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How to survive an art show with the kids

We get some tips from Rachel Ng, the lead curator of 'Imaginarium' about helping kids tackle the world of art

Artwork: Chiang Yu Xiang

1) ‘Use simple and accessible terms to communicate the key ideas behind the work. Imaginarium uses slightly shorter accompanying text, but most of the time, exhibitions aren’t tailored specially for children. Profound concepts and difficult language might be used in the captions, which can be difficult for them to understand. Bear in mind that their attention spans are much shorter, too. Parents can distil the core idea and share that in their own words.’

2) ‘Ask the children questions about the work. Setting up this casual conversation between parent and child is really impactful because it compels the child to think about the work and form his or her own response to it. This process of articulation aids the thinking process about art and, in time, helps shape the child’s individual tastes and judgment.’

3) ‘Ultimately, there is no one right or wrong interpretation, and that’s the most important thing to remember when explaining an artwork. Art appreciation is highly individual and subjective – that’s the beauty of it. It encourages and makes room for a diversity of opinions and reactions. Parents should definitely share their own opinions about the work aside from the caption explanation, so that the child’s encounter with art becomes a more personalised experience.’

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