Saturday, June 4, 2016

FUTURE WORLD exhibit at ArtScience Museum Singapore

During our family vacation to Singapore last March, I admit that I really didn't plan any specific itinerary. The kids have already been here before and have visited Universal Studios and Sentosa. The main purpose of our trip was really to go to Legoland in Malaysia (more on that soon!).

But when we had lunch out with friends in Marina Bay Sands, they suggested we take a look at the ArtScience Museum since there was a new exhibit on display. Hubby and I have never been inside and figured why not.

We got there at around 4pm and it was a Saturday, so as expected, there was a loooong line. It took about maybe 15 minutes which wasn't so bad. So buy your tickets in advance online if you can. There was also a promo when we visited which was Buy 1 Get 1 on tickets if you like their FB page. Good thing we were able to do so to avail the discount. So tip, check their website in advance for any promotions. :)

Anyway, we had no idea what this exhibit was about at first. Apparently, Future World is the new permanent exhibition at ArtScience Museum. It is a fully immersive 1500-square-metre digital universe, where 16 spectacular art installations are brought to life and evolve in real-time through visitor presence and participation. Since Future World is a permanent exhibition, it means it is here to stay for at least the next three years. The installations will change and evolve over time to keep the exhibition fresh and relevant.

For its landmark permanent exhibition, ArtScience Museum collaborated with teamLab, an award-winning Tokyo-based art collective of "ultra-technologists" that includes artists, programmers, engineers, CG animators, mathematicians, architects and designers. The result is Future World – Singapore’s largest interactive digital playground divided into four areas - Nature, Town, Park and Space.


The first area we walked into was a room filled with digital flowers which was breathtaking! Everything is constantly moving, so you have to find a good position for a nice photo. We spent quite a lot of time here, and we had to remind ourselves that there was still more to see! Anyway, I also read that the installation evolves throughout the year with the four different seasons, so no two visits will ever be the same.

The next area was called the "100 Years Sea Animation Diorama" where people were just sitting down watching an installation fim on large screens. The film is about the long-term environmental effects of climate change and hopes to educate younger generations about its impact.


To get to the next area, you can take a slide down here! This was one of my kids' favorite parts and they were so sweaty already from going up and down and up and down! I even gave it a try and it was so fun! Best to wear pants since the slide could be quite painful to bare thighs.

This part was called "Sketch Town" and it was an interactive digital installation depicting a fictitious town based on Singapore.

What was cool about it is that they had special paper where you can create your own town landmarks by colouring in drawings of buildings, cars, planes, spaceships and UFOs.

After, you place your two-dimensional pictures on this special scanner right here...

Then be surprised as they are brought to life and enter Sketch Town, transforming into 3D animated objects before your eyes! I swear, it was just so cool finding and seeing your drawing up there on the big screen.

In this area called "Connecting! Train Block" you can get a chance to design your own transportation network. The installation begins by projecting moving cars, trains, planes and boats onto a large surface. You'll use physical wooden blocks to design and connect an evolving system of roads, rivers and railways to keep the ever-increasing traffic flowing smoothly.

This area called the "Media Block Chair" was also so fun! You can create playful and vibrant structures from stacking blocks that glow and change colour when you connect them together.

Here, you place your hand or an object on "A Table Where Little People Live" and the little people will notice and jump onto it. The actions of the tiny characters change in response to the shape and colour of the objects, becoming more animated as you introduce more and more objects into their world.


The next area is a space inspired by nature and recreational play. Here there was another interactive digital installation like Sketch Town, but this time it was an Aquarium. You get to create drawings of sea creatures and watch them come to life and swim around with each other in a virtual ocean.

This is a seven-metre tall virtual waterfall called the "Universe of Water Particles" and it looked so realistic! I love the silhouette it created when you stand in front of it.

My kids also enjoyed this area called "Create! Hopscotch for Geniuses" where you can design your own customised hopscotch game. There were some older kids who were making the pattern too hard though and then laughing at the kids who couldn't get it. Haaay kainis! My son even got upset at one point, but then he stood up for his sister by telling them to not laugh at her! I was so proud! :)

This installation called "Light Ball Orchestra" was one of my personal favorites. Here, kids can push, bounce, and roll beachball-sized globes to change their colour and sound. It was just so visually stunning. I wanted to get in too! ;p

There was another digitally projected screen called "Story of the Time When Gods Were Everywhere". Here, you can create your own environment by touching hieroglyphic characters and watch them transform into natural elements such as wind, rain, trees and mountains.


The last area was called the "Crystal Universe" and basically you will walk through this maze of LED lights, giving the illusion of stars moving in space. It was a bit hard to take nice pictures since you had to quickly move along because there was a line. But the lights and sounds were still cool.

All in all, this ended up being one of our favorite things that we did in Singapore! I love how interactive everything was and enouraged the kids to touch, feel, and be as creative as can be. If I knew that it was going to be like this, I would have definitely alotted more time here (we had about 2 hours since it closes at 7pm). I mean, even the gift shop had coloring materials and an area for drawing! We went here to go to the bathroom before exiting, and it was so hard to drag the kids away since they wanted to stay.

If you're going to Singapore anytime soon, I really recommend visiting this exhibit. And it's not just for kids, even adults will have a blast too!

ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands
Open Daily: 10am - 7pm
(Last Admission at 6pm) 
Free admission for infant in arms and child 2 years old below.

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