Singapore Art Science Museum - Shipwrecks and Van Gogh

The Singapore Art Science Museum is possibly one of the most individual looking buildings on the Singapore skyline.

It's the white building in the foreground that looks like a lotus flower

The museum houses a variety of touring exhibitions as well as a permanent exhibition looking at creativity in the fields of art and science.  We paid a visit as we'd seen adverts for an exhibition called, 'Shipwrecked Tang Treasures and Monsoon Winds' which took our fancy.  Before we went I had not appreciated that the entry fee meant you could then go into all parts of the museum, but it seems whatever is on display when you go you can view if you want to.

This specific exhibition was about the maritime silk route between the Middle East and China which passed Singapore on its way.  Specifically though it was about a 9th century Arab dhow boat that had sunk near the coast of Indonesia's Belitung island and was only discovered in 1998.  The boat had been full of precious cargo (including ceramics, gold and silver items) which were fantastically preserved and really looked as if they'd only recently been made.  Some of the objects would look perfectly fine in your modern home and the intricate designs really were beautiful.  The exhibition also gave some general information about this particular trade route, with insights into the lives of the crew and the importance of the Singapore Straits for trade at this time.

After we looked at this, and simply because our ticket included admission to it, we took a look at Van Gogh Alive - the exhibition.  I'm so glad we did though because it was so good.  This was not an exhibition of the actual original paintings by Van Gogh but rather a display of his art projected on to walls and the floor and accompanied by pieces of classical music.  The paintings are far bigger than in real life (and in most cases cover the whole wall) and you simply walk in amongst them absorbing them.  As you walk amongst them the paintings change in keeping with the music and other than a few seats for you to simply sit and watch the art show, if you wish, there is nothing in the room to distract you but his paintings.

In a small room off the main exhibition hall there are copies of a few of his most famous works together with a brief description of what the painting conveys, his inspiration for it and so on.  The main part though is the art work display in the next rooms.  It is hard to convey here how much walking through these paintings as if I were a part of them totally amazed me, but I lost track of time here whilst appreciating the art and the music.  I actually enjoyed this part more, even though we had not set out to view it and I was not aware it was on display until we got there.

The Shipwrecked exhibition is on until 31 July 2011 and the Van Gogh until the 6 November 2011 and I would completely recommend you take a visit if you can.


  1. Unlike the Science Centre which is so run down now, I truly enjoyed this museum...totally worth it :) Saw the Dali exhibit as well and was mesmerized.

  2. I didn't get to the Dali exhibition sadly though I heard good things about it.

  3. Your vivid description of the Van Gogh exhibition was exactly the way I described the show to my friend who miss it. Really enjoyed this presentation and wish that more people had visited.


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