Sunday, November 22, 2015

ArtScience Museum: The Deep, Dreamworks Animation, Singapore Stories

We paid a visit to the ArtScience Museum over the weekend and were in for a treat.  There was free SG50 exhibition by The Straits Times entitled Singapore Stories (17 July to 4 October), and $59 got us a two-adult-two-kids package to see Dreamworks Animation (13 to 27 September) and The Deep (6 June to 27 October).

We took many pictures, but you can be sure viewing these images are not the same as actually being there. The galleries are not just about the exhibits, but as can be seen by the museum's name, they're artistically presented to touch not just the mind but also connect with the senses.

Enjoy the photo-composition!

The Deep: Illuminating the Mysteries of the Deep Sea

The caption 'Illuminating the Mysteries of the Deep Sea' is fitting. The deepest, darkest places in the vast ocean do not see the light of day, and it seemed like the organisers are trying to bring out that eerie feeling as we step into a dark gallery, lit almost only by the light of the exhibits themselves.

Chronological timeline depicting the developments in undersea exploration over the years.

Classifications of the ocean by depth.

Deep down in the dark, light is produced by the living!

An artistic presentation of some animals found in the depths. There was an artistic element to the display that required staff to shine UV light into large jars to illuminate them.

In the hidden depths, even the fish take on unique forms.

I think we've seen something like this before in the fish markets of Korea.

Bearded eel?

Larger angler fish!

Images featuring light producing organisms in the deep.

This is called the Football Fish

Hagfish: jawless scavengers of the deep

More creatures that appear to have popped out from your scariest nightmares.

This tiny fish has an adorable face!

Not so adorable faces, but interesting nonetheless!

Gulper Eeel

There was a mini-cinema where visitors could laze around on beanbags and benches to enjoy amazing videos taken from deep sea expeditions.

The adorable looking deep-sea isopod, aka 'Teletubby'.

There was an activity corner for kids to create marine-themed masks but we gave it a miss as the little ones needed to use the restroom.

Posing with a display of the Goblin shark.

An informative panel on the passionate Claire Nouvian, an explorer, filmaker, researcher and ocean ambassador.

Dreamworks Animation: The Exibition - Journey From Sketch to Screen

We were apprehensive at first at taking the package for both these exhibitions, thinking that we'd be too tired to enjoy both in the same day. We were glad that we heeded the advice over the counter that it would be both an eye-opener and fun time for the children.

The experience was extremely educational, and charts the arduous process of creating an animated story. It was mind-blowing the number of steps involved in coming up with the final product we see in the cinemas (or in our case, on the in-flight entertainment systems during the holidays). In-addition, the exhibition highlights the development of the animation industry and technology from the past to what it is today.

The entrance welcomes you with a lesson on character conceptualisation!

Character marquettes are hand-crafted sculptures made during the character development process.

The marquettes bring out the unique traits and characteristics of the characters.

A collection of artists' sketches of the characters from the animation Madagascar.

Technology helps to combine various facial features to get that perfect facial expression of a particular emotion. Here, an interactive tool allows us to pick and choose the various facial features and appreciate the outcome.

A story isn't a story without a plot. Brainstorming leads to a series of storyboards.

Artists reenact the scenes using props to better communicate ideas and what the scenes might look like to the animators.

We watch a presentation of the storyboards at the brainstorming table.

A comparison of the number of storyboards used across various animations.

Playing around with the visual effects on an interactive screen. Here, we can tweak the amplitudes and frequencies of the waves and ripples on the ocean's surface and enjoy the effects.

There was a craft table where kids could put together a little flip-book and learn about this old-school animation technique!

Inside this mini-theatre, we're taken on a tour of the 'set' of the animation 'How to Train Your Dragon' on a widescreen perspective of the rider on the dragon's back in mid-flight.

Sit back and enjoy the show!

Miniature models of the sets found in the animations.

Shrek's house!

There was a drawing room where visitors could design their own drawings and use high-tech means to create a short animation.

The girls love to draw! Before we knew it we were stuck here.

It took a little time to learn the software, but once we got used to it, we got pretty engrossed. Even Daddy got involved. I must admit we never really figured out how to work the animation part though.

Singapore STories: Then, Now, Tomorrow

The FOC exhibition in celebration of SG50 tells the Singapore story through the lens of the journalists and photographers of The Straits Times. It was simply stunning walking though history and reading everything that made the front page in the last 50 years!

We enjoyed toying around with this interactive touch-screen that allowed us to choose a key place in Singapore, and swipe over to go back and forth between the present and vintage image of the place. Here, the place shown on the screen is Boat Quay.

There was a large, sprawling timeline that highlighted key dates with images of newspapers from the time.

The children watch on of the many video features in the gallery.

Dress-me-up cutouts that featured our national costumes, and also included commonly seen coffee-shop T-shirt, shorts and flip-flops outfit.

We left the museum after over three hours of fruitful walking. We were so engrossed by amazing experiences at the first two exhibitions that by the time we reached the Singapore Stories gallery, we were tired. Since it is free, there may be another time for us to return and enjoy it fully.

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