Tuesday, February 22, 2011

World’s first ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands officially unveiled at Grand Opening Ceremony

In a ceremony to mark the Grand Opening of Marina Bay Sands, at the auspicious hour of 3.18pm, Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong was presented the golden key to “unlock” Singapore’s newest cultural landmark – the world’s first ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands.

Boasting an iconic design worthy of its stunning waterfront location at the city’s new Marina Bay financial district, the Museum was officially unveiled by Mr. Sheldon Adelson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Las Vegas Sands Corp., together with Dr. Miriam Adelson and design architect Moshe Safdie in a Mongolian-inspired event complete with horses and “warriors” decked out in full regalia.

“Singapore is already a hub for creativity, the arts and knowledge with its impressive museums, melting pot of cultures and cosmopolitan outlook. Marina Bay Sands is honored to present such an amazing institution to the city and its people and contribute to Singapore’s evolving cultural landscape and personality,” said Mr. Michael Leven, President and Chief Operating Officer of Las Vegas Sands Corp.

“As the world’s first ArtScience Museum, Singapore has the unique position of becoming the epicenter for the growing ArtScience knowledge base and the test bed for new and innovative ideas. We are proud to deliver the final attraction of our property as we promised and enhance Singapore’s status as the best tourism destination in the world.”

With a lotus-inspired design and ten “fingers” symbolizing the “Welcoming Hand of Singapore”, the 50,000 square-foot Museum features an impressive four opening exhibitions in its 21 galleries:

• “ArtScience: A Journey Through Creativity” in the ArtScience Galleries (Level 4) will feature a series of permanent exhibits that anchors the iconic venue at the forefront of technology, design and culture. The exhibition opens a dialog about art and science and the symbiotic relationship between them.

• “Traveling the Silk Road: Ancient Pathway to the Modern World” in the Main Gallery (Basement 2) will bring visitors on a journey through the ancient cities of Asia and the Middle East between AD 600 and 1200 to experience the ancient trading route and information superhighway – the Silk Road. The exhibition is on show from 19 February till 27 March.

• Complementing the Silk Road exhibition is “Shipwrecked: Tang Treasures and Monsoon Winds” which relates the story of an astonishing cargo of some 60,000 objects carried from China by a ninth-century Arab dhow, presenting a dynamic tale of trade between China and West Asia along the maritime silk route. The exhibition is on from 19 February till 31 July and is on show in the Main Gallery.

• The Upper Gallery (Level 3) will immerse visitors in the life and times of 13th century Mongolia and one of the world’s greatest warriors and statesman, Genghis Khan. “Genghis Khan: The Exhibition” is on show for the first time in Asia from 19 February till 10 April and will boast over 200 rare authentic treasures from the conqueror’s reign.

Mr. Moshe Safdie, Marina Bay Sands’ design architect, said, ““From the inside out, every element in the design of the ArtScience Museum reinforces the institution’s philosophy of creating a bridge between the arts and sciences,” said Safdie. “The building combines the aesthetic and functional, the visual and the technological, and for me, really represents the forward looking spirit of Singapore.”

The Museum’s design features both breathtaking form and environmentally-friendly function. Its dish-like roof channels rainwater through the central atrium of the building, creating a 35-meter water drop into a small, reflecting pool. The rainwater is then recycled for use in the building’s restrooms. Material such as Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer (GFRP), typically used in high-performance racing yachts, which has never been used in a project in Singapore, was used for the construction of this architectural wonder.

Reaching out to Singapore Schools
In addition to travelling marquee exhibitions, ArtScience Museum will also roll-out activities related to the exhibitions, including public talks, discovery tours, performing arts and screening of films and documentaries within the museum. For example, from 16-20 March, Morris Rossabi, Professor of East Asian history at Columbia University and curator of the Genghis Khan exhibition, will hold a series of conferences at the museum, while traditional Mongolian musicians perform in the galleries.

In the coming months, visitors can expect even more blockbuster exhibitions anchored in the art and science theme from the world’s leading museums and collections.

The Museum’s education team is also actively reaching out to schools in Singapore to develop tailored educational programs for youth.

As part of the Grand Opening event, 50 students and staff from Huamin Primary School, North Vista Secondary School and Pioneer Junior College were part of an exclusive delegation that had the opportunity to preview the Museum ahead of the ticketed public on February 19. On February 17 and 18 after the official opening, ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands will host a select group of local and foreign dignitaries including top officials from Singapore, Austria and Mongolia. The Museum will be open to members of the public who have purchased tickets from February 19.

Mr. Tom Zaller, Museum Director, said, “Youth and education are two key pillars of our Corporate Social Responsibility program. Through our various initiatives like the Youth Inspiration Internship Program, destination offerings such as ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands and the many educational programs we’re rolling out, we hope to make a lasting contribution to Singapore’s youth.”

As part of its plans to contribute to the development of the ArtScience body of knowledge, Marina Bay Sands has approached well-known thought leaders in the field of art and science to form an international advisory board. The board will work together with the museum to continue to shape the artscience content at the ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands.


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