My almost-75 years old papa led my siblings and I to the living room as we continued our grownup’s discussion.
‘Well, I just want to remind all of you not to think that you owe your children a family vacation every year. Even if it’s just a local trip, it still costs money. It’s a vicious cycle, then you work hard to save for the trip and then because you work so hard, you hardly have time to spend with your kids. What’s wrong with spending quality time that do not cost as much but that which allows you to enrich their souls through affordable channels such as a visit to the local museum that can offer them plenty of fun learning?” He asked us, like a wise owl which has seen it all from above his forest of life.
With that piece of golden nuggets of wisdom from Papa, my siblings and I scrambled for Google to check on local activities that are both educational and affordable for our own set of children, which led me to uncover the ancient art of trompe-l’oeil a few weeks later at the Trick Art Museum, located at i-City— a tourist attraction that offers family entertainment activities in Shah Alam, Selangor.
The Wikipedia says that an oft-told ancient Greek story concerning this ancient art is that of a contest between two renowned painters. Zeuxis (born around 464 BC) produced a still-life painting so convincing that birds flew down to peck at the painted grapes. A rival, Parrhasius, asked Zeuxis to judge one of his paintings that was behind a pair of tattered curtains in his study. Parrhasius asked Zeuxis to pull back the curtains, but when Zeuxis tried, he could not, as the curtains were Parrhasius’s painting—making Parrhasius the winner. Wow!
Here at our local Trick Art Museum, specially drawn paintings play tricks on our mind through two dimensional (2D) paintings that have been skilfully rendered by artists to make them appear as three dimensional (3D). Basically, the optical illusions are created by the clever painting of shadows and action outside the perimeter of the picture frames which the visitors can participate by adding on their own poses as if they are also the subject of the extended painting. Of course, well positioned lighting enhances the overall 3D effect.
The place is not large but fairly small with only 8,000 sq.ft. of space housed over two floors of a shoplot and has been divided into 5 themes — Masterpieces, Egyptian, Marine Life, Animal Kingdom and Modern Classics.
Because it is not a large place, the entire visit can be concluded within an hour and a half. The museum is open from 11am until midnight and entry cost is RM5 per pax. The three happiest little people obviously enjoyed posing along and we hope that it was a trip that had sparked their life-long creativity and opened up a world of imagination and appreciation for arts for them.
After that we wanted to visit the Wax Museum which was just a block away… which woman wouldn’t want to rub shoulders with Brad Pitt, right… (OK, Angelina Jolie too, since she is too near him in life and in wax form!) but because adults were charged with an entrance fee of RM80 and children RM40 respectively even with our MyKad, our whole family would have to pay something like RM240 for a few hours visit! Alas, our budgets have some limitations so I told the kids that we just had to work on our patience until the museum offer us folks a discount in the future.
Yes, it’s all cheap parenting here my papa would agree that a smart parent saves for what matter more in life! Wink* 🙂