As Singapore celebrates her 50th birthday which we called our Jubilee Celebration, we had a rare long weekend of 4 days “staycation” in Singapore! Apart from Chinese New Year which we once in some years may have a 4 days straight holidays where we spend visiting relatives and friends, this is perhaps almost once in 50 years where we had 4 days straight holidays to enjoy Singapore like tourists in our home country. Best part is many attractions are free or at heavily discounted rates. So, like typical Singaporeans, we thronged to free attractions together with fellow citizens to celebrate as one Singapore! Happy Birthday Singapore!

We did not really flock to each and every free attraction. In fact, we only wanted to go to the Art Science Museum or Gardens by the Bay flower domes. Perhaps Singaporeans had been well-trained to queue some months back to pay respects to Mr Lee Kuan Yew during the lying in state period, we batted no eyelids upon queuing for several hours up to 10 hours for free cable car rides! On our way to the Art Science Museum, I did do a quick check on facebook status on the queue time at the museum and saw 4-5 hours wait! I was so determined to bring the kids to see “The Deep” where the exhibition is on the ocean life deep down to the ocean bed, I was undeterred about the long waiting time.

Luckily for us, we queued for only 1 hour and finally saw the entrance.

ArtScience museum

Tickets

There were 3 exhibitions showing at the Art Science Museum.

3 exhibitions

The Deep

This exhibition presents the largest collection of over 40 abyssal creatures displayed for the first time in Southeast Asia.

The exhibition unfolds to reveal the different depths of the sea, such as life in the mid-water (up to 4000 meters beyond the surface) and on the ocean floor.

Dreamworks Animation

The Exhibition provides a rare glimpse into DreamWorks Animation’s collaborative and visionary approach to animation, and offers an insightful look into the processes behind the on-screen magic.

Take a fascinating and exciting journey through the three main galleries: Character, Story and World, to witness what it takes to create and bring to life such enchanting stories. Fans of all ages can learn the secrets of creative filmmaking and animation while creating your own short movie at The Drawing Room.

Singapore STories: Then, Now, Tomorrow

Explore Singapore’s arduous nation-building journey at themed showcases that highlight the hallmark of our national identity, formed over decades of distinctive common experiences.

The Deep

Claire Nouvian is the curator of the exhibition, The Deep.

Thanks to this lady, we are able to see the showcase of over 40 deep sea creatures up to 4000 metres under the sea surface. Human beings are not able to reach the seabed and many of these deep sea fauna are captured by scientific samplers on submersibles or tethered robots. Others have been carefully trawled during oceanographic missions conducted throughout the world.  Due to the differences in the environmental elements such as pressure, temperature, salinity and oxygen levels between deep and shallow waters, it is impossible for deep-sea fauna to survive on the surface. Deep-sea animals can therefore only be exhibited in preserved forms.

Let’s take a look at some amazing and interesting animals in the deep and dark ocean!

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Kroyer’s Deep-sea Anglerfish: Did you see the tiny parasitic male attaching itself to the belly of the large female and fuses his tissues with hers for eternity?? Its “fishing rod” in front of its head has a bioluminescent lure to attract prey.

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Kroyer’s Deep Sea Anglerfish

Atlantic Football Fish

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The appearance of colours

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This is very interesting and is an appreciation of how the world is like deep down in the ocean. The words on the above photograph are small and I shall type it here:

I can only think of one experience that might exceed in interest a few hours spent under water and that would be a journey to Mars.” – William Beebe

It is hard to imagine that the tremendous volume of water beneath the surface of the oceans can be “organized” in any manner. However, the midwater world is actually divided into invisible frontiers, each influenced by various factors – light levels, temperature, salinity, pressure and oxygen concentration in the water. The deep-sea fauna organizes itself vertically in these different levels.

Having crossed the “twilight of the oceans”, where most creatures are transparent, passengers in a submersible descending below 600m witness the appearance of new groups of animals, whose colours, ranging from bright red to dark brown, betray the fact that they belong to this new zone.

Such pigments absorb the blue-green bioluminescence sparks their prey might emit once in their stomachs.

I never knew or rather, never be able to imagine how life in the darkest world of the ocean is like. So, the above provides a detailed insight of this amazing part of the world.

Vampire Squid – See how it overturned itself inside out!

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Anglerfish Larva

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Sea Spider

There is a part of the exhibition where visitors are able to sit down or even lie on the bean bags on the floor to watch a video clip of the captured footage of the deep-sea animals.

We certainly learnt lots from this exhibition and the kids were equally amazed by how these animals can look so different from the fishes and ocean animals we know. We observed that many of these fishes have no scales.

