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And ArtScience Museum said: "Let there be light!"
BE prepared to be gobsmacked when you enter ArtScience Museum's first permanent exhibition Future World.
The Marina Bay Sands museum, which turns five this year, has turned one of its galleries into a 1,500 sq metres immersive digital playground for kids and adults.
It brims with virtual cities and animated oceans, fantastical flora and fauna that live and die based on your interaction with them, cubes and balls that change colours when you play with them.
And then there's Crystal Universe, a room packed with 178,000 LED lights that react to your presence as you glide through it. It's enough to bring out the kid in the you - or, if you are a kid, make you believe you've found Emerald City and the Wizard of Oz.
The art installations are the brainchild of Japan's teamLab, an artist-technologist collective comprising 450 artists, architects, 4-D animators, engineers, mathematicians and scientists. In the past year, approximately 100 of them have descended upon the museum to help design the futuristic park.
Honor Harger, executive director of the ArtScience Museum, says: "No visit to the exhibition is the same as the artworks are constantly changing and reacting to the people in the space. We're also looking to bring in new art installations over the course of the exhibition."
In the case of Flowers & People, a room-size installation filled with flowers and insects, the artwork reacts to the time of the year. It will display flora and fauna appropriate to the month and season, making it the only place in Singapore where one can soak in - albeit virtually - the colours of spring, summer, fall or winter.
Ms Harger says: "Even before the ArtScience Museum was built, Marina Bay Sands has been thinking of what would make an appropriate permanent exhibition. We wanted something that combines the fields of science and art to show what innovation can come from the union. So we're very excited to unveil this."
Ms Harger had been aware of teamLab's work for years. But it was only last year when she visited Miraikan, Japan's major science centre in Tokyo, to see teamLab's sprawling exhibition, that she became convinced it was the right partner for the project.
Since then, she and her team have worked hard to secure within a year 15 large art installations that include teamLab's latest and most ambitious work, Crystal Universe.
Though she declines to reveal the "significant" sum of money involved in creating the exhibition as well as its projected visitor numbers, she says: "We expect it to be popular with families and schools, as well as tourists."
- Future World at the ArtScience Museum, Marina Bay Sands, opens on Sat, March 12. Tickets are from S$14 for adults and S$7 for kids. Family packages (2 adults and 2 kids) start at S$44. Season passes available.