Designed as a symbolic gesture of welcome to guests from across the globe, the lotus-inspired ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands is the premier museum destination in Singapore for major international touring exhibitions from the most renowned collections in the world.
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The coolest museum in town
I recently went to two exhibits at the Art Science Museum, The Dreamworks Animations exhibition and The Collider exhibition. Both were paid exhibits, but the Singaporean price for them was still quite reasonable. I did a tour of the free exhibits too, but I didn’t find them as exciting as the paid ones. This was mainly because the free exhibits were less curated and had a broader theme. There was a series of art installations on the top floor that were quite fun to play with though.
At the Dreamworks Animations exhibition I was greeted with a life-size model of Toothless from How To Train Your Dragon. If you are a fan you would be squealing with excitement on the inside. And although you can’t touch it, it is very instagrammable thanks to the natural light coming from the full-length windows around the central fountain. Inside the exhibit you can continue spazzing out to hundreds of artifacts from the filmmaking process. There are also stations where you can pretend to be an animator using their production software.
The Dreamworks Animations Exhibitions really set the bar very high for me, and I was slightly disappointed by The Collider because it did not go deep enough into the physics of the collider. However, the exhibit will blow your mind away by showing you at the scale of the whole experiment. At the very beginning, they show you the Large Hadron Collider superimposed on the Singapore map. You will have to stare at it for a few moments to wrap your head around the whole thing. The exhibit is also very child-friendly, so bring them along and maybe it could inspire them to be future physicists.
For The Cultured Soul
I think a great museum experience pivots on 3 things, an open mind, personal interests, the right company (even if that meant being by yourself) and at the heart of it all, a good exhibition. Back in early 2015, I visited the museum to catch 2 exhibitions, The Da Vinci and Singapore Prudential Eye.
Overall, the Da Vinci was ok, albeit a little boring at points, showing manuscripts and depicting the life and times of the Da Vinci era. Just like a maze, at each station, the exhibition showcased Da Vinci's wit and intelligence, far beyond his talent for art, but mathematics, physics, architecture and etc. The highlight of that exhibition for me would be the gallery showing original millennium old paintings by Da Vinci's disciples.
As for the Prudential Eye exhibition, it is a celebration and showcase of contemporary art pieces done by local artists. Not just oil on canvas, I got to see 3D exhibits that allowed to think a little bit deeper and further the message the artist is trying to convey. Let it be their own personal struggles or a societal issue they try to shed some light on. It really is amazing to see how these creators use the play of lights, shadows and everyday things like table tennis tables and make meaning out of it.
It was a marvellous experience overall, and should a great exhibition come about again, I would be simply glad to check it out.
Animated Characters and Deep Sea Creatures
The giant “lotus” of Marina Bay Sands, the ArtScience Museum hosts touring exhibitions from around the world. Most people visit the museum only if there's something that piques their interest. Currently, two exhibits that the museum is housing are Dreamworks Animation: The Exhibition, and The Deep.
The Dreamworks exhibition is great for anyone who loves Dreamworks films, especially those interested in animation. It’s exciting to see how the stories and characters were conceptualised, as well as to look at the transformation from sketch to animated character. It’s also a great exhibit for kids, as they will enjoy looking at the various drawings and clay sculptures of their favourite characters. My favourite part of the exhibition was watching the video on how the character of Po, the Kung Fu Panda, was developed from a drawing of a bear in a golden robe.
The Deep, on the other hand, is more scientific, and takes you in near darkness through the different levels of the ocean. It’s also mildly terrifying as the exhibit includes specimens of deep sea creatures such as anglerfish, sea spiders and snailfish, some of which look like the stuff of nightmares. Imagine fish with huge, bulging eyes, sharp spindly fins, and long, razor-sharp teeth. However, it’s also very educational, and gives an insight into creatures living deep under the sea.
Seasonal local and international exhibitions are held in this space. But once a month, ArtScience Museum also transforms into a buzzy, chilled-out, night-time destination.
I have been to 2 of the late night openings of ArtScience, and I am looking forward to going for the upcoming ones. The showcase are mostly award winning and they are dropping by Singapore as one of their tour destination, so the exhibits are definitely of high standard and great display of multiply talents.
They offer you free cutting-edge performances and even a one-for-one standard ticket offer* to the touring exhibitions. The recent one I went to was Annie Lebovitz and it was actually free for the public.
This is a brilliant opportunity for those who are busy working in the day and what better way to wind-down then to visit a museum, coupled with their bar offerings.
The Artscience Museum is probably one of my favourite museums to go to. It's located near the MRT station, which makes it easy for everyone to find and visit. Also, the architecture and interior design of the museum is very unique, making it one of the more intriguing buildings in the area.
I've been to quite a couple of exhibitions, and it was hit and miss for me. Some of the exhibitions were really good, whereas some were mediocre and lacking in many areas. My most memorable exhibtion was the 50 Best Photographs by National Geographic. The photos were all very visually stunning. I loved how each photo included the background story, which helped the audience to better appreciate the photos and the photgraphers' intentions. The Andy Warhol exhibition was really decent too, with a whole myriad of exhibits that were really aesthetically appealing.
On the other hand, some of the exhibitions were quite disappointing, such as the Mummy and Harry Potter exhibition. The content of these exhibitions were boring, and when we finished the exhibitions, we were thinking, "that's it?!" Definitely a waste of money. So you really have to pick the correct exhibitions to go to.
