ArtScience Museum invites all Singaporeans to Step into 2219: Futures Imagined and explore how our world might change over the next 200 years, as part of the Singapore Bicentennial commemoration. This immersive and experiential exhibition is a journey into imaginary future worlds, featuring over two dozen artists, architects, filmmakers, writers and theatre companies from Singapore and around the world.
Throughout 2019, the Singapore Bicentennial has been examining Singapore’s rich history since the arrival of Sir Stamford Raffles in 1819, as well as the 500 years before. The Bicentennial not only prompts reflection on the past two centuries but also invites speculation on the 200 years that lie ahead. 2219: Futures Imagined explores the 200 years between now and 2219 – the year Singapore will commemorate its Quadricentennial.
2219: Futures Imagined – The 5 Acts
Unfolding over five Acts, the exhibition places you in scenarios that explore how our future lives may be impacted by climate change and loss of the planet’s biodiversity. The show provides a contemplative space for you to consider the global context that Singapore is part of, and how larger environmental forces will impact our home.
“This new exhibition shifts the focus of the Singapore Bicentennial from the past to the future. But rather than being a set of predictions of how the future may unfold, 2219: Futures Imagined presents speculative ideas by more than 25 visionary artists from around the world. They will create ‘experiential futures’, immersive installations, theatrical sets, meditative spaces, interactive artworks, films, prints and sculptures that allow audiences to step into, and be part of, possible futures. The exhibition deliberately resists the utopian and dystopian futures we often see in science fiction and instead focuses on ‘small futures’ – intimate and enduring stories and traditions which are passed down from generation to generation. 2219 invites visitors to reflect on what kind of future they want for Singapore, and what actions they may take now to bring that future into being,” said Honor Harger, Executive Director of ArtScience Museum.
2219: Futures Imagined – Participants
The exhibition will feature thought-provoking works by over two dozen local and international artists and makers, including major names in contemporary art and design such as:
- Larry Achiampong (UK) – with his first major exhibition in Asia.
- John Akomfrah (UK) – with his first major exhibition in Asia.
- Gordon Cheung (UK) – with his first show in Singapore. Sarah Choo (Singapore)
- Finbarr Fallon (Singapore)
- Ho Tzu Nyen (Singapore)
- Shan Hur (Korea) – with his first show in Singapore. Adeline Kueh (Singapore)
- Zarina Muhammad (Singapore)
- Alvin Pang (Singapore)
- Lisa Park (Korea) – with her first show in Singapore.
- Rimini Protokoll (Germany) – with their first exhibition in South East Asia. Superflux (UK) – with their first exhibition in South East Asia.
- Robert Zhao Renhui (Singapore)
- With many more to be announced.
Participants of the exhibition will present artworks and environments that convey a future which contains many familiar aspects of Singapore today. Industrial structures, such as shipping containers echo Singapore’s historical importance as a port, whilst domestic constructions, such as an HDB apartment, act as settings to scrutinise the city of tomorrow. Throughout the exhibition, graphics and films depicting scenarios for Singapore’s future – such as the development of green-buildings and the expansion of vertical farms – remind you of the city-state’s continual process of preparing for the future.
2219: Futures Imagined – The Experience
The exhibition is organised into five Acts, echoing the structure of From Singapore to Singaporean: The Bicentennial Experience, at Fort Canning. Each Act aims to immerse you and your loved ones in settings which show how life may be impacted by changes in the Earth’s environment. The five Acts explore how Singapore’s society, culture and traditions may evolve when faced with global changes.
Act I articulates some of the worldwide transformations which are already occurring due to environmental degradation – desertification in some places, flooding in others – as you transition from 2019 into the world of the future.
In Act II, you will step into a possible future located in a public housing apartment set in the midway in the 21st century. Through cleverly designed interiors and strategic placement of various household items, the apartment enables you to experience the lived consequences of climate change, showing how Singaporeans may adapt to a changed environment. This section also includes artworks that show how Singapore, and its neighbouring nations, may acclimatise to a world which is beginning to be reshaped by rising sea-levels and disruptions to global trade.
Act III explores a possible new subterranean world, created by the necessity to migrate underground. The centrepiece is a detailed speculative architectural proposal for a large-scale underground living environment. Singapore’s mastery of critical infrastructure is highlighted, suggesting that the island-state is well-placed to adjust to such a dramatic change. Act III also investigates how our relationship with nature may change, if we moved away from the surface where much of life is sustained.
Act IV presents a dramatic immersive installation that aims to evoke a sense of urgency, encouraging us to take steps towards environmental conservation to protect all our futures. You are invited to take part in a piece of participatory theatre which explores a future in which the oceans have adapted to support certain marine life, but the planet has become hostile for people.
No matter how dramatically the world around us will change, the qualities that make Singapore unique will remain, as it moves towards its Quadricentennial. The final section of the exhibition, Act V, meditates on how cultures and traditions persevere, suggesting it is through collective memories and shared customs, that we will be able to create the links between the past, present and future.
2219: Futures Imagined – Donate a book to The Library of Necessary Books
At the heart of 2219: Futures Imagined is The Library of Necessary Books. From literary cannon to DIY manuals of utilitarian know-how, The Library of Necessary Books is a collection of books that have been lovingly handed down for generations, from the past into the future.
You are invited to submit books to the Library for display in the exhibition. The Library is accepting donations of books that may hold a special meaning to you, or books that donors deem important for future generations of Singaporeans. When they make their book submission at ArtScience Museum, donors will be encouraged to write a message that they would like to convey to the library users of the future. The Librarian of Necessary Books will take receipt of the books in special sessions at ArtScience Museum, and curate a selection for display in the exhibition. The first book donation event will happen on 21 November, and subsequently on every first Saturday of each month throughout the run of the exhibition.
2219: Futures Imagined is curated by ArtScience Museum, based on an idea by Alvin Pang, with support from curatorial advisors Annie Jael Kwan and Adriel Luis. It is co-produced by SPACElogic. 2219: Futures Imagined will run from 23 November 2019 till 5 April 2020. Tickets are available for purchase from 1 November 2019 at all Marina Bay Sands box offices and website. Terms and Conditions apply. Ticket prices as follows:
STANDARD TICKET (SGD)
SINGAPORE RESIDENT (SGD)
Senior (65 years and above)/ Student/
Family package (2 kids & 2 adults)
For more information, please visit https://www.marinabaysands.com/museum.html.