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Private museum bridges past and future
SINGAPORE Pinacotheque de Paris, the first international outpost of France's largest private museum, opens its doors on Saturday with rarely-seen masterpieces by Monet, Modigliani, Pollock, Picasso, Rembrandt, Renoir and other blue-chip artists.
Alongside these rare paintings, however, are a raft of technology platforms which allow greater interactivity between the visitors and the artworks. They constitute Singapore Pinacotheque's "Museum of the Future" concept which leverages the popular use of technology.
Suguna Madhavan, chief executive of Art Heritage Singapore which manages the museum, says: "Art appreciation is a budding one in Singapore, while the use of technology is prevalent in everyday life. So we've put the two together to make art fun and engaging for everyone."
Its premises on Fort Canning Hill boasts two eight-metre long interactive walls with Touchscreen technology that allow visitors to find out about the art, artists and artefacts with the help of 3D mascot Pinacoto, a cute chameleon "that will engage anyone from a five-year-old to a 90-year-old", says Ms Madhavan.
The museum's mobile app, available on Android and iOS platforms, enables mobile devices to detect and download information about the artworks as the visitor walks through the museums. Its website also aims to be comprehensive and up-to-date.
One unusual aspect of the museum is that Marc Restellini, the founder, owner and curator of the Pinacotheque museums, typically juxtaposes artworks and artefacts similar in theme, location, colour or style to create a sort of "dialogue" with each other - a concept he calls "transversality".
To wit, he's placed in the opening exhibition an ancient East Javanese death mask and a Timorese wooden mask between three portraits - Soutine's The Bellboy (1927-1928), Modigliani's Young Lady With Earrings (1915) and Rouault's Rosalba (1949-1956). The striking resemblances between the Asian masks and the European paintings suggest common "ideas and aesthetics" that exist between artists around the world, explains Mr Restellini.
Beside the Collections gallery which houses these masterpieces, there is the Heritage gallery featuring historical artefacts dating back as far as 5,000 years ago, as well as the Features gallery which is showing The Myth Of Cleopatra, an exhibition of paintings, artefacts and costumes relating to the famous queen of Egypt.
Three new restaurants and a cafe will also open at the location progressively over the next month. They are Balzac Brasserie serving French cuisine, FORT by Maison Ikkoku with its unique cocktail concept, Myra's@Fort Canning offering Mexican and North Indian fare, and Giojio Concepts cafe serving Giovanni L gelatos and Seattle Pike Chowder dishes.
Singapore Pinacotheque de Paris opens daily from Saturday onwards, from 10am to 7:30pm at Fort Canning Centre. Tickets for adults for full access to all galleries are priced at S$21 and S$28