Join Mad Hatter's tea party for a visual feast

Visitors can climb onto an oversized chair and experience what it feels like to shrink in size, just like Alice in Lewis Carroll's classic novel, Alice In Wonderland. At a Mad Hatter's tea party, museumgoers seated around a table will be treated to a
At a Mad Hatter's tea party, museumgoers seated around a table will be treated to a four-minute projection show from different films throughout the years.ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO
Visitors can climb onto an oversized chair and experience what it feels like to shrink in size, just like Alice in Lewis Carroll's classic novel, Alice In Wonderland. At a Mad Hatter's tea party, museumgoers seated around a table will be treated to a
Visitors can climb onto an oversized chair and experience what it feels like to shrink in size, just like Alice in Lewis Carroll's classic novel, Alice In Wonderland.ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO

If you have ever longed to be a part of the Mad Hatter's tea party, you now have a standing invitation at the ArtScience Museum.

But there will be no tea or cakes to nibble on.

Instead, guests are seated around a large table set with teacups, teapots and plates and treated to a visual feast of projections that adorn the walls and tableware as music plays in the background.

One moment, projections on the walls transform the room into a forested nook. The next, scenes of the Mad Hatter's tea party from different films through the years are beamed onto the plates.

The four-minute experience is part of Wonderland, an immersive exhibition by the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) that celebrates the beloved Lewis Carroll classic and the novel's titular character Alice's enduring presence on screen and in pop culture.

The exhibition first opened in Melbourne last April and drew more than 170,000 visitors over a six-month run.

It is now on at the ArtScience Museum, on the first stop of its global tour. It opened last Saturday and runs till Sept 22.

  • BOOK IT / WONDERLAND

  • WHERE: ArtScience Museum, 6 Bayfront Avenue

    WHEN: Now till Sept 22, 10am to 7pm daily

    ADMISSION: Singapore residents: $16 (adults), $12 (senior citizens and children aged two to 12), family package for two adults and two children ($45). Non-residents: $19 (adults), $14 (senior citizens and children aged two to 12), family package for two adults and two children ($54)

    INFO: marinabaysands.com/museum.html

ArtScience Museum executive director Honor Harger says: "Alice In Wonderland is a story of magic and wonder and ACMI has made it a parallel story of the evolution of film-making and screen-based technologies.

"That brings together the two parts of our mission to explore art and creativity and to look at innovations in science and engineering."

There are more than 300 items on display, including clips from Alice In Wonderland films released over a century ago, original costumes from NBC's 1966 production of Alice Through The Looking Glass House, and story sketches from Walt Disney Studio's iconic 1951 rendition of the classic tale.

Museumgoers will be given a map to unlock interactive experiences at the different galleries. For instance, they can customise their own card soldiers at The Queen's Croquet Ground by pasting cut-outs on the back of the map, scanning it and taking a photograph of their face at a booth.

Scanning the map will not only transport the design to a wall-length screen displaying the Queen's croquet ground, but the card soldiers' faces will also be replaced with that of the visitors'.

Such experiences are a chance to offer visitors a different way to engage in a museum and exhibition space, says ACMI curator Jessica Bram.

She adds: "One of the most important driving forces was creating something immersive and playful that offers visitors a chance to participate. Wonderland is the perfect universe to do that."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 16, 2019, with the headline 'Join Mad Hatter's tea party for a visual feast'. Print Edition | Subscribe