Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A trip to Alive Museum Singapore

I decided to bring my mum along to visit the newly opened Alive Museum Singapore at Suntec City. I had heard that there would be lots of opportunites to take photos inside the museum there, and that you can actually touch the artworks. That was pretty interesting and new, since most exhibitions often don't allow visitors to take photographs or touch anything inside. They even have free wifi, and it feels like they're encouraging people to Instagram or Facebook their photos! (which is pretty cool, especially for those who may not have a dedicated mobile data plan).

Admission Tickets for Alive Museum Singapore
My mum and I reached the Museum just a little under an hour before the last admissions closed at 9pm. We were informed by the counter staff that we will need to leave by 9.45pm so that they can start closing in time. So here's something people visiting should take note of: Don't end up going there at the very last minute! (even though they close at 10pm). Otherwise they might have to turn you down at the admission point. Luckily for my mum and I, the one and a half hours we had proved to be just right for us to traverse through the myriad of exhibited works.

The first thing that struck me as I entered through the curtains covering the entrance to the museum, was that people were not just walking by the artworks on display. Almost all of the visitors there were not being passive audiences. Inside the Alive Museum Singapore, people were actively participating and interacting with the exhibits and artworks. They were touching them, going up close to scrutinize the various optical illusions and visual trickery, taking selfies with the artworks, photographs, and spending more time than the average visitor usually would with each artwork and with each exhibit.

These arrow stickers are prominently placed on the floor near almost all the exhibits. So if you're trying to take a photo of your friend posing near an exhibit but you're not sure where's the best spot to be at, just look around for the aptly labelled "Photo Point" on the floor and position yourself there to take the perfect shot. The spaces within the museum can become cramped pretty quickly especially the ones near the entrance if there are lots of people, so it is best to be patient and wait for your turn to pose and take photos.

This was one of the exhibits one will encounter as they enter the museum, which was called "A Young Man Holding a Skull". One needs to stare at the black and white image of a head on the wall for about 30 seconds, and shift their gaze to the painting. If done correctly, you'll end up seeing the image of the head on the outstretched hand even though the figure in the painting is holding nothing. This is a classic example of an afterimage which is a type of optical illusion where the eye continues to see an image long after one has stopped looking at it. It's a simple yet effective trick, and one that visitors of all ages can easily follow.

Each of the exhibits in the museum are accompanied with a handy description of what visitors are supposed to do, just in case if there's any confusion.  Just taking a photograph of some of the works on display wouldn't do them justice in terms of the kind of visual play they embody, so I took a few videos instead.

I enjoyed watching the one with the two Mona Lisas. It was a nice playful change from the standard portrait of Mona Lisa that everyone has seen over a million times over. Even Mona Lisa herself seemed content with blowing a piece of cloth in the wind ;)

This particular exhibit seemed to be pretty popular among the camera-trigger-happy patrons that day, and I decided to indulge in a bit of self-gratification. It's not everyday you get to sit on a mighty fine throne like that one.

I won't spoil the surprise of what all the various exhibits are in the Alive Museum Singapore, but I remember coming across this section of the museum and the first thought that came to my mind was, "How hard could it be?" It turned out that that section of the museum ahead was configured in a form of a maze, with doors which could lead you to another new area to explore and doors which bring you back to a different section. These doors weren't marked where they would lead yo uto and there was no other directions given, except the general idea of just having fun exploring! This particular area of the museum gets cramped super easily, so if you 're planning to wait and take photos with each exhibit housed in this area, be prepared to wait a while.

You'll also find signs like these on the doors as you navigate your way through. The last thing you want to do is injure yourself or someone else. As long as you mind your surroundings (and the other visitors), you should be fine.

The bulk of the exhibits here feature local and global icons and a boatload of familiar faces. I don't think I have to list all of them here, so I'll just leave you with a few photos.

My mum discovering one of those doors which doesn't exactly grant you an exit you can use. Perfect. :)

There was also this super random disco room playing music which was lined with mirrors all round (yes, even the floor is a mirror). I decided to do an impromptu photo of my mum and myself using the mirrors.

Speaking of mirrors, there was also this vertigo inducing work where you stood on a piece of glass and underneath you was a reflected pool of lights swishing around the walls. It was pretty hypnotic! There was also one wher it feels like you're standing atop rows of ladybirds in a sea of darkness.

And here's a bunch of photographs of yours truly doing the impossible made possible by the Alive Museum Singapore:

I quite like how this canoeing photo turned out. I actually look like I'm in pain (or maybe that's because my legs went numb while squished inside that hole while waiting for my mum to take the photo).

Here's another photo I'm happy with which just about suits my usual facial expression.

 Even after leaving the museum, there was still some more fun to be had just outside.

The literal version of "Frozen". This friendly stranger popped her head in and was posing for a photo for her friend, and she was generous enough to stay for me to take a photo as well. Too bad I didn't take a video though. She started rocking her head in there. Guess refrigerators must be her thing.

This guy right here was one of the counter staff who was gracious enough to help take a photo of my mum and I once we came out of the museum. Couldn't resist asking to take a photo with him. Thanks Hafiz~!

My mum and I had a great time at the Alive Museum Singapore. So many things to do and so many things to explore! The more people you bring along with you, the more fun you'll definitely have! (and fans of all things Trompe-l'oeil will have a great kick out of it). There's still a whole bunch of stuff to have fun with at the Alive Museum Singapore besides the ones I've posted about here (including a naughty little one involving windmills and Marilyn Monroe, and a particular "Powder Room" which actually is the only one that has a PG13 age rating sticker slapped on it, just to name a few.)

There's also a Burger King promotion going on currently, where you simply have to buy a full-priced ticket and "Like" the Alive Museum Singapore on Facebook to redeem a free meal. Check out the following link for more information: http://alivemuseum.sg/news-events/promotions/

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