Sunday, October 2, 2011

art. science. artscience!

If you find yourself in Singapore, and you're the type of person who enjoys visiting art museums, you don't have many options.  
The lesser of the two real choices is the Singapore Art Museum.  Any art museum, in my opinion, is worth a visit on some level.  And if it's free, like this one was, all the better.  But it's a good thing it was free, as there wasn't much going on.  Several of the gallery rooms were closed for upgrades/renovations/new installations, though when I peeked through the crack in the door they were just empty rooms.  No sign of upgrades, or renovations, or new installations.   The main feature was an exhibit of works by Liu Kang, an artist I'd never heard of.  Feel free to look him up, but not my favorite artist I've seen.  Annnd...yeah, that was about it.  There were two other sections with art, but none were very memorable.  But hey- it's art.  And it was free.  Can't go wrong there.  

The other main art museum here is the ArtScience museum (Singapore gets right to the point with their museum names).  If you've seen pictures, it's the building that's shaped like a lotus.  Or a bowl with fingers.  Three exhibitions are happening here at the moment:  Salvador Dali, Van Gogh, and shipwreck treasures.  
We start with Dali.  In my experience, most people who like art like Dali.  In fact, I've known a lot of people who don't care for art who like Dali.  I like art, and I like Dali.  But I also know that Dali's quality went somewhat downhill in the later years, and this exhibit was almost exclusively later years (lots of stuff from the 70s).  This is not to say it was bad though.  There was a nice collection of watercolors, statues, paintings, and more. 
The next level down is the Van Gogh exhibit.  It is distinctly lacking in any actual Van Gogh art though.  HOWEVER, this exhibit was totally interesting. You go in through a door, and into a long, dark room.  The room is wide, and easily two stories tall.  It's barely lit, except for large screen projections of various Van Gogh works on the walls.  There is classical music playing throughout, and the projections change every 15-30 seconds.  A few benches are throughout the hall, so one can sit and just enjoy the show.  I spend a good 20 minutes here, just enjoying the art and music.  True, there's no real Van Gogh pieces here, but the experience is good.
The last exhibit is the shipwreck treasures.  It might be a letdown after the Van Gogh, but it also might be a letdown because it's "shipwreck treasures".  To you this may conjure images of gold dubloons, pieces of eight...pirates.  In reality, it is almost exclusively clay jars.  A few bits of gold here and there, but mostly jars.  Broken jars, decorated jars, sealed jars, jars still covered in barnacles.  

As I leave, I make a mental note to make a new painting once I'm back to Atlanta.  I've got an empty wall, and Van Gogh and Dali would be disappointed if I left it blank any longer.

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