About a Museum: SAM

The Singapore Art Museum has many treasures tucked away in dark rooms, and stunning floor-to-ceiling exhibits that appear real in both shadow and the light seeping in from the doorway.

I went with SY, who is someone who frequently accompanies me on certain adventures, such as a visit to the much hyped about—and truly spectacular—display located in the Art-Science Museum in Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. We’ve definitely grown since that trip, with more developments in both of our lives now. In actuality, it’s only been a full thirteen  months since the date of our  last trip, but it seems longer, because of the whole year of cramming for our respective ‘milestone’ exams. –> We went to Cinerama: Art and the Moving Image in Southeast Asia.

I’m extremely excited to report that the visit to the Singapore Art Museum (SAM), in the Bugis area, about ten minutes’ walk from the National Library and Waterloo Street/Middle Road, was one that blew my mind.

What I usually love about sound or art installations—check out an ongoing one here—is that they’re like a slice of a really aesthetic looking cake. They  offer us a little bit of an experience, a few minutes to immerse ourselves into a world filled with floral, or the sounds of the sea rushing to meet the shore, or just a few seconds’ opportunity to be completely dead to this world, save for the sight of lights shimmering from every direction. They give people a chance to escape, and that’s one of the reasons why I feel that museums are frequently populated here in Singapore (besides the chance to take aesthetic pictures la). It’s about stepping into a room in a museum, with air-conditioning on and installations to satisfy your inner artsy soul, and letting all the stress from the past week or from the outside world – like Somerset on a weekend afternoon – ebb away. Everything seems to fall into place. You’re somewhere else, somewhere where only the lights and the sounds can reach you.PicsArt_01-07-04.44.03.jpg

AMY LEE SANFORD 
Scanning | 

In Scanning, Cambodian-born Amy Lee Sanford continues
her investigation into notions of memory, such as forgetting,
remembering, longing, and loss through the manipulation
and re-presenting of a selection of some 250 found letters.  – SOURCE [official Museum guide for the current exhibition/event]

The Singapore Art Museum provided that sort of experience and more. Besides biting into a ‘slice’ of ‘cake’ and experiencing, for a short while, living in a world where time was completely flexible, I felt that I had eaten the entire cake. There was this film that SY and I stopped to see, on Level 4. It was brilliant, with lush, electronic effects spilling into literal prehistoric backdrop and shots of a huge isolated rat, crawling to death across a desert. The film was shown on a projector—but the adueicne sat on gigantic pillows that were patterned with blue and white—the sky and the clouds. Each of these gigantic pillows could fit at least three people, and were scattered across a floor that was bumpy and painful to the touch. I tried to sit on the floor and immediately threw myself on a pillow instead.

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The floor, painted black, actually had individual bits of plastic painted to look like the natural mineral rocks and pebbles and stones of a jagged, natural terrain! We didn’t just step into a new world by watching the film, but by sitting on a ‘piece of sky’, fingers trailing across the ‘floor’, and feeling trapped and entranced by the film inside of a room with its four walls COVERED in fur!

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The multidisciplinary works of Korakrit Arunanondchai and Alex Gvojic expand
beyond the screen to incorporate complex installations in their presentations. The
video centres on two key events: humanity’s future extinction and Korakrit’s brother’s
recent wedding. The artists weave intertwining threads that draw comparisons between
present circumstances of living and the eventual collapse of humanity’s constructed systems. – SOURCE [official Museum guide for the current exhibition/event]

The room itself was amazing—every bit of the room from the floor, to the seating style, to the film itself, felt like an exhibit that provided a total 360 experience for me.

And this is the only amazing bit about the museum that I’m going to share, because honestly, museum trips feel like watching a very long and extensively interactive movie—I don’t want to ever spoil it for a future visitor.

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Here’s the name of the band – yes, a band is behind this exhibit! / masterpiece! :

TROMARAMA 
Zsa Zsa Zsu

Some other things that I’d like to remember forever:

  • The way SY and I raided the brochure booth, looking at future events that our wallets might be able to open themselves to,
  • Talking and talking and talking on a couch in THE QUIET ROOM, Level 2 (or was it Level 3?), catching up with each other after a rigorous twelve months of studying (good bye and good riddance, 2017!)
  • Walking out of an exhibit, equal parts mystified and unsettled,PicsArt_01-07-04.41.55.jpg into the bright light of a museum corridor and watching the rain pour down. The atmosphere was thick with humidity and dampened by rain and the confusing message of the exhibit, MAKING CHINATOWN. Description below,

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  • Walking into the museum in the first place, being enthralled by the benches lined up outside. It was drizzling lightly when we went out and the paint on each of those benches seemed to be flaky; the art and the colours and the memories that made these colours vibrant appearing fresh.

 

  • Lastly, squishing ourselves into a photo booth supposedly meant for two people—clearly meant for one…person? (One very slim person?) and doing all sorts of carefully prepared, precarious poses to fill up a photo-strip.

 

 

 

BONUS:

I went with SY, who is someone who frequently accompanies  I ❤ forever and ever 🙂