The Deep exhibition is created in a dark experience. Hence, if you are bringing children, you may have to keep an eye on them to be by your side.

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Dreamworks Animation Exhibition

Next, we went on to Dreamworks Animation Exhibition to see the familiar movies like Shrek, Ratatouille, Kungfu Panda, How to Train Your Dragon, and more. This exhibition is a glimpse of how an animation is made. Singapore is the first stop of a 5 year international tour featuring exclusive concept drawings and behind-the-scenes footage. How lucky we are!

Character Marquettes – These are handcrafted, clay, or moulded plaster sculptures, made during the production phase of the Dreamworks animation films. They are produced to help find a character’s look. They also provide a common reference point for different animators working on the same character, allowing artists to study the proportions from different views or illustrating the way a certain feature might cast a shadow.

Maquettes

This big screen shows how a character is drawn and in different emotions and look.

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These 3 frames teach visitors how to make use of straight lines and curve lines and negative spaces, etc to portray different looks. Isn’t this very interesting?

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There are a few computers for hands-on experience for visitors to try out computer animation.

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This is a video on voice-over of the sequence flow of animation. Truly revealing behind-the-scenes!

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This storyboarding table is a mimic of the actual process of the producers of animation films. The storyboards are interactive.  I just stood there for a few minutes and watched what was going on among the storyboard artists as if it was the real thing in action! (half expecting that the bottle of water will raise in mid-air with the invisible artist drinking it.)

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Storyboard artists create a storyboard sequence for each scene before a shot is created. Hundreds, if not thousands of storyboards are created before the action, the sequence of events and the dialogue are entirely resolved! Many more storyboards are created today than for earlier Dreamworks Animation films. As the studio transformed from hand-drawn to digital storyboarding, the ease with which artists could reproduce and change images increased considerably.

Even with the frequent use of Computer Generated pre-visualization techniques, the traditional craft of storyboarding is still the strongest way to communicate the emotion and acting beats of a story before it is fully animated. (I copied the above text from the information board at the exhibition to explain what storyboarding is about.)

Ratatouille miniature scene

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Madasgascar

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How to Train Your Dragon – Dragon Flight

We went into this door here to watch a 5 minutes animation with a 3-D effect. We were taken on a flight on the Dragon’s back. The kids claimed that it really did feel like being on a roller-coaster!

There was much to see in these 2 exhibitions. The hubby, Missy 10 and I prefer “The Deep” exhibition while Master 8 prefers the Dreamworks Animation. There was the Singapore Stories exhibition that we skipped unfortunately due to time constraint and past lunch time, and we were all hungry. We spent a total of 2+ hours for these 2 exhibitions.

We were happy that we got to see these exhibitions free of charge although, I would not mind to pay to see them as the ticket prices were really very affordable. If you are thinking of coming here, you are still in time. It is showing past the F1 Night race period till end Sep and end Oct. See “More information” below.

Art Science Museum always has different exhibitions and the last one which I heard was very good as well, was the showcase of the work and legacy of the most celebrated artist and scientist of all time, Leonardo da Vinci. Visitors could see his original masterpieces for the first time in Southeast Asia. How cool was that! But we missed it. However, now that we know the museum constantly bring in interesting exhibitions, I am going to follow their facebook page so as not to miss anything.

More information on Art Science Museum:

The Deep exhibition

When: Now till 27 Oct 2015

Dreamworks Animation

When: Now till 27 September 2015

Opening hours for all exhibitions: 10am to 7pm (last admission 6pm)

Ticket prices: Click here to buy tickets in advance

Exhibitions Category Standard Prices Singapore Residents Prices
 

The Deep

Now until 27 October 2015

Adult S$15.00 S$12.00
Senior (65 & above) S$12.80 S$10.00
Child (2-12 years) S$9.00 S$8.00
Family (2 Adults + 2 Children) S$40.00 S$32.00
 

DreamWorks Animation: The Exhibition

Now until 27 September 2015

Adult S$22.00 S$15.00
Senior (65 & above) S$18.00 S$13.00
Child (2-12 years) S$14.00 S$10.00
Family (2 Adults + 2 Children) S$50.00 S$40.00
 

All Access

The Deep + DreamWorks Animation: The Exhibition

Adult S$30.00 S$20.00
Senior (65 & above) S$25.00 S$17.00
Child (2-12 years) S$18.00 S$14.00
Family (2 Adults + 2 Children) S$70.00 S$54.00

Where: Art Science Museum in Marina Bay Sands, nearest MRT station is Bayfront MRT Station.

Click here for how to get here

Remember to take a walk along the Marina Bay area for a leisurely stroll to take in the beautiful Singapore skyline after that 🙂