Play Hide and Seek with Ai This School Holiday at Our Local Museums

Fill Me In

If the COVID-19 travel restrictions have been causing you to wonder how to occupy your children this school holiday, fret not. The National Heritage Board (NHB) and the Museum Roundtable (MR) have partnered together to present Childrenā€™s Season 2020, which aims to provide cultural and educational experiences that will inspire and engage the young on Singaporeā€™s collective heritage.

Play hide and seek with Ai

Childrenā€™s Season 2020 features Ai, a six year old boy, created by local art creator Peter Draw, visiting 22 different museums virtually and physically ā€” with a web or mobile game, as well as onsite standees.

In the game, participants will have to navigate panoramic 360Ā° photographs of the MR museumsā€™ spaces, to discover clues to hidden treasures which are embedded and hidden behind key spots in the photographs to reveal Aiā€™s special outfit for the particular museum. Virtual ‘explorers’ will also be able to click on icons to read nuggets of information about the featured artefacts or selected spots in the galleries.

For participants who would like to take photos with the adorable Ai, all 22 standees are displayed as standees at the Malay Heritage Centre (MHC) yard from 21 to 30 November. The standees will then be moved to their respective host museums from 3 December onwards. From then, visitors can embark on a physical hunt at all partner museums to try to locate where the individual Ai standees are ā€œhidingā€ within the galleries.

The game will be launched on 28 November, and can be accessed through the Childrenā€™s Season 2020 website, or by scanning the QR codes on the Ai standees at each participating museum.

In addition, NHB will be offering weekly giveaways of limited edition drawstring bags, featuring all the Ai designs. Hereā€™s how to win the bags:

  • Through the Ai Love Museums: Hide-N-Seek game. Players will have to provide an email address and complete at least three museum games/levels to qualify. Up to 100 prizes will be up for grabs each week, and winners will be notified through email from 15 December 2020 onwards.
  • Via the I Love Museums Facebook page (@ilovemuseums), where users can answer questions and post their photos taken with the Ai standees to qualify for the giveaway. 25 winners will be chosen through Facebook each week.

Family-friendly programmes by MR museums

In addition, the various host museums will also be hosting a plethora of activities, both online and onsite, to engage the young ones. These include the Mini Museum Challenge by the MHC, the Indian Heritage Centre and the Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall; Rockstar Junior workshops by the Gem Museum and exciting craft workshops by the Singapore Tyler Print Institute (STPI). The full programme line-up can be found here.

A conversation with Peter Draw: the man behind Ai

Peter Draw, 36, has spent much of his adult life inspiring children with his art. Originally born Peter Zhuo, he says that the last name ā€œDrawā€ was given to him by children, and has kept it ever since.

Dressed in his signature red sweater, he explains the rationale behind the creation of Ai. Although Ai has a very touching backstory, he says that to children, he keeps it simple, by saying that Aiā€™s message is about ā€œspreading simple happiness.ā€ He says, ā€œAiā€™s message is that love can happen anywhere, but to the end consumers, if they keep reading ā€˜love can happen anywhereā€™ it becomes: everything will be okay.ā€

The significance of Ai making an appearance in Childrenā€™s Season 2020 also seems to be a rather timely one, as a symbol of hope during the COVID-19 pandemic. ā€œAiā€™s existence is to remind people that love can happen anywhere, and that there is always hope.ā€

This is not the first time that Ai has appeared in times of adversity. Peter has previously brought Ai to many countries to bring love to disaster survivors in Costa Rica, Indonesia, Taiwan, and even children who survived in Fukushima, Iwate and Miyagi in Japan.

With the use of a visual drawing, Peter showed how sorrow (哀) can be turned into love (ēˆ±). ā€œMy job is to [make these] meaningful things as simple as possible, to share with as many children as possible.ā€

Continuing his mission to inspire children, Peter also talked about the significance of his collaboration with local museums. ā€œChildrenā€™s season is very important, because [all these museums] are about legacy, so [we should realise] how important these are, [our] culture, relationships, friendships, environment ā€” these things are important, and we need to preserve it. But why children [and not adults]? [Because] children are the future.ā€

Childrenā€™s Season 2020 will run from 18 November 2020 to 3 January 2021.


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