New interactive art education programme launched for primary school students

Arts Outreach Singapore guide Elizabeth Gan conducting a session with Naval Base Primary School pupils in front of Cloud Nine: Raining by artist Tan Wee Lit.
Arts Outreach Singapore guide Elizabeth Gan conducting a session with Naval Base Primary School pupils in front of Cloud Nine: Raining by artist Tan Wee Lit. ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu has a photograph taken with pupils from Naval Base Primary School in front of Cloud Nine: Raining by artist Tan Wee Lit.
Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu has a photograph taken with pupils from Naval Base Primary School in front of Cloud Nine: Raining by artist Tan Wee Lit.ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
Admiralty Primary School pupil Emmanuel Bala (left), 10, works on his activity pack and worksheets on The Rising Moon (seen on the left), by artists Han Sai Por and Kum Chee Kiong.
Admiralty Primary School pupil Emmanuel Bala (left), 10, works on his activity pack and worksheets on The Rising Moon (seen on the left), by artists Han Sai Por and Kum Chee Kiong. ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
SJI Junior pupil Julian Chang (in T-shirt with red sleeves), 10, listens to the sounds of Singapore from 24 Hours in Singapore, an interactive audio sculpture installation by artist Baet Yeok Kuan.
SJI Junior pupil Julian Chang (in T-shirt with red sleeves), 10, listens to the sounds of Singapore from 24 Hours in Singapore, an interactive audio sculpture installation by artist Baet Yeok Kuan. ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu (fifth from left) takes a group photograph with guests and artists in front of 24 Hours in Singapore.
Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu (fifth from left) takes a group photograph with guests and artists in front of 24 Hours in Singapore. ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
SJI Junior pupil Damian Liew, 10, listens to the sounds of Singapore from 24 Hours in Singapore.
SJI Junior pupil Damian Liew, 10, listens to the sounds of Singapore from 24 Hours in Singapore. ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN

SINGAPORE - Primary school students will be able to understand and interact with art in public spaces under a new art education programme that was launched by the National Arts Council's Public Art Trust (PAT) and non-profit organisation Art Outreach on Wednesday (Jan 20).

Over 120 students from three schools attended a pilot run of the tours on Wednesday, exploring three art installations created by Singaporean artists in the civic district. The works were commissioned by the trust as part of the SG50 celebrations.

They include Singapore's first long-standing audio sculpture by artist Baet Yeok Kuan, titled 24 Hours In Singapore, which consists of five large stainless-steel spheres near the Asian Civilisations Museum.

They play audio recordings of daily life in Singapore, such as the sounds of traffic in the heartland and MRT trains. Other works, by artists Han Sai Por, Kum Chee Kiong and Tan Wee Lit, are also featured.

"We want to take their understanding of art beyond just a two-dimensional scale, and challenge their sense of what is art and why art exists," said Ms Mae Anderson, 43, chairman of Art Outreach Singapore.

Under the curriculum developed by Art Outreach, students are prompted to respond to the different pieces of artwork.

For example, worksheets provided ask students to compare and contrast notable differences between the new installations and older sculptures, such as Aw Tee Hong's 2003 work The River Merchants, located along the Singapore River.

The programme, currently led by Art Outreach staff and professional guides, will be extended to 60 schools in the next few years. An art education curriculum to be taught in classrooms will also be developed.

The PAT also announced that it will be partnering the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) to take more public art to residential neighbourhoods such as Bishan and Tampines, and provide online resources for the public to learn more about art in their own homes. The exact timeline for the project will be confirmed at a later date.