The last trip made to the Art Science museum entailed a journey through the life of Andy Warhol as well as the breath-taking journey through the scenes of Hogwarts. Indeed, these amazing exhibits really left a lasting impression on me.
As an arts lover, the Warhol exhibition really gave me insights into the life of Warhol: that man is a genius! While he is generally known for his silkscreen prints, the other less renowned works such as the mimesis of the silkscreen technique through paint really stunned me. Not to mention the interactive corner that had floating pillows.
For the Harry Potter Fans, the exhibit was definitely one not to be missed. Donned with the authentic Harry Potter robes, one could practically feel transported through to hogwarts through platform 9 3/4! Not to forget the Harry Potter fan store and the really sweet treats awaiting me! The Chocolate frogs were a favourite for me.
Both exhibits, when visited together, were bundled at a discounted price which makes it even more worthwhile! Although the stores are novelty stops that may be a bit pricey, the admission fee is generally worth every cent (or dollar)!
Kudos to ArtScience to bringing such good exhibits to Singapore.
Choose the right Exhibition.
We went to see the Mummy and the National geographic 50 greatest photos. It cost us about 20 dollars for both the exhibition which was a fair price. The only problem in the entrance was that the ticket seller did not told us that in order to visit the mummy exhibition, we need to need to see the 3d short movie which is shown in 30 minutes interval. We chose a later time and realized after going inside that we have nothing to do until the time of the video. We regretted not choosing a earlier time, grabbed a seat and grumbled.
I guess the impression of the museum depends much on the exhibition you went to see. For me the Mummy was such a waste of time, there wasn't enough artifacts to spend 30 minutes. Though it was informative, if someone would pay 14 dollars, there should be enough things to at least occupy an hour.
50 greatest photos was great though! It informative and thoroughly beautiful and thought provoking. After seeing that my perception of National geographic photographers totally changed and I'v gained new heightened respect for them.
You can also take a photo with the museum's photographer and buy it for 20dollars but thats the worst way you can spend your money so better save it for makan later.
Overall, I had a good experience and I would go visit it again should anything interesting comes along.
Wonderful Travelling Exhibitions
While most if not all museums in Singapore are located in heritage buildings, ArtScience Museum is a departure from the norm--it is housed in a modern building with a unique architecture.
The main attraction of ArtScience Museum is its ability to attract very awesome travelling exhibitions. Some of the great ones are:
1) Shipwrecked: Tang Treasures and Monsoon Winds
2) Dalí: Mind of a Genius – The Exhibition
3) Fujians: The Blue Ocean Legacy
The galleries in ArtScience Museum are very huge, which means it is able to showcase more exhibits. Compare the Tang shipwreck exhibition at the ArtScience Museum with the one at the Asian Civilisations Museum--The Asian Civilisations Museum could not showcase as many exhibits as ArtScience Museum due to space constraint.
I love the 10am-10pm opening hours, which means that I have very long viewing time at the museum, compared to most museums which close at 6pm or 7pm. This also means that most people can visit the museum after office hours.
What I do not like about the ArtScience Museum is the high price and that they forbid visitors from taking photographs in recent times. This is probably due to the travelling exhibitions' requirements. So far, all the travelling exhibitions that are being showcased at other museums do allow photography, albeit without flash. In such cases, we can only buy the catalogues to relive the memory of the exhibitions :-(
One great improvement that ArtScience Museum has made is allowing visitors to leave the museum for meal breaks and re-admitting them later. In the past, I went without lunch just to maximise my time there.
Another great improvement that ArtScience Museum has made is in lowering its ticket prices. In the past, ticket prices were exorbitant. However, although prices have been reduced, tickets are still considered expensive. It will be great to see ArtScience Museum coming up with creative ways of making its tickets more affordable to the ordinary man on the street.
All in all, I will still visit ArtScience Museum for its awe-inspiring exhibitions, despite its high prices.
Choose the right exhibition
I visited the Art Science Museum thrice this year for three separate exhibitions and events. I first visited the venue as an invited guest to a corporate showcase. My first experience with the venue was that it was quite small. I was of the opinion that since it is going to be a museum, the place should be quite spacious but i was wrong. This is especially so at the upper levels.
The exhibitions i visited were the Titanic, Andy Warhol and lastly Harry Porter. I was pretty impressed with what the Titanic exhibition has to offer and the thoroughly intrigued by all the exhibits on display. Nothing beats seeing a piece of history in their true self. Andy Warhol was pretty interesting as well and it was a must see for any artsy-fartsy people.
Harry Potter was pretty disappointing to me through. After all the hype and all, the final product left much to be desired. I had expected more out of the exhibition and i felt that there are plenty more things which were not shown due to the constraints of space at the venue which was a waste. But maybe that's just me since i am an ardent fan of Harry and had expected a lot from the exhibition.
So pick the exhibition that you want to go wisely and it will be money well spent.
Worth the ticket price, but pick a good exhibit to go to
Ever since the ArtScience Museum opened, I have already been there thrice: once for the Genghis Khan/Tang Treasures exhibit, another for Titanic, and finally once for the Harry Potter one which everyone wants to go to. Considering the exorbitant price for the entrance fee, I still find myself going back time and again, because the exhibits they bring in are truly world class, and worth every cent.
However, the permanent exhibit that explains the origins about bring art and science together is pretty sparse and it is more than enough to visit it once. The true draw of the ArtScience museum is from the limited time exhibits that they manage to bring in, so I would recommend going only when there is a limited time exhibit that captures your interest - there is no point otherwise.