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Sunday, September 04, 2011

Singapore: ArtScience Museum at the Marina Bay Sands

When I first heard about the ArtScience Museum at the MBS, I was intrigued. 
"Wow, a musem that merges art and science! Cool!!!" Two fields that were as far from each other as plaid and stripes, mixed together to form the slightly pretentious but intellectually fascinating term that is "Art Science". But a second thought quickly ensued and it was - "But wait, how can they make a museum for art AND science??" Could these two be merged harmoniously into one place or will it mean a clash as glaring as plaids and stripes mixed together?

Museum Exterior

Let's start with the looks first. 

The ArtScience museum is quite the head turner at first glance. Modern and elegantly designed, it forms a lotus shaped building sitting on a reflecting body of water. In the middle of the building is an interesting  take on sustainable design where rain water can flow from the third floor down to the ground floor to form a fountain for the cafe and lower level of the museum. Clearly, the ArtScience museum is the first of its kind in the world and knows it.

Enough with looks, let's get on to personality, character, quirks... Oh wait, we are talking about a museum here aren't we? Well, the ArtScience museum for me at least, has got both the looks and the brains. It may come off as a bit intimidating, but it does keep things modern. 

During our visit here, we were lucky enough to see an exhibit about Salvador Dali. Now, I don't know much about Dali except that he's a famous painter, but I really enjoyed the exhibit which was displayed and segrated by the different stages of Dali's life. I especially loved the little quotations from Dali throughout the exhibit, it lent much more insight to the fantastic and strange, dream-like quality of Dali's artwork.

Melting clocks are a recurring motif in Dali's artwork symbolizing how time is relative and not fixed.

Dali's artwork has a unique quality to be both disturb and arouse curiosity.

This display was actually fixed on a slope from the ceiling, imagine how weird this perspective is!

This elephant with an obelisk on its back is another theme Dali plays with. This display was part a more interactive (and maybe scientific) where different colored lights could be pointed to the statue to form colored shadows.

Another portion of the ArtScience museum is perhaps more to the "ArtScience" part of its name - an interactive exhibit that explored creativity and is divided into three categories - curiosity, inspiration and expression.

This portion of the museum had a more science center feel with touch screen monitors that show the evolution of different mechanical man-made objects. I think kids would enjoy this part of the exhibit.

Personally, I was not that engaged with the creativity exhibit, except maybe for the part where you can design your own postcard and then view it on a large screen or email it to friends. 

And now... on to my favorite part of ArtScience museum, the Van Gough Alive exhibit.

For this exhibit, taking pictures were not allowed; I can only hope that my description of the exhibit can do it justice.

To put the exhibit simply, it literally to be immersed in thousands of Van Gough's work. A blank studio space of around 200 sqm. is transformed into a dynamic exhibition of Van Gough's paintings projected onto walls, columns, ceilings and even the floors. The projections were amazingly clear and very near the colors of the actual paintings. This fantastic display is artistically choreographed with a musical score just as beautiful as Van Gough's artwork. For those interested, the Van Gough Alive exhibit will be running at the museum until November 2011. 

Being a fan of museums, I was quite satisfied with my visit to the ArtScience museum. I liked the fact that it was still more museum than "art science". I guess having a catchy name does help in attracting visitors who are on the lookout for something the first of its kind and different. In the end though, it's something most have seen before but then, I don't exactly go to museums for novelty.

ArtScience Museum
Marina Bay Sands 
10 Bayfront Ave Singapore 018956
Time: 10AM - 10PM
Entrance fee: 30 SGD


yen said...

Something new to visit when I am in SG again!

Pam said...

hi yen, mukhang maganda din yung Singapore Art Museum hehe.

Thirdy Lopez said...

At first thought, art and science merging isn't that new...

I forgot what this is called with that loop-y art work that you have to stare at 10 minutes then when you look outside things would be green or something like that or those loop-y thing that changes shapes when light hits at different angles... Whatever that is called.. Art and Science merging..

May ma-comment lang...

{Thirdy was here}

Pam said...

Thirdy, what is that loopy art thing? That's not magic eye is it? :p

Thirdy Lopez said...

I still don't remember what it is called...

Same category siya ng old lady ang young lady painting...

Peter Pascal said...

As an art student researching the work of the Impressionists, I have big help from this site called It's like a good art library, where, convenient for me,
works of artists are divided into art movements in history. Some of the works I had never seen before.
As the canvas prints are affordable, I ordered online a little size canvas print of my favorite,
, by Claude Monet.

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