Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Children's Season Singapore 2017 - Family Fun with Print Making

It has been a few years since we last attend Children's Season Singapore events because there wasn't enough time for us to explore all the things that are happening during the 4 weeks of June school holidays, plus we can only attend these events on weekends so we have limited time and choice as some of the events happened on weekdays only.  This year, thanks to dear Sis, we are finally back at Children's Season Singapore for their Family Fun with Print-making workshop.

This Parent-Child workshop was at NUS Museum (to be honest, I did not know there is such a museum!) inside National University Campus just beside Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum.  Its a cozy little place but there are so many things to discover and explore.  We were slightly early and I took a slow stroll around the 1st level going painting from painting of Lim Tze Ping at the Later Style of Lim Tze Ping exhibition, I was half way through the archaeology section half way when it was time to settle in for the workshop. 

I admit that I went to the workshop without knowing about anything except that it was a Parent-Child workshop coz I was so busy at work to read the info my Sis sent to me, I thought it was a batik printing making workshop or some sort.  I was so wrong!

This workshop is to learn about the woodblock prints and try to make our own woodblock . In case you are not aware, these woodblock prints was common during the 1950s & 1960s, the Post War period of Singapore.  At that time, the woodblock prints were the black and white newspaper publication that tell the public; who are mostly illiterate, the happenings in Singapore, about the ill and goods of the society.  Later years many artists uses this technique to express their art inspirations, mostly the daily life of Singaporeans and our country's beautiful scenery.

On every table are the 3 items needed to make our own woodblock prints; the anti-slip mat, the carving tools, and a small rectangle piece of linoleum.  The craving tools may look intimidating to some and I guess this is the reason why a parent is involved in the workshop coz there is a need to handle these sharp tools.  Also due to this reason the workshop is only suitable for kids 7 to 12 years old, any younger and they probably won't enjoy coz parent may think its too dangerous for them to handle the tools and will carve the linoleum for the child which is the special part of the workshop.

After a brief introduction about the workshop and woodblock prints by the museum staff, the workshop officially started.  The instructor from SuperSegak showed us the tools and demonstrated how to use it.  She said that even though we will be choosing a piece of art work from famous artist to replicate on our linoleum, we do not need to put the whole art work in, we could just pick an item from it instead because the original art work depicts the daily life of early Singapore so any item or subject from it will still show or give the feel from that period.  It's interesting to see what other group choose their subject, the Dad & Son pair sharing the same table with us did a tortoise, in their art piece there was a tiny tortoise in a tank.  If you are also going for the same workshop, do walk around and take a look.

And DinoBoy set out to do his art piece.  If you saw my instagram posting on that day I let him do everything while I goof around, which is usually what happened when we attend workshop together.  I like to let him go through the process of new experience, enjoying the learning  and creating memories on the things he did when he was young.  So he decided to draw the small table with the pan, knife, cleaver and towel in the foreground.  Without much hesitation he started to do the sketch on a piece of paper, taking great pain to ensure that the items are proportionate (times like this I am really glad that I sent him to art studio at young age), soon after he was done and transfer it to the linoleum.

Having said the above, I still have to help him on some tasks such as craving out the outline of the sketch on the linoleum, a little bit of craving on the cleaver and transferring the print on the paper with the bamboo baren that required some hard force pressing onto it, he was tired after the 2nd try.

It was really hard work, you would think that since the linoleum is soft rubber thus its easy to do the carving, contrary to that it makes controlling of the carving tool on the soft rubber more difficult.  Every stroke has to be precise, too much strength and it will dig too much out, too light and it graze the surface sending the carving tools surging forward.

And that is the reason why the instructor kept on emphasizing that we have to hold on to the linoleum with our other hand BEHIND the carving tools during carving.  A couple kids got nipped by the tools for not remembering this important rule and bled a teeny weeny.  So please be extremely careful and keep a lookout on your child and keep reminding him/her to prevent any incident.

DinoBoy took about 45 minutes carving non stop to get his linoleum block ready, I didn't know how it will turned out and was anxious to see the result.  It turned out not too bad!   Oh we forgot about mirror image, the words on the towel turned out reading the other way.  Even Cousin's creation is artistic too!  Bravo kids!

Family Fun with Print Making is part of Children's Season Singapore 2017 that is happening from 27 May to 25 June 2017, for other programmes during the season click here

Family Fun with Print Making
Date : Only on Saturdays 03 to 17 June 2017
Time : 2 to 4pm
Venue : NUS Museum
Tickets : http://kidslinoprint.peatix.com/

About Children's Season Singapore 2017 (taken from website)
The National Heritage Board’s annual Children’s Season Singapore returns in 2017, presenting cultural and educational experiences that will inspire, engage and educate our young audience. This year’s edition goes beyond museums and will encompass all aspects of art, culture, heritage and education. With a wide range of programmes, exhibitions and engaging family activities for children of all ages, Singapore will be the place to be for children and families to create special memories together this June!

Highlights this year include a wonderland of discovery and play at the National Museum of Singapore, where you can pick your favourite mode of traditional transport and embark on a trail to "join the dots" and experience "connections" as you discover popular family hangouts and heritage enclaves from the 1970s and 1980s; as well as Ghost Nets of the Ocean - Au Karem ira Lamar Lu at the Asian Civilisations Museum, featuring an ocean-scape inhabited by marine creatures, all made with ocean debris and recycled plastic materials that raises awareness on the dangers of ocean pollution.


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