The ArtScience museum never fails to deliver new exhibitions to keep things exciting for those of us living in Singapore. I’ve been patiently waiting for ‘The Universe and Art‘ exhibition to show here, especially after reading rave reviews about the Tokyo edition.
Finally, from now till 30 July 2017, you can embark on this voyage through space and art with this specially curated exhibition, co-organised with the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo.
If you’re interested in exploring where we came from and where we are going (deep, deep ya’ll), get together with a fellow philosopher and while away an afternoon contemplating your place in the universe.
The exhibition is laid out in four sections/themes, guiding your journey through the many existential questions that have probably crossed your mind at one point or another.
‘Our Vision Of The Universe’ explores the origins of our concept of the universe and how we have come to understand it over the years. This section includes many artefacts and religious art on loan from the Asian Civilisations Museum.
Journey back in time and learn about Eastern and Western philosophies of the universe through these displays of ancient and contemporary art. I was particularly intrigued by ‘The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter’ (17th Century Hand Scroll) by Taketori Monogatari.
The scroll depicts a story from the mid-10th century in ancient Japan about a princess from the Moon, and is Japan’s oldest prose narrative about space. Myths like these were what shaped our understanding of what lay beyond Earth.
Different sections of the scroll will be unveiled over the duration of the exhibition, so you could always go back and learn something new!
What is really exciting as well is that for the first time in Singapore, masterworks by renowned Renaissance astronomers like Galileo, Kepler, Newton and Copernicus will be displaying.
Marvel at the rare 1610 first edition manuscript of ‘Sidereus Nuncius’ (Latin for “Starry Messenger”) by Galileo Galilei, documenting his observations made through the telescope.
The next section called ‘The Universe As Space-Time’ explores new concepts of the universe through contemporary works by Björn Dahlem, Mariko Mori, Pierre Huyghe, Andreas Gursky, Wolfgang Tillmans and Hiroshi Sugimoto.
We’ve come a long way from the myths of Japanese Moon Princesses and now have incredible technology and new methods of traversing what we still do not fully know.
The ‘Black Hole (M-Spheres)’ sculpture by Björn Dahlem (2016) was particularly impressive, and the man himself described its interpretation of a galaxy revolving around a supermassive black hole.
Get a photo in front of this photo depicting the Super-Kamiokande observatory in Japan. It’s the world’s largest underground neutrino detector which was designed to search for cosmic neutrinos. To normal folks like you and me, cosmic neutrinos are the most mysterious of fundamental particles in physics.
Sufficient understanding of these particles could help us better understand the origins of matter in the early universe. Boomz.
You also must check out this installation specially commissioned by the ArtScience Museum. Known for his kinetic sculptures inspired by science, Conrad Shawcross allows us to experience the invisible with this structure.
Who knows what else is out there? The ‘A New View Of Life’ section forays into the unknown and the possibility of other lifeforms in the universe.
Surely we’re not alone.
You can’t miss this super weird sculpture made from fibreglass, silicone and hair. It’s supposed to be a hybrid of a human, hedgehog and tortoise, but wow I really hope this isn’t what aliens end up looking like.
The final section called ‘Space Art’ is dedicated to artwork designed specifically for the environment of space. I had no idea that artwork has been actively sent into space in various forms, including some by Andy Warhol and Robert Rauschenberg.
A part of this section that really stood out was the ‘moon’ score, a musical piece composed using pictures of the Moon, photographed by an astronaut. It was hauntingly beautiful and so surreal to know that what I was listening to was simultaneously playing on Mars.
The face of the exhibition is this piece called ‘Space Investors’ by Jules de Balincourt (2015). Astronauts from different countries float in space, some hand in hand, and the depiction is meant for us to reflect on space as a new frontier for economic exploits.
Who knows, in 20 years we could all be BTO-ing – on Mars.
The Universe and Art celebrates our fascination with the mysteries of the universe which, let’s face it, seems to be endless. Life on Earth gets pretty hard, so escape to the cosmos for a day!
Dates & Time: Now till 30 July 2017, 10am – 7pm (daily)
Prices: $14 (Singapore Resident), $17 (Standard)
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