Art & its iconic home

IT’S the latest architectural landmark to rise on the Marina Bay landscape and the newest museum in the Lion City’s art scene — the ArtScience Museum.

It’s just a few minutes scenic walk via the double helix pedestrian bridge from my host hotel, the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. How lucky can I get? My hotel’s ideal location gave me chance to freshen up coming from the fabulous art houses of the National Museum of Singapore and (my favorite) the Singapore Art Museum before I move to my third art appreciation tour for the day.

Inspired by the lotus flower, the ArtScience Museum’s sculptural edifice features ten “fingers” with its tips catching light to illuminate the interior gallery spaces. Referred to as the “Welcoming Hand of Singapore,” the museum’s design extends a symbolic gesture of welcome to guests and art from across the globe.

With over six thousand square meters of exhibition space spread in twenty-one galleries, the ArtScience Museum aims to be the premier museum destination in Singapore by hosting major international traveling exhibitions from a spectrum of influences- art and science, media and technology, and design and architecture.

The museum’s design aesthetics is indeed impressive, quite an artwork in itself that may just rival the art exhibitions it is hosting. The fusing of art and science in its construction makes it the ideal example of what the museum’s name represents. And, as homage to this budding field, the museum created their showpiece exhibition, ArtScience: A Journey Through Creativity, an exhibition that explores the relationships between the arts and the sciences, and presented it in three spaces – Curiosity, Inspiration and Expression.

Curiosity
Inspiration
Expression

I believe this museum applied these phases in conceiving this museum. Taking nature as inspiration for its shape and utilizing technology to maximize function in its components- the fingers are skylights illuminating the interior exhibition areas, the roof system gathers rainwater to be recycled, and the use of highly advanced man made materials to accomplish this architectural feat.

From the list of exhibits, the immersion in Van Gogh’s masterpieces through wide screen projections afforded me to enjoy this impressionist’s works from another point of view. It was a different experience from viewing the original paintings I was lucky enough to have seen in the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, the Musee d’Orsay in Paris and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. This new expression though, was reminiscent of those times I was admiring the actual art pieces for the very first time.

Prelude to the Dali exhibition.

It was the Dali exhibition that proved to be breathtaking- 250 artworks on femininity and sensuality, religion and mythology, and dreams and fantasy occupying ten galleries. What an amazing tour in the mind of a madman (?) or a genius (?)! Whichever he is, this prolific surreal artist and his creations have inspired and provoked the minds of millions to perceive the depths of his expression.

Impressive. It made me believe that whatever it is in their roster of exhibitions, it will be grand, if not grander, and certainly worth the visit. It will be admirable how this museum can bring European masterpieces closer to us. For that, I should thank you. I will be back for more.

For more information about the ArtScience museum, visit their website athttp://www.marinabaysands.com/Singapore-Attractions/ArtScience-Museum/

And for more photos and other travel stories, visit: http://jeepneyjinggoy.blogspot.com/

Of apples & lemons.

This museum may be a young art house, and may just have adopted “neophytes” into their staff. Expertise in every aspect of the museum’s operation is a must and never overlooked. Most especially courtesy, the most essential attribute every individual in the service industry should possess regardless of color or race.

An accusing, bold statement such as “And who told you can come up here?” from a security guard to a museum-etiquette observing visitor may just be an indication how the institution’s members “normally” converse with each other (?). Shouldn’t respect be innate? How should guests, erring or not, be treated and directed?

Fortunately, thank God for good (and better) breeding, the visitor was able to contain himself and deal with the guard with propriety (no slapping or reprimanding, although it was certainly deserved). The conversation next issue. In the meantime, munch on a dozen lemons little Indian girl.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on September 08, 2011.

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