Visit new worlds at ArtScience Museum

Crystal Universe, a display at a new permanent exhibition at the ArtScience Museum, aims to let visitors experience the planets, stars and galaxies up close. The artwork uses 170,000 LED lights, which together give the illusion of stars moving in spa
Crystal Universe, a display at a new permanent exhibition at the ArtScience Museum, aims to let visitors experience the planets, stars and galaxies up close. The artwork uses 170,000 LED lights, which together give the illusion of stars moving in space. The exhibition, Future World, is by Tokyo-based art collective teamLab. It opens to the public tomorrow, and admission is $10 for a child and $17 for an adult. Singapore residents pay $7 and $14 respectively. ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN
An example of the type of immersive art installation visitors can expect is the Light Ball Orchestra, where the light balls produce sound and colour when touched. The balls also react to each other, so the more players, the more effects.
An example of the type of immersive art installation visitors can expect is the Light Ball Orchestra, where the light balls produce sound and colour when touched. The balls also react to each other, so the more players, the more effects.ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

Plunge into changing underwater universe or step into room offering illusion of outer space

The new permanent exhibition at the ArtScience Museum wants to immerse visitors in brave new worlds.

They can plunge into an ever- changing underwater universe in Sketch Aquarium, where illustrated sea creatures swim around on an aquatic projection on a wall; or step into Crystal Universe, a room filled with more than 170,000 LED lights that conjure the illusion of being suspended in outer space, surrounded by celestial bodies and stars.

These high-tech art installations are by well-known Tokyo-based art collective, teamLab. Fifteen of its works will feature in the exhibition Future World, opening tomorrow. It is jointly curated by the museum, located at Marina Bay Sands integrated resort, and teamLab. Its launch celebrates the museum's fifth anniversary.

 

The museum declined to say how much the exhibition costs.

Admission is $10 for a child and $17 for an adult. Residents of Singapore pay $7 and $14 respectively.

Spread over 1,500 sq m, or a quarter of the museum's total gallery space, the exhibition includes Instagram-friendly rooms teeming with flora and fauna and projections of animated landscapes.

What makes these artworks come alive, said teamLab's founder Toshiyuki Inoko, 38, is the interaction among viewers as they participate in the art. "The most important element of teamLab's art is that people take part in the work together and collaborate with each other in order to enjoy the work. It is not meant to be enjoyed alone," he said through an interpreter.

The installation Light Ball Orchestra, for example, produces a symphony of sound and colour when visitors roll and bounce lit-up balls in an enclosed space. Each touch triggers a ripple effect, causing other balls in the area to change colour and sound. The result: the more players, the merrier.

The teamLab is famous for creating sophisticated, immersive artworks that use cutting-edge technology in light, sound and video.

It started with five friends interested in the intersection of art and science more than 10 years ago, and has since grown into a successful creative business comprising more than 400 staff, including programmers, engineers, artists, mathematicians and architects.

The 15 installations shown in Singapore are not new creations but improved versions of previous presentations and Mr Inoko plans to continue to enhance them, making them "more fun and seamless" for visitors here, by observing how they interact with the art.

The exhibition will feature new works from time to time, so the museum has launched a season pass, priced at $90 for an individual and $150 for a family of two adults and two children, to cater to those who want to make repeat visits in a year.

Mr Inoko said: "I hope people will keep coming back because the experience will be different every time."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 11, 2016, with the headline 'Visit new worlds at ArtScience Museum'. Print Edition | Subscribe