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Landmark permanent exhibition set to open at ArtScience Museum in Singapore

Landmark permanent exhibition set to open at ArtScience Museum in Singapore
February 4, 2016

Singapore’s ArtScience Museum is set to open its first ever permanent exhibition to the public in March - a futuristic world of high-tech artworks and interactive digital experiences.

The landmark exhibition is a collaboration with teamLab, a globally renowned Japanese group of ultra-technologists and multi-award winning art collective.

This major initiative marks a new chapter in the evolution of ArtScience Museum, which has explored the intersection between art, science and technology in Singapore for the last five years. It is also teamLab’s first and largest permanent exhibition.

The gallery will showcase works in the genre of digital art and is set to transform the landscape of contemporary art exhibitions in Singapore. Conceived as a dynamic, flexible, media-driven show, the exhibition will continue to be refreshed over time, as the fields of art and science evolve. Visitors will be immersed in a world of art, science, magic and metaphor through 15 cutting edge digital installations by teamLab. Spanning 1,500 metre², approximately a quarter of the museum’s total gallery space, the permanent exhibition will form a major part of ArtScience Museum’s core offer.

Introducing the permanent exhibition, ArtScience Museum Executive Director Honor Harger commented “the launch of our new permanent exhibition with teamLab represents a major step forward for us as we grow our reputation as one of Asia's most innovative cultural institutions.

“At ArtScience Museum, we explore the intersection between art, science, technology and culture. This is where we see innovation and new ideas take root. It is where the future is being shaped. teamLab’s fluid combination of artistic expression, technological ingenuity, scientific enquiry and insistence that, 'we are the future', beautifully aligns with our mission.

“Together with teamLab, we are building a digital universe, where visitors can interact with stunning digital artworks; children can become part of immersive worlds which they can participate in and change by their presence; and where families can learn and play together using a combination of physical and digital technology. We believe our new permanent exhibition with teamLab will be a coming of age for digital art, and a perfect encapsulation of our role as a museum.”

Founded in late 2001 by Toshiyuki Inoko, teamLab brings together hundreds of ‘ultratechnologists’ from multiple technical and creative backgrounds, including artists, programmers, engineers, CG animators, mathematicians, architects, designers and editors. The creative range of their activities encompass animation, sound, performance, the Internet, fashion and design; allowing them to break new ground and becoming the trendsetters in digital artistic expression.

The group is renowned internationally for its highly innovative use of digital technology as a medium for art, and has exhibited in established galleries such as Pace Gallery in New York and Saatchi Gallery in London, among other museums in Australia, China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. teamLab is also a familiar name among local art lovers, having showcased at the Prudential Eye Awards exhibition last year. They were also featured among popular picks at Singapore Biennale 2013. More recently, the Japanese collective received the Gold Prize for best exhibition at Expo Milan 2015, and also launched its first major show in the United States.

The permanent exhibition at ArtScience Museum will take visitors on an immersive and magical journey that will enable them to discover a new sense of wonder. Each visitor will become an intrinsic part of the artwork as they participate in, and change the worlds of the installations by their presence, creating their own unique narrative and experience of each artwork.

The display at ArtScience Museum will include spectacular works that aim to engage with art lovers, design enthusiasts, and first-time museum visitors alike. The stunning digital art installations include: 

Flowers and People, Cannot be Controlled but Live Together – A Whole Year per Hour; Ever Blossoming Life II - A Whole Year per Hour, Dark; Flutter of Butterflies Beyond Borders 
This installation merges three different artworks in one – to create a large open space with flowers that seem to go on eternally. 

Depending on where the viewer stands, the interaction with the installation determines the blossoming or the fading away of the flowers, highlighting a cycle of growth and decay that repeats itself in perpetuity. Designed to constantly evolve and engage with audiences in different ways, the virtual environment portrayed will change over the four different seasons in a year, as it would in nature. 

In this interactive work, the butterflies gather in places where flowers bloom, and the patterns on the butterflies’ wings transform as they fly seamlessly within the installation. The flight pattern of the butterflies is influenced by the state of the other works, as well as the behaviour of the viewer – if a viewer touches a butterfly, it loses its life. 

These works eliminate the boundaries between the viewer and the works, creating an allencompassing interactive experience. Through the process, the viewer can reflect on the relationship between the work of nature and the work of humans – how human actions can influence and contribute to the ecosystem. 

Crystal Universe 
The installation consists of a seemingly infinite number of light particles in a 3D space designed to resemble a ‘Universe’. The visitor can interact with the artwork in various ways, by moving around the space, and also selecting cosmological elements such as planets or stars from smart devices which will be transferred to the installation via a simple swipe. The viewer, in other words, is the centre of the universe and becomes one with the light and body of the installation. 

In line with ArtScience Museum’s vision to inspire creativity and to spark curiosity for the world around us, the exhibition also offers a series of interactive installations designed to sharpen the minds of young children, through playful and imaginative learning. Children from all ages can explore the world through participating actively in the artworks, changing the sounds, colours and images created in each installation as they play along with it. 

Light Ball Orchestra 
A fun and delightful installation, Light Ball Orchestra blends vivid lights with beautiful music together to create an orchestra of colours and sounds that change constantly. Children can experiment with creating their own music freely as they run and play among a multitude of light balls, changing their sounds and colours as they touch them, creating a rippling change in the audio-visual dynamics of the space. 

Sketch Aquarium 
Children  can let their imagination run wild with this installation, as they colour and draw pictures of sea creatures on paper. When they scan these pictures on a machine, they will be thrilled to see their drawings come alive as the fishes start to magically appear and swim freely in the virtual aquarium.

The artwork grows and evolves constantly with the different images that the children add on. Visitors can even feed the fish and sea creatures by touching the images on the screen.

ArtScience Museum’s permanent exhibition will open its doors on 12th March to the public.

The ArtScience Museum is part of the Marina Bay Sands - built and is operated by US casino giant Las Vegas Sands.

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