More than 40 artworks, including eight dramatic larger-than-life inflatables, will greet visitors at Floating Utopias, ArtScience Museum’s new exhibition opening this Saturday, 25 May 2019.
A visual spectacle, the exhibition takes a playful and poetic look at inflatable objects, showing how they have been used in art, architecture and social activism over the decades. Presented in five chapters, the four-month long exhibition shows how inflatable objects have opened up new possibilities. With the invention of the hot air balloon, humanity was able to leave the confines of the ground for the first time and experience the Earth from above. Floating Utopias explores how this invention has shaped the way we understand the world and our place in it.
The exhibition is grounded by a strong political narrative that reveals how inflatable objects were used for ideological propaganda in the 20th century, and how artists countered these tendencies by using them as playful tools of social activism. Floating Utopias charts how inflatables created new innovations within architecture and urban planning, and shows how contemporary artists and designers are turning to inflatable structures to help us rethink our relationship with the environment.
No exhibition of inflatable art in Singapore would be complete without the iconic inflatable resident, WALTER, by local artist Dawn Ng. Her large curious rabbit sculpture was designed specifically to be seen outdoors in the cityscape of Singapore. WALTER has appeared in local neighbourhoods, such as shophouses, hawker stalls, convenience stores, playgrounds and MRT stations, drawing attention to some of Singapore’s inherently familiar, yet overlooked spaces. Like many artists who work in inflatable media, her work acts as a tool to disrupt everyday lived experience, inviting us to reconsider the character and charm of the place where we live.
During their journey through the show, visitors will also meet two giant pink bunnies facing one another within a confined space. The work initially appears to be whimsical and playful, but carries a more unsettling message. Somehow I Don’t Feel Comfortable (2000) by Japanese artist Momoyo Torimitsu is a dramatic artwork depicting two oversized bunnies slumped in opposite corners of the gallery in a sad, lonely manner. For Torimitsu, a bunny is a stereotypical example of cuteness. Supersizing her bunnies distorts and perverts their cuteness, creating something altogether more disconcerting.
Luke Jerram’s large inflatable sculpture of the Moon, made using state of the art scientific imagery, closes the exhibition. Installed to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing by NASA astronauts in 1969, Museum of the Moon, invites us to contemplate the Moon today, using the latest moon science.
The exhibition is organised by ArtScience Museum and Floating Utopias Foundation, in collaboration with the neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst, a German art association.
25 May to 29 September 2019
Art Science Museum
Singapore Resident ticket at $16 for Adult and $12 for Senior and Child.
Tickets are available for purchase from all Marina Bay Sands box offices and website.
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