Gone are the days of stuffy, static museum exhibits; thanks to the advent of advanced digital technology, we’ve been privy to immersive, interactive spaces that allow us to participate in the artwork itself, a concept made mainstream by Japan-founded art collective teamLab. And while tourists and Singaporeans alike may already be familiar with the existing exhibits at the ArtScience Museum, we’re here to tell you that there are refreshed new digital installations at Marina Bay Sands for you to check out.
With five large-scale digital installations across two spaces — the Future World: Where Art Meets Science, as well as Digital Light Canvas by teamLab at The Shoppes — this occasion marks the most extensive refresh since the series’ debut in 2016.
Unveiled just over the weekend, there are now three new interactive installations in a new gallery at Future World at the ArtScience Museum, called Exploring New Frontiers, which explores the skies as a source of inspiration. At the same time, these works bridge the gap between art, science and technology, bringing to life imaginary worlds that we can see, hear, and feel.
Over at the Digital Light Canvas by teamLab, its first revamp sees a new artwork that explores nature and biodiversity, “whilst shining a light on endangered species,” said Honor Harger, Vice President of ArtScience Museum and Attractions. The work features flora and fauna from Southeast Asia, while visitors may also turn their creations into souvenirs such as t-shirts and tote bags.
At a press conference in Singapore during the unveiling of the new exhibits, Harger also elaborated on how these experiences offer a unique way to not just look at, but be part of the art, and the idea of connection between art and science, as well as technology with nature.
“We hope that by immersing themselves in the artworks with intention, understanding the complex and three-dimensional world with their bodies, and creating a new one with others, people visiting Future World and Digital Light Canvas by teamLab will be able to make new discoveries and develop new ways of perceiving the world,” said Toshiyuki Inoko, the founder of teamLab.
Read on for a look at each of the new installations.
Autonomous Abstraction, Continuous Phenomena from the Universe to the Self
Let your imagination take flight, starting with this curious exhibit that explores the observed behaviour of fireflies. The abstract colours are a reference to an unusual phenomenon found in nature, where fireflies are seen to be gathering in one place all by themselves, in a ‘spontaneous order’ or natural self-organisation that emerges from what seems like chaos. Within the artwork itself, points of light flicker and change in colour, almost randomly, while visitors may interact with the piece to cause points of light to disperse and gather at new points; you’ll then notice the lights seeming to synchronise in hue and rhythm when they’re closer together, which mimics the process seen in nature.
Aerial Climbing Through A Flock of Colored Birds
Here, you won’t be able to fly, but will still get the sensation of flying through a flock of birds as one physically navigates through a suspended structure of colourful horizontal bars. Each step influences the patterns of light, colour and sound within the space, where projections of flocks of birds are seen dancing and swooping in coordinated flight patterns. There’s a sense of adventure, exploration and freedom to this one.
As a companion piece to an earlier exhibit that dives under the sea, Sketch Flight is a similar concept where you get to draw and colour airplanes, hawks, and butterflies on paper, then scan these in and watch it appear across a colourful landscape of city buildings, sakura trees, and rainbows. An expansive digital screen takes up an entire wall of the space, while the idea of participating in an artwork, and getting your creative juices going, is always a fun experience. teamLab has also added a new interactive feature to the exhibit, allowing us to pilot our creations with a tablet, so you’ll really get to control your plane or animal as it’s soaring through the sky.
For more details on the artworks at Future World, please visit marinabaysands.com/museum/exhibitions/future-world.html.
Digital Light Canvas
That wonderful dynamic LED floor at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands is put to good use with this new artwork that runs wild with an entire digital ecosystem of plants and living creatures, which you may interactive with as they move freely around your feet. This time, these will also be drawings that you may scan and submit to join the collective art piece too, of endangered flowers, reptiles, insects and amphibians identified from the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature. These include the Siamese Crocodile, Cave Racer Snake, Southern Torrent Frog, Borneo Birdwing Butterfly and the Calypso Orchid.
As a fitting conclusion to a day of art and imagination, the Sketch Factory allows us to turn the same drawings of flora and fauna into functional souvenirs and personal memorabilia we can take home to remember the moments by. These include a tin badge, t-shirt, and tote bag, where you get to order on-the-spot at digital terminals, and watch your art come to life as they’re fabricated right at the designated space.
For more details on the artworks at Digital Light Canvas by teamLab, please visit marinabaysands.com/attractions/digital-light-canvas.html.
Tickets for Future World and Digital Light Canvas by teamLab are available for advance purchase at all Marina Bay Sands box offices and their website. Tickets are priced at $25 for adults (Singapore Resident), or $28 for a Standard Ticket; from $21 for a concession ticket, and from $76 for a family bundle.
From 26 November till 31 December 2022, visitors can also get tickets to both under a special promotional bundle at $28. Due to limited capacity, guests are strongly encouraged to pre- purchase tickets online prior to their visit.