Icons and goddesses: ArtScience Museum’s line-up for 2024 celebrates Year of Extraordinary Women

My Neighbor Totoro. Copyright - 1988 Studio Ghibli; Princess Mononoke© 1997 Studio Ghibli – ND; Spirited Away© 2001 Studio Ghibli - NDDTM (hi-res)
From left: My Neighbor Totoro © 1988 Studio Ghibli; Princess Mononoke © 1997 Studio Ghibli – ND; Spirited Away © 2001 Studio Ghibli – NDDTM

International Women’s Day may have come and gone, but ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands continues to examine, celebrate, and uncover the stories of women whose lives have influenced society throughout the decades. 

The museum has revealed its slate of exhibitions for 2024, which has been dubbed “Year of Extraordinary Women”. The exhibitions range from focusing on inspiring artists and screen legends to strong female characters seen in the epic movies of one of the most beloved animation studios in the world.

Thelma and Louise, 1991, L-R Susan Sarandon, Geena Davis_credit to Moviestore Collection Ltd and Alamy Stock Photo
Thelma and Louise, 1991, starring Susan Sarandon (left) and Geena Davis. Photo: Moviestore Collection Ltd and Alamy Stock Photo

The first to headline this new season in April is Goddess, a glamorous and powerful exhibition curated by ACMI, Australia’s national museum of screen culture. It highlights iconic women in film and television who have defied expectations, overcome stereotypes, and influenced ideas of femininity through their impact and representation on screen. 

From left: Laverne Cox (copyright: Joshua Kissi, courtesy of Atrbute); copyright: 2007 Sakuran Film Committee, Moyoco Anno/Kodansha; Winnie Harlow, courtesy of Albert Sanchez and Pedro Zalba
From left: Laverne Cox, © Joshua Kissi, courtesy of Atrbute; © 2007 Sakuran Film Committee © Moyoco Anno/Kodansha; Winnie Harlow, courtesy of Albert Sanchez and Pedro Zalba

The exhibition will traverse 120 years of moving image history to feature surprising stories, costumes, sketches, interactive experiences, and cinematic treasures from silent cinema to contemporary films of today, with a new focus on Asian screen sirens.

 In May, the museum will present Frida Kahlo: The Life of an Icon, an immersive exhibition about the life and work of iconic Mexican painter Frida Kahlo. One of the most influential women artists of the 20th century, Kahlo is best known for her uncompromising and vibrant self-portraits dealing with themes such as identity, the human body and death. 

Frida Kahlo: The Life of an Icon
Frida Kahlo: The Life of an Icon

Developed by Layers of Reality and Frida Kahlo Corporation, the exhibition will transport visitors inside Frida Kahlo’s most famous artworks to discover how her perseverance, rebellion, and sheer artistic talent placed her far ahead of her time and elevated her to a symbol of female empowerment and resistance. 

October welcomes one of the largest and most ambitious exhibitions to date – The World of Studio Ghibli. It celebrates the iconic films of Japanese animation powerhouse Studio Ghibli, featuring large-scale, interactive theatrical sets from across the studio’s history. It invites visitors to meet some of their favourite characters, and to traverse the enchanting worlds of Hayao Miyazak’s iconic films such as My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away and The Boy and the Heron the last two won an Oscar each for best animated feature in 2003 and 2024. 

ArtScience Museum’s Year of Extraordinary Women marks an expansion of the themes explored in the exhibition New Eden: Science Fiction Mythologies Transformed which ran until Mar 3. New Eden revealed new perspectives on the traditionally male-dominated sci-fi genre through the lens of 24 women artists and collectives from Asia.

For updates on the upcoming exhibitions, visit www.marinabaysands.com/museum/year-of-extraordinary-women.