Journey to the ends of the earth at Imaginarium 2017


After the wrap-up of the Singapore Biennale back in February, Singapore Art Museum (SAM)’s latest contemporary art exhibition is Imaginarium: To the Ends of the Earth – and it’s everything that your usual stuffy museum exhibition isn’t.

There are smartphone-controlled drawing robots, ferns nestled within real bombshells, a tiny mushroom-hunting trail for you to go on, and a day-glo floating mountain that’s literally the stuff of dreams! Here are 6 things to look out for at this year’s installment of Imaginarium:


1. Relive your childhood at a fantastical kids’ wonderland


 singapore art museum imaginarium 2017

We may not have Peter Pan’s age-defying powers of eternal childhood, but Singaporean Mary Bernadette Lee’s artwork, “Wanderland”, will make you feel like a kid all over again – if only for a while. It’s an immersive installation filled with multicoloured hanging mobiles, textile birds that flap as you tug on them, spinning lanterns that light up, and cascading curtains that chime as you run your fingers through them.

 singapore art museum imaginarium 2017

But whimsical vibes aren’t the only thing channelled here. The artist also hopes to bring you back to your experiences with Mother Nature, which is why you’ll see birds in mid-flight, hanging raindrops, and jungle-printed teepee tents all around.

 singapore art museum imaginarium 2017

Step into the hand-crafted teepee tents that light up once you enter, infinite times more spacious and stable than the blanket forts I built as a child.

As you explore “Wanderland”, you can’t help but be reminded of how you once experienced the world as a kid: all bright-eyed and filled with wonder.


2. Go on a mushroom-hunting adventure at SAM


 singapore art museum imaginarium 2017

Looking for Singaporean artist Calvin Pang’s “Where Am I” is like playing a game of real-life “Where’s Wally”. Keep your eyes peeled to spot all 9 clusters of dried white beech mushrooms Calvin has hidden in nooks and crannies all around the museum!

 singapore art museum imaginarium 2017

Fun fact: all these are made from real, dried mushrooms!

“Where Am I” is a reminder from the artist to stop and smell the roses, instead of always burying our noses in our phones. And if you’re stumped and can’t find all 9 clusters, here’s a tip: remember to look high and low.


3. Control a drawing robot with your smartphone to create a real-time artwork


 singapore art museum imaginarium 2017


Art isn’t only for the paintbrush-wielding masters – UuDam Tran Nguyen’s “License 2 Draw” invites everyone to have a hand in creating a real-time artpiece.

And even if your idea of drawing = stick figures, don’t fret. You won’t be the one putting ink to paper – in an ingenious marriage of art and technology, UuDam’s artwork comprises a smartphone-controlled drawing robot that’ll do the work for you.

 singapore art museum imaginarium 2017

Just download the License 2 Draw app on your phone (iOS | Android), or use one of the iPads provided to maneuver the robot.

Fun fact: anyone around the world can view this artwork in real-time! Just video call “License2Draw” on Skype, and you’ll get to see the entire gallery space and the canvas the robot is drawing on.


4. Make your own terrariums, herb racks, and natural cleaning solutions


 singapore art museum imaginarium 2017


it’s time we did our part for the environment and got in touch with that long-forgotten hippie within us again – and getting your hands dirty in SAM’s series of eco-living workshops is one way to start.

From June onwards, there are workshops at the museum where you’ll learn how to make terrariums, a herb rack, and even concoct your own non-toxic au natural cleaning solutions by upcycling fruit and veggie scraps.

Check out the latest schedule of museum programmes here!


5. Get photobooth selfies printed on the spot


 singapore art museum imaginarium 2017

Neoprint machines are a rare find in Singapore nowadays, so discovering this vintage photo booth machine in SAM got us all excited. $2 will get you two strips of 4 photos each, minus the kawaii stickers and decorations, but printed out both in colour and B&W versions worthy of the ‘gram.


6. Catch award-winning short films by local & international filmmakers at SAM’s cinema !


 singapore art museum imaginarium 2017

Switch up the pricey movie date and drop by SAM’s cinema for a unique, FOC alternative instead. Catch SAM’s specially-curated selection of short films and animations, which explore curious stories about distant lands.

In just 44 minutes, you’ll be living life vicariously through a Brazilian girl on a life-changing quest, a homeless Filipino boy who escapes his harsh realities, and an African boy who fantasises into being a snow-covered wonderland.


*BONUS: Fulfill your Night At The Museum fantasies!


 singapore art museum imaginarium 2017

Be transported to another imaginary world at Thai artist Unchalee Anantawat’s artwork “Floating Mountain

If you’re averse to crowds, keep 7th and 21st June 2017 free for a real-life Night At The Museum adventure ($12). In an exclusive after-hours tour led by the museum curators themselves, you’ll have free rein of all 4 floors of the museum, sans screaming kids and pesky photobombers.


Hit up Imaginarium: To The Ends Of The Earth this weekend


 singapore art museum imaginarium 2017

Create your own miniature version of the magical floating mountain at craft stations!

Instead of spending yet another weekend binge-watching your 182408198th Netflix show, switch things up this time ‘round by taking your entertainment out of the house. You’ll find more than just history lessons and abstract art here – this is one exhibition that promises you new adventures, hands-on experiences, and lots of fun.

Find out more about SAM’s Imaginarium: To The Ends Of The Earth!

Address: SAM at 8Q (Singapore Art Museum’s annexe building), 8 Queen Street, Singapore 188535

Exhibition Dates: 6 May – 27 August 2017 

Opening Hours: 10am – 7pm (Mon to Thurs, Sat to Sun), 10am – 9pm (Fri)

Telephone: 6589 9550


This post was brought to you by Singapore Art Museum.