At first glance, the eye-catching geometrical shape of Marina Bay Sand’s ArtScience Museum looks like hands reaching for the skies. And aptly so, as the museum is expected to showcase some of the most highly acclaimed art and science exhibits from around the world. Described as “the welcoming hand of Singapore” by Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman, Shedlon Adelson, the lotus-inspired architecture by world renowned architect Moshe Safdie opened last week to much acclaim.
With three floors of gallery space sprawling across 6,000 square meters, each of the 10 “fingers” that make up the building hold different exhibitions. The museum is also surrounded by a 4,000 square meter lily pond, making it look like it is floating on water. And water plays an integral part in the museum’s architectural eco-friendly makeup by recycling rainwater harvested from its roof. As Safdie explains, “The rainwater is harvested and is channeled down through the center of the structure and is recycled and redirected through the water feature to create a continuous cylindrical waterfall,” and as part of the museum’s participation in Singapore’s Green Mark program, the recycled water will be used in its bathroom and around its compound.
One of the permanent exhibitions, the ArtScience Gallery, explores the nuances that evoke the emotions of art. Segmented into three spaces—Curiosity, Inspiration and Expression—the gallery demonstrates how creative minds meld the disciplines of art and science to make objects that transform the world. Objects featured include replicas of Leonardo Da Vinci’s Flying Machine, a Kongming Lantern and an ancient Chinese scroll—all symbolizing the power of art, design and science. Museum director Tom Keller explains, “The space allows visitors to ponder about the very nature of how we define art and science, what it means to us and how it influences the world.”
And the world’s finest exhibits have already found a temporary home in the museum, allowing visitors to step into a world that they would have never known. From tracing the magnificent historical pathway of the greatest trading route known to man in Traveling the Silk Road: Ancient Pathway to the Modern World, to an exhibit of one of the oldest and most important marine archaeological finds of the late 20th century in Shipwrecked: Tang Treasures and Monsoon Winds, it looks like the ArtScience Museum is pulling out all the stops en route to becoming one of the premier art destinations in the world.
The ArtScience Museum, Marina Bay Sands, 10 Bayfront Ave., 6688-8868. Open daily 10am-10pm. $10-30 from Sistic.