I was a bit surprised to discover Bras Basah MRT station. That’s because it wasn’t here in Singapore last time I was here in Singapore.
Since I moved back earlier this year, Singapore keeps giving me deja vu. I spend a lot of time standing around thinking, ‘hang on, I’ve been here before’. And then I have to work out whether that was six years ago when I last lived here, or six minutes ago and I’m lost and driving round in circles.
I also suffer from a kind of anti-deja vu, where I think I’ve seen something before and then discover I haven’t. Bras Basah falls into this category. It just pops up out of the pavement like it’s always been there, and only now do I discover that it only opened in 2010 – firmly in the middle of my time away from Singapore between postings.
Bras Basah is quite a feat of engineering: the deepest station on the MRT network, almost 11 storeys underground.
Above ground, Bras Basah delivers you to the Singapore Art Museum, known to its friends as SAM.We’ve been a few times this summer to visit Art Garden, the interactive children’s exhibition. It’s such a joy when something is done this well. The kids adored it and found a different favourite gallery each time we went.
The genius of Art Garden, according to my kids at least:
having their own pictures projected onto the wall inside a ‘magic mirror’ for everyone to admire…
a string threading gallery that kept them amused for whole minutes…
and a crazy room with a live mic, which triggers the projected patterns to move faster or slower according to the pitch of the voice. I could basically have left the kids here and gone shopping, they were so enamored…
Kids’ exhibitions of this quality are hard to find. SAM compares starkly with the bewildering ‘children’s museums’ I’ve been to in various parts of the world (I’m looking at you, Switzerland) where the kids aren’t actually allowed to touch anything. So bring on Art Garden 2014. Or sooner, please.