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Imaginarium: Venture To The Ends Of The Earth At SAM At 8Q From Now Till 27 Aug ’17

Imaginarium, one of Singapore Art Museum (SAM)’s well-loved exhibitions is back for its seventh run. After numerous trips to SAM in recent years, I have been looking forward to visiting Imaginarium: To The Ends Of The Earth.

From now till 27 August 2017, the exhibition will be on display at SAM at 8Q. If you are interested to find out more about the planet we inhibit, pair up with a fellow explorer and embark on a journey of discovery.

This year, Imaginarium urges us to look back at how far we have come and consider how humans are constantly adapting to our changing environments. Through thought-provoking artworks, Imaginarium also introduces explorers to new ways of discovering the endless marvels that this planet has to offer.

The exhibition stretches across four levels of the museum, with each level dedicated to the works of different artists. Works by Hiromi Tango and Bounpaul Phothyzan are featured on the first level.

Repurposing metal bombshells as planters with an abundance of dense vegetation, Bounpaul Phothyzan’s ‘Lie of the Land’ makes a powerful statement about the ability of humans to overcome obstacles and survive even in harsh conditions.

What I really liked about this artwork is the impactful message behind a seemingly simple display.

Building on the concept of a lizard’s ability to shed and regrow its tail in the face of adversity, Hiromi Tango’s ‘Lizard Tail’ explores how art-making can potentially serve as a platform for healing, as well as mental and emotional development.

Don’t forget to snap a picture in front of this LED-lit mirror.

Walking in, the first thing that struck me was how the LED lighting gave the entire display a really surreal vibe, which I felt added to the emotions and meaning behind the work.

Moving up, I noticed something really interesting along the stairs – mushrooms were growing on the steps! Only upon closer inspection did I realise that it’s part of the artwork by Calvin Pang. Located in often overlooked corners of the museum, make sure to find them all before you leave (there are seven in total)!

The holes on the ground are actually speakers, so lean in closer. 

The third level houses artworks by four different artists but I felt the one by Nipan Oranniwesna stood out the most. What was most interesting for me was how this piece ironically looked plain and ordinary at first glance since well, it’s just a bunch of glass marbles on the floor.

However, once you pick up on what’s inside each one, you will definitely be captivated by it.

‘My Wonderful Dream’ by Eko Nugroho is another piece you do not want to miss. What really caught my attention here was how the artist masked his works in a ‘veil’ while leaving a human element to it, which reiterates his vision of a world where similarities are recognised instead of differences.

The Origin: The Tree and Me & The Unborn by Nandita Mukand

Wanderland by Mary Bernadette Lee

Artworks by Nandita Mukand and Mary Bernadette Lee are also displayed on this level so make sure to check them out as well before heading up to the final section of the exhibition.

The fourth level showcases artworks by two artists, Uudam Tran Nguyen and Unchalee Anantawat. The first by Nguyen, titled ‘LICENSE 2 DRAW’, highlights how people around the world are now able to instantly connect due to affordances of the Internet.

This is also the only artwork you can engage with, via the L2D application that can be downloaded onto your mobile phones. Using the app, you will be able to control a robotic drawing machine (pictured above), which drags marker pens across a piece of canvas, from anywhere around the world.

Aesthetically, the next artwork by Unchalee Anantawat caught my eye immediately upon entering the room. Titled ‘Floating Mountain’, this piece reminded me of the otherworldly landscapes from the movie ‘Avatar’. Interestingly, the artist drew inspiration from her vivid memory of a dream.

One detail I found particularly fascinating is the unlikely synergy between the painted walls adorned with white clouds and dim lighting used, which emphasised the dreaminess of this piece.

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Starting with Phothyzan’s ‘Lie of the Land’ and finishing with Anantawat’s ‘Floating Mountain’, Imaginarium takes us on a journey to discover how we are able to view our world as a continuous spectrum consisting of both reality and fantasy.

Dates & Times: Now till 27 August 2017, 10am – 7pm (Sat to Thurs), 10am – 9pm (Fri)

Prices: Refer here

Imaginarium — To The Ends Of The Earth: SAM at 8Q, 8 Queen Street, Singapore 188535 | Tel: +65 6589 9550 | Website

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