Pandemic-themed exhibition opens tomorrow at ArtScience Museum

Chinese artist Cao Fei’s ‘Isle of Instability’ (2020). Photo: ArtScience Museum
Chinese artist Cao Fei’s ‘Isle of Instability’ (2020). Photo: ArtScience Museum

Get down to the bottom of the virus that has cost a shift in our lives and find out how artists have been coping with it as the ArtScience Museum commemorates the second anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hope from Chaos: Pandemic Reflections Exhibition features magnified glass sculptures of the coronavirus, paintings inspired by tapes placed for social distancing and random pandemic staples like hand sanitizers and toilet rolls showcased.

“As we mark the second anniversary of Covid-19’s arrival in Singapore, ArtScience Museum is taking an opportunity to reflect on its impact on all of us,” Honor Harger, Vice President of Attractions at the Marina Bay Sands, said.

As an ArtScience Museum, the exhibition couldn’t have been more appropriate to give an in-depth look into the art and science of epidemics and viruses. 

The first half of the exhibition are displays taken from The Smithsonian Institution in the US, deep diving into different epidemics like SARS and HIV/AIDS. 

Infographic boards are filled with data exploring how pathogens can spread from wildlife to humans and why some outbreaks become epidemics. There are also 3D printed models of viruses such as Zika, Ebola, Influenza and HIV.

‘Circuit Breaker Paintings’ (2020) by Heman Chong. Photo: Carolyn Teo/Coconuts

Glass sculpture of the Coronavirus by Luke Jerram. Photo: Carolyn Teo/Coconuts

The second half features more personal artworks curated by the museum by some local artists and others from Asia, Africa, North America and Europe.

British installation artist Luke Jerram, known for his series of glass sculptures resembling bacteria and viruses, brought his intricate pieces of the coronavirus and the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine to the exhibition. 

The coronavirus piece had been coincidentally created before the pandemic began. Months later, he sculpted the vaccine after recovering from the coronavirus to mark the 10 millionth vaccination in the United Kingdom.

Moving a few steps away, you can admire bedazzled masks woven with bright textiles and fabrics from the African culture by South African artists Nonzuzo Gxekwa and Pierre le Riche. 

At the far end of the room, there is a meticulously dotted 10-meter piece of paper by New York-based artist Eun Vivian Lee who used pigment from seashells. 

But before that, see how some artists coped in isolation — by documenting everything. Local artist Heman Chong turned pandemic woes into 56 canvas paintings reimagining the haphazardly placed tapes he photographed across floors, chairs and tables to enforce social distancing measures in Singapore.  

Chinese artist Cao Fei’s Isle of Instability is at a cozy corner showing a collection of home videos, drawings and sculptures she had made while in lockdown with family in Singapore.

There is also an array of hand sanitizers on a shelf with random toilet rolls stacked at corners of the exhibition to remind us what we used the most during the pandemic.

Tickets to the exhibition are priced at S$6 for both adults and children.

‘The Diary of 2020’ by Eun Vivian Lee. Photo: Carolyn Teo/Coconuts

3D printed model of the Ebola virus from The Smithsonian Institution. Photo: Carolyn Teo/Coconuts

Glass sculpture of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine by Luke Jerram. Photo: Carolyn Teo/Coconuts

The Mask Project by Nonzuzo Gxekwa and Pierre le Riche. Photo: Carolyn Teo/Coconuts

Chinese artist Cao Fei’s ‘Isle of Instability’ (2020). Photo: Carolyn Teo/Coconuts

Photo: Carolyn Teo/Coconuts

Photo: Carolyn Teo/Coconuts
The entrance of the exhibition. Photo: Carolyn Teo/Coconuts

Photo: Carolyn Teo/Coconuts

ArtScience Museum
6 Bayfront Ave, Singapore 018974
Open 10am to 7pm daily

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