We had the chance to attend the media preview for an exhibition named “Floating Utopias”, hosted by the ArtScience Museum. Though we weren’t quite sure what to expect, we were looking forward to what the exhibition had in store!

Exhibition Panel

Before we were let in to view the exhibition, we were first greeted by the curators of Floating Utopias at a media preview panel. A couple of artists participating in the exhibition were also present, and briefly described their art pieces on display.

From left to right: Graham Stevens (Artist), Artúr van Balen (Curator), Dawn Ng (Artist), Ahmet Ögüt (Artist), Fabiola Bierhoff (Curator), Anna Hoetjes (Artist, Curator) and
Honor Harger (Executive Director of ArtScience Museum).

When asked about the goal of Floating Utopias, the curators hope that the exhibition will allow its attendees to embrace the playfulness of inflatables. At the same time, the curators hope that visitors will think and “start conversations” about the social, political and environmental issues present in our world.

We were also told of events happening solely on the opening weekend. At 8.30 p.m. and 9.30 p.m. on 25th May, there will be a live performance in front of the ArtScience Museum involving lit-up inflatables.

Entering the Exhibition

Floating Utopias is an exhibition presented in five parts: Balloon Fever, Display and Disrupt, Bubble Architecture, Solar Sustainability and Vertical Exploration. Each part of the exhibition deals with a different aspect of inflatable objects.

For instance, the exhibition takes off with Balloon Fever. In this portion, the art on display shed light on how inflatable objects grew in popularity, and the manners in which they were used. Inflatable objects captivated people from as far back as the 18th Century! Plus, they were used as part of protests, campaigns, and other political movements.

Here’s one example of inflatables used in politics.
Children carried around these blocks (and moved in formation) to protest against the Nazis.

Moving inwards, the Display and Disrupt portion of the exhibition deals with how inflatable objects can be used to serve different agendas. Amongst them is Walter, a work by local artist and panelist Dawn Ng. Walter himself is a large inflatable bunny that “disrupts” some of Singapore’s familiar sights.

Though this is just a picture, Walter the Giant Inflatable Bunny is also physically present at the exhibition.

By allowing viewers to witness such a surreal thing in local landscapes, it aims to convey a sense of curiosity and childlike wonder in whoever sees it.

Exhibition Highlights

One thing that attendees might appreciate is the Floating Utopia’s attempt to get the community involved. In the Solar Sustainability portion, visitors are encouraged to leave behind their plastic bags (if they have any) to contribute to the museum’s own Museo Aero Solar. These plastic bags will be taped together to make an inflatable object, one that will be set afloat at the exhibition’s end.

Note: Visitors can also collect their exhibition brochure from this section of the exhibit.

Furthermore, the final part of the exhibition, Vertical Exploration, is Floating Utopia’s most fascinating. This last chapter contemplates the use of inflatable objects in relation to space. In this part of the exhibit, viewers are able to observe sketches of an artist’s interpretation of life on the moon.

The highlight of this section (and arguably the entire exhibition) was definitely the Museum of the Moon. It is an inflatable art installation featuring NASA imagery of the lunar surface, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Moon Landing in 1969. Visitors are encouraged to lay back on the chairs and to reflect while “moonbathing”, as classical music plays in the background.

Though this stunning moon installation already measures six-metres in diameter, we were told that the actual moon is far bigger. In fact, one centimeter on this moon replica is actually six kilometers on the real moon!

All in all, Floating Utopias is both an educational and entertaining exhibition. It really makes you think about the various uses of inflatable objects – some of which might not have previously crossed your mind. You won’t want to miss out on this fascinating exhibition, running from 25 May to 29 September 2019.

Ticketing Details

Ticket prices for the exhibition vary on your nationality, as Singaporeans can get tickets at a slightly cheaper price. Here are the ticket prices for Floating Utopias alone:

  • Standard ticket: $19
  • Standard ticket (for Singaporeans): $16
  • Seniors (65 years old and above), Students, and Children (2-12 years old): $14
  • Singaporean Seniors, Students and Children: $12
  • Family package (2 children and 2 adults): $54
  • Family package for Singaporeans: $45

Alternatively, tickets would be more costly if you’re planning on buying tickets for more than one exhibition. Regardless of which you’re going for, you can grab your tickets here.

A sleepless cryptid with a sweet tooth, who spends most of her free time on the internet. Sheryl loves binge-watching shows on Netflix, Persona 5's Joker, arcades, and all her emotional support K-Pop boys.