Feast your eyes on eight dramatic, larger-than-life inflatables – among 40 unique artworks – at the Floating Utopias exhibition, hosted at the ArtScience Museum. Held from Saturday, 25 May to Sunday, 29 September 2019, the exhibition takes a playful and poetic look at inflatable objects, showing how they have been used in art, architecture and social activism over the decades.
Floating Utopias is a visual spectacle grounded by a strong political narrative that reveals how inflatable objects were used for ideological propaganda in the 20th century, and how artists countered these tendencies by using them as playful tools of social activism.
Split into five chapters – Balloon Fever, Display and Disrupt, Bubble Architecture, Solar Sustainability and Vertical Exploration – Floating Utopias charts how inflatables created innovations within architecture and urban planning, as well as how contemporary artists and designers are turning to inflatable structures to help us rethink our relationship with the environment.
No exhibition on inflatable art in Singapore would be complete without the iconic, inflatable resident, WALTER. Created by local artist Dawn Ng, WALTER was designed specifically to be seen outdoors in the cityscape of Singapore. The large, curious-looking rabbit sculpture has appeared in local neighbourhoods, such as shophouses, hawker stalls, convenience stores, playgrounds and MRT stations, drawing attention to some of Singapore’s inherently familiar, yet overlooked spaces.
As with many artists who work with inflatable media, her work acts as a tool to disrupt everyday life experiences, inviting us to reconsider the character and charm of the places we live.
Somehow I Don’t Feel Comfortable
During your visit to Floating Utopias, you will encounter two giant pink bunnies slumped in opposite corners of the gallery, facing each other within a confined space. Somehow I Don’t Feel Comfortable – created by Japanese artist Momoyo Torimitsu – initially appears to be whimsical and playful, but carries a more unsettling message. For Torimitsu, a bunny is a stereotypical example of cuteness. Supersizing her bunnies distorts and perverts their cuteness, creating something more disconcerting altogether.
Museum of the Moon
Museum of the Moon sees Luke Jerram’s large inflatable sculpture of the Moon, made using state-of-the-art scientific imagery. Installed to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing by NASA astronauts in 1969, Museum of the Moon invites visitors to contemplate the Moon today, using the latest moon science.
Museo Aero Solar
Museo Aero Solar is a lighter-than-air balloon sculpture created by Tomás Saraceno, powered by the heat of the sun. Saraceno and his Aero Solar Foundation have conducted workshops around the world, which encourage communities to create their solar balloons using recycled plastic.
The latest Museo Aero Solar workshop is situated inside of the art piece. Throughout the exhibition, visitors are encouraged to bring used plastic bags to the gallery and work together to create a giant, colourful plastic patchwork balloon made from recycled plastic.
Museo Aero Solar shows how a collective creation can emerge from individual acts, transforming a polluting product, plastic bags, into a mind-expanding artwork. The patchwork balloon will then be launched into the air towards the end of the exhibition.
Date: Saturday, 25 may to Sunday, 29 September 2019
Time: 10 am – 7 pm
Venue: ArtScience Museum, 6 Bayfront Ave, Singapore 018974
Ticket prices start at $12. For more information, visit https://www.marinabaysands.com/museum/floating-utopias.html
Photos by Soloman Soh of the DANAMIC team.