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No bats but sharks at Parkview Museum

“Wanna go Batman building?” I tempted Pangzi. That’s the street name for Parkview Square in Bugis, which housed the new Parkview Museum, my true destination.

“See Batman? I want, I want!” He fell straight for it.

Parkview Museum is located at the third floor of the majestic Parkview Square, which some say is the best designed commercial building in Singapore, thanks to its semblance to Batman’s office in the comics series.

The public is free to visit Parkview Museum, which apparently is the building owner’s effort to integrate contemporary art with business.

“Where’s Batman?” Pangzi asked, sensing something amiss.

“Maybe we’ll find some bats inside the Parkview Museum,” I lied.

There was an exhibition named “On Sharks & Humanity” ongoing at the Parkview Museum till Sept 9, 2017.

Using contemporary art as a vehicle, it aimed to make a statement on poaching sharks for their fins.

“Daddy, I only see sharks. Where are the bats?” Pangzi wondered aloud.

“What would you do if you see a shark?” I challenged him, ignoring his question.

“I run away?” he ventured.

“You kill it, of course,” I said.

“Why kill a shark?” Pangzi looked puzzled.

“If you don’t kill it, it’ll kill you,” I explained. “Besides, a shark is useful when dead.”

“How useful?”

“Let’s see. You can make it into art! Just look around you.”

Indeed, the exhibition has turned sharks into such beautiful artefacts that you would really seem like a baddie to want to harm them.

“You can also make shark’s fin soup out of them,” I continued. “That’s my all-time favourite.”

“Daddy, why do you like it so much?”

“I dunno. Because it’s… expensive.”

“Daddy, do sharks have a heart?” Pangzi asked, pointing to a heart-shaped sculpture cleverly put together from hundreds of fishing hooks.

“Well, every living thing has a heart,” I enlightened him.

“Not my daddy. He just wants to kill and eat them.”

What???

We walked through the rest of Parkview Museum in silence.

Pangzi appeared to be in deep thoughts as we saw exhibit after exhibit that provoked more questions.

Then we came to a collection of photographs documenting the everyday lives of shark poachers. It was a poignant moment, to say the least.

Finally, Pangzi spoke.

“Daddy, answer me honestly.”

“Erm… yes?”

“Where’s Batman?”

-_____-

 

We were here:

 

 

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