Museums at Night Special
at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts

The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts will be open until 10pm on Wednesday 21 May for a Museums at Night Special as part of Museums and Galleries Month. The event is free and will offer something for everyone to enjoy including creative activities, live performances, workshops for families and chance to relax and soak up the vibrant atmosphere. There will also be the unique opportunity for visitors to explore the collections by lantern light.

“The Late Shift always offers a great range of new performance work in the unique surroundings of the Sainsbury Centre, bringing energy to the gallery on Wednesday night when we’re normally open until 8pm. This month’s Museums at Night Special is an opportunity to programme more activities for children and families, invite more people to explore the gallery in the evening, and create a really vibrant atmosphere.”
– Liz Ballard, Late Shift Organiser, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts

The evening will include traditional Chinese lion dancing from the Hung Sing Martial Arts School and the opportunity for children to take part in workshops to learn martial art skills and Lion moves. The University of East Anglia Chinese Society will present traditional Chinese music and dancing and there will be chance for visitors to listen to Chinese stories in the gallery.

Activities for children will include making Chinese lanterns and then exploring the collections to find Chinese objects by lantern light; listening to stories based on objects in the collection and making clothes from Chinese newspapers. As part of this event, along with more than seventy other museums and galleries around the country, the Sainsbury Centre will be taking part in a special showing of Nick Park’s Oscar winning animation ‘The Wrong Trousers’ to celebrate the national Museums and Galleries Month theme of ‘Ideas and Innovation’.

Local artists taking part in the event will present work inspired by Chinese culture, exploring its influences on the western world. Stephanie Douet will display objects inspired by Chinese porcelain while artist collective 8modern present a large-scale kinetic light installation called ‘Lantern’, casting reflections around the installation space. London based Taiwanese artist Craig Kao will be making animal costumes inspired by the Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Collection and storyteller Su Squire and visual artist Roberta Wood will be inviting visitors to take part in an interactive poetry web. Entertainment will continue into the evening with music from experimental group Spidermilk and stand up performances from Thomas Ingram, while DJ Wanda will close the evening with a lively DJ set and samba dancing to finish on a high!

“The Museums at Night Special is a chance for people to experience the Sainsbury Centre as they never have before and see the collections in a new light. The entire building will be buzzing with activity and there will be something for everybody to enjoy.”
– Charlotte Peel, Education and Events Officer, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts.

The Museums at Night Special is one of a series of Chinese themed events at the Sainsbury Centre to mark Museums and Galleries Month. From Tuesday 27 to Thursday 29 May families can drop in to the education studio for a Children’s Holiday Studio, Chinese Challenges with the opportunity to enjoy independent art activities and make their own Olympic mascots. There will also be chance to find out more about the Chinese objects in the Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Collection with an Art for Lunch talk by one of the Sainsbury Centre guides on Friday 30 May at 1.15pm.

China East is this region’s celebration for Museums and Galleries Month, an annual campaign to encourage new visitors and remind people of the treasures on their doorstep. This year’s national theme of Ideas and Innovation has inspired museums in the East of England to explore China and its far-reaching influence on our culture through their varied and fascinating collections. Participating museums include the Fitzwilliam in Cambridge, Colchester & Ipswich Museum Service, Museums Luton, Saffron Walden Museum and Braintree District Museum.