Museums reflect how I travel

I love museums–one of my dreams is to visit every important museum in the world.

I love travelling–one of my dreams is to travel long term.

I was at the second last day of the Dreams and Reality exhibition at the National Museum of Singapore last Sunday. As I had been procrastinating, I almost missed the art exhibition which brought from famous paintings and photographs from Musee d’Orsay in Paris to our tropical shores.

During the visit of the gallery, I realized how being in a museum reflects different travelling style. Imagine the museum as a famous destination and you will see why.

Stendhal Syndrome yet?

Different travelling styles

Some were busy taking pictures of everything: description, the art itself, themselves with the art. I felt that they were looking too much through the camera lens that they have missed out being in the exhibition.

Picture of pictures of a picture

Even when they get back with a memory card full of paintings, they would have missed out the little details in the art. The exhibition had a few impressionist paintings.

When you stand close enough to them, you can see the little bits of paint and the brush strokes. If you stand a bit further, the bits of paint that jut out would catch the light and you see a literally shimmering piece of art.

While I criticize the others, I also realized that I had not been soaking in the art. I was mostly busy reading the description that follow the piece and only glance at the art for 3 seconds before moving on for some paintings. I might stand back to admire some paintings but mostly I was reading.

Another travel mistake that I made was focusing too much on one spot (location) that I left out what was obviously there to ponder (explore).

For example, I was staring into the eyes of Venus from Venus at Paphos so much that I missed out the fading cherub on the lower right. It wasn’t until the tour guide pointed out the disappearing child that I knew it was there.

The guided tour that I followed was actually a private one. I was asked to leave after many paintings.

I walked around, restless since the crowd was thickening.

By the time I was done speed walking past the paintings a second time, I was dizzy. The dizziness might have been Stendhal Syndrome or that I was just hungry.

I ended my visit, feeling unsatisfied–a mix of hunger and hunger for more beautiful art.

What is your museum style? Does it reflect your travelling style?

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