Print Edition | Subscribe