This is a critical review of the visit to Singapore Art Museum. The review is composed of description and analyses of the events, leadership, and services that made the visit a successful. It begins by describing the visit and why it was chosen. Thereafter, the critique focuses on the provision of services to the visitors as well as the exercise of leadership during the visit. Specifically, this will include pre-tour preparations, the skills that were needed, and the role of ‘interpretation’, the role of the leader, and the analysis of risk in the process of recreation. From the onset, it should be noted that the critique is based on theories of visitor behavior, which will include motivation theory, attribution theory and the grand model. The essay describes the interface between leadership, tourism, risk and recreation needs.
Description of the Visit
The visit to Singapore Art Museum took place during the holiday. This is because students were free having done their examinations. It was a one-day visit in which the art students went to have a first hand experience of the preserved artifacts and exhibited art items. The group arrived at the Museum grounds shortly after it was opened. The group leader went into the reception area and was directed to the guide who took us through the museum building. However, before we started the tour inside the museum building, the guide briefed us on some rules and regulations to be observed during the tour. One of the cardinal rules was that no student was supposed to hold or touch anything unless under instruction.
The Singapore Art Museum (SAM) was opened in 1996 under the National Heritage Board of Singapore. The institution, which is under the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts, seeks to present the contemporary arts of the Southeast Asian region. With this in mind, the students were specifically interested in encountering the contemporary arts as opposed to the traditional view that museums only stored ancient artifacts of the prehistoric or Stone Age times. As the guide took us through the different sections of the museum, students were keenly taking notes and asking questions. This was necessary, because after the visit each student was to make a report of the visit.
SAM is a national Monument that has spectacular internal and external design and architecture. Although there are many sections of the museum, the leader insisted that the most important section to visit was the galleries. This is because they are the ones that actually stored the contemporary art items that students were supposed to view and make most notes on them. The galleries are located in the central building. They are made up of a wall system that has insulation and has vapor barriers. According to the guide, these were necessary, because they led to the protection of the wall hangings of pictures, paintings and other forms of contemporary art. Figure 1 shows some of the art items hang on the gallery walls. Moreover, SAM has other sections, which included the courtyards, the chapel, the queen street wing, and the glass hall. The entire visit lasted about four hours, after which the guide thanked us for our cooperation. Moreover, the group leader was not very happy with some of the students who fell down some wall hangings in an attempt to touch them, which was against the rules were given.
Description of Why the Tour to the Museum was Planned
The art plays a very important role in a society. Some of the roles of art include preservation of cultural, manifestation of national pride, evidence of creativity as well as a professional career (Peteresen, 2011; Caldwell, 2000). However, art is very important for society; many people in the country do not appreciate it. Some of the reason for lack of art appreciation is the fact that the relevant authorities do not invest adequate resources and time in the promotion of art. Moreover, students of art are obliged to visit repositories of art, so as to learn practical aspects of what is taught in class. This visit was planned to bridge the gap between theory and practice. In addition, it was meant to expose students to a new learning environment in which they would not only achieve recreation, but also go out of the classroom. Further, students would assess the application of the theories of visitor behavior as they applied to them; other than discussing the theories in abstraction.
Description of why the visit was planned is based on the motivation theory of tourists or visitors. Students would naturally be motivated to visit a museum because, firstly, they would go out of the classroom, and also get to know each other better. Specifically, motivation theory is seen in play where some students wanted to hold paintings on their hands leading to an accident that deformed the art works.
Critique of Leadership and Service Providers
The SAM visit was planned four months in advance. Therefore, there was adequate time for the students to make the necessary preparations. It is a requirement that after the semester ends, students get a practical experience of art as is exhibited in the galleries. The instructor made necessary communication with the museum authorities with regard to identification documents for students, payments rates among others. However, due to constrain of time, the instructor could not let us visit the entire museum compound, especially the serene courtyards. If this is juxtaposed with theories of leadership, it becomes apparent that the group leader or the instructor was not very considerate of the students’ needs. This is because other than learning, students also wanted to relax and recreate. Moreover, it is in the nature of visitors to have desire to experience everything so that they make maximum use of their time, resources and the opportunity (Reisinger, 2012). Moreover, in spite of the explanations of the visitor behavior, students were generally well prepared, since all of them had note books.
In analyzing the total outcome of the visit, attribution theory seems more applicable. According to, success or failure of a visit is always attributed to the planning or the implementation process. In this respect, the visit had both aspects of success and failure. In terms of the museum sections that were not visited, students attributed this to the fact that they were not involved in the decision making process.
The museum authorities tried their level best to provide the necessary services for us. These include provision of a guide who took us through the galleries and also interpreted some of the linguistic and artistic aspects that were not clear to students. However, a closer look into the meaning of art reveals that there was some disconnect. The museum guide was not well versed with the processes of social and cultural change that brought about changes in art into modern forms. The guide only knew what the art items were, their creators, and a few aspects, which could not explain the processes behind evolution of art.
The university authorities did not conduct an intense analysis of the risks associated with the tour. One of the outcomes was that some students defied museum rules and fell down some art paintings. Although they were not completely destroyed, they were deformed to the extent that they could not be exhibited. The university did not have a specified mechanism of dealing with such students. Moreover, the museum had a fine that was to be imposed on the university. It also appears that the university had perceived a possible malice on the part of the students, if they were allowed to visit the museums recreation courtyards. Viewed from another perspective, it could be said that visiting other places, other than the galleries would have had financial implications and possible risks. In the long run, the university was able to promote learning and tourism at the same time. Finally, the behavior of students could adequately be explained by the grand model that focuses on the emancipation (departure), animation (doing non-ordinary activities), repatriation (being away) and incorporation (getting back to usual life).
Summary and Conclusion
The purpose of this essay was to offer a critique of the visit to Singapore Art Museum. This was based on the theories of visitor behavior, which included the motivation theory, attribution theory, and the grand model. Specifically, the critique described the visit, reasons for the visit, and also offered a critical review of the leadership and service provision. It was shown that the behavior of the students was mainly based on their motivations.