August 2011

The Singapore ArtScience Museum: a modern marvel of science, technology and art

The "Van Gogh Alive" exhibit gives a multisensory exposure to the artist's work.

In addition to the permanent collection, the ArtScience Museum currently features several temporary exhibitions, including "Dali: Mind of a Genius" (through Oct. 30, 2011) and "Van Gogh Alive" (through Nov. 6, 2011). The Dali exhibit consists of more than 250 works of art encompassing a wide range of media, including paintings, sculptures, collages, photographs, gold and glassworks. Dali's art provides a view into the complex cognitive science behind his artistic creations. In contrast, the Van Gogh exhibit illustrates the interplay between the arts and science by providing visitors with a multisensory journey through the works of Vincent Van Gogh. Unlike conventional wall art displays, more than 3,000 Van Gogh images are projected across immense screens on the walls, ceiling and even the gallery floor. This visual experience is further amplified with a musical score to accompany the art. This pairing of Van Gogh's art with the latest audio-visual technologies culminates in a dynamic experience that embodies the philosophies of the museum.

The ArtScience Museum harmonizes the worlds of science and art in a spectacular collection of artwork and scientific innovation. As visitors walk through the permanent and temporary exhibits, they will appreciate how the unity of these two disciplines has affected various stages in the history of mankind. From early influences on ancient Chinese invention to Safdie's pioneering design of the museum itself, it is clear that art and science are symbiotically aligned.

Whether visitors seek to enjoy the exhibitions casually or intend to learn the specific scientific and engineering details of modern architecture, they will be in awe upon entering the ArtScience Museum. This unique space not only provides visitors with an educational adventure but also motivates and empowers them to find and nurture their own creativity and innovation in art and science. The manifestation of scientific and artistic curiosity, inspiration and expression in one museum certainly is a modern marvel worth visiting.

Lillian Kuo ( is a postdoctoral fellow at the National Cancer Institute.


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