Exploring exhibitions at the ArtScience Museum in Singapore
By Matt Preston
Singapore is a place we adore. It may be one of the most expensive places to live in the world but it’s a city that’s hard not to love. It’s clean, friendly, easy to get around and it’s flower gardens adorning every road, street, bridge and walkway make it a very pretty city to explore. Tourism in Singapore is increasing every year with a growing number of flights to singapore from Australia and Europe. Singapore was once only a hub for connecting flights but now really has a wealth of tourist activities and attractions. I can give you 10 reasons to visit Singapore too!
On a recent trip to Singapore we had the pleasure of visiting the iconic Marina Bay Sands complex in the heart of the city. You really can’t miss it, 3 giant skyscrapers linked by a boat like bridge across their roof. It’s a building quite like no other. Part of the Marina Bay complex includes the equally iconic ArtScience Museum. Another building that’s impossible to miss. Shaped like a Lotus flower, its white petals arch upwards creating a circular building used for art, science and entertainment exhibitions.
At the moment there are two very interesting and equally entertaining exhibitions on. Thanks to Marina Bay Sands we visited both!
Harry Potter Exhibition
First up was the Harry Potter exhibition in the basement of the ArtScience museum. At the entrance to the exhibition, suspended from the ceiling is the fly car used in the 2nd movie. Before you enter you can have you picture taken with Harry Potter style scarves, something you can eventually purchase at the souvenir shop. We waited patiently at the entrance as groups of people enter at once. A spooky Harry Potter logo floated in mid-air on a stream of smoke, we entered and were greeted by a friendly exhibition presenter who welcomed us and picked a volunteer from the audience to try the “Sorting hat” which decides which House you would be a part of. Doors opened and we entered a dark room filled with TV screens. A loud and exciting way to start the exhibition with many clips from the movies. If you’re a fan of Harry Potter you’ll enjoy this!
Once inside the exhibition rooms you’re greeted with a series of sections on different aspects of the movies. Thousands of props are on every wall, in cases, on mannequins and model creatures. It’s a great chance to remember your favourite scenes and look very closely at some of the props used. The attention to detail on all of them is staggering. Small print on the back of wizard’s magazines explaining how your subscription could be delivered by Owl. Intricate carvings on wands, exquisite embroidery on some of the costumes too. There are also some interactive features too including the moving paintings on the walls and playing a game of Quiditch. There’s also a spooky section where the whispers of Lord Voldermort can be heard from almost everywhere in the room but you can’t quite place where they’re coming from.
The exhibition takes around 60 – 90 minutes to complete and also has an audio-guide available. It’s an entertaining and interesting experience and if you like the movies you’ll love the exhibition. It could have maybe done with more interactive features but we still enjoyed it. You’ve got until the 30th September to check it out. Tickets are $24 SGD for adults and $14 for children.
Photo credits © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc
Andy Warhol: 15 minutes eternal exhibition
Up on the 3rd floor of the beautiful ArtScience museum is the Andy Warhol Exhibition. Probably the most famous of modern artists and the pioneer of popular styles including the iconic silk-screen images of Marilyn Monroe. The exhibition again utilises the building well with each lotus flower petal room being a decade in his career. From his childhood and early influences, through the 50s, 60s, 70s and up to his death in the late 80s.
Andy Warhol not only was a great artist with very unique approaches to art, he also became wildly famous for his involvement with celebrities, movie stars, musicians andthe parties he held at “The Factory” his workspace in New York City. He produce iconic commercial artwork for many brands and magazines as well as controversial pieces that made news headlines in the 50s and 60s.
There’s an impressive array of his work on display and the shape of the building really lends itself to showing them off in an interesting way. I particularly enjoyed the quotes found in various places on the walls and the explanations of his changes in artistic styles through the years were concise and entertaining.
It’s great to learn so much about one artist in this way. From birth to death with original artwork clearly explained and presented well. I especially liked the Polaroid portraits of famous people include Mick Jagger and Princess Caroline of Monaco. The underlying theme throughout his work seems to be imperfection and repetition. The basic nature of the portraits, their lighting and inferior products used to take the photos makes for compelling viewing. Some of his hand drawn artwork is at first glance quite imperfect and child like until you look much closer and see how few strokes are used to draw the image.
Andy Warhol was commissioned to create advertisements images for children too which are as compelling as his other works. Indeed the entire exhibition caters for youth with signs written especially for children at a lower height in the rooms, some offering challenges and puzzles to keep them entertained.
I really enjoyed the Andy Warhol exhibition. An artist I’ve often admired but knew little about. A man’s who’s legend preceded him and will no doubt live on for many years, inspiring artists the world over. I highly recommend visiting the exhibition at the ArtScience Museum. It’s on until the 31st October 2012 and tickets are $15 for adults and $9 for children.
Check out this video for more information and visit the official website.
Photo credits: The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York