The Future World exhibition at the ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore is a stunning display of interactive digital installations that will engage and mesmerise both kids and adults.
We first visited the Future World exhibition at the #ArtScienceMuseum when it was launched in Singapore in 2016 when our eldest, Big E, was six and youngest, Little E, was four. Our kids enjoyed themselves, especially with the installations like Sketch Aquarium and digital hopscotch, though they only had the stamina to last for an hour or two then.
Three years down the line, we decided to make another trip to Future World after reading that the exhibition had recently introduced a new gallery. This time round at age nine and seven, our children could definitely appreciate the installations more and had wanted to stay there for the whole day!
Much as #FutureWorldASM is an exhibition of digital art installations, it does feel like a very novel indoor playground for kids given its many interactive and fun features. For adults, the installations still impressed hubby and I, including the new installations added since our first visit.
Here are 12 highlights at Future World that's sure to wow you and your kids.
1) Transcending Boundaries
The first installation you’ll encounter when entering Future World is Transcending Boundaries, a space comprising of six digitally rendered natural environment artworks. A very magical and mesmerising space to be in.
2) Sketch Aquarium
This iconic digital aquatic world installation lets you draw and create your own sea creatures on paper, then digitally scan them and watch them come to life in an aquarium.
For our kids, part of the fun lies in looking out for your sea creatures on the screen and ‘chasing’ them to get a photo with their creation!
3) Sliding through the Fruit Field
Sliding through the Fruit Field is a beautiful slide where visitors - as life-giving sunlight - slide down and help flowers and fruits blossom and grow. Definitely a very popular installation with kids!
4) Sketch Piston – Playing Music
At Sketch Piston, you draw and tap on the interactive screens with your fingers to create a symphony of joyous sounds.
5) A Table Where Little People Live
This is a super cute one which has little characters projected onto a table. When left alone, the little people on the table move around their environment. But when you place a hand or object on the table, they interact with it. The actions of the tiny characters change in response to the shape and colour of the objects, becoming more animated as you introduce more and more objects into their world. Absolutely adorable!
6) Inverted Globe, Giant Connecting Block Town
The Inverted Globe is an interesting space where you use giant blocks to design and connect an evolving system of roads, rivers and railways to keep the ever-increasing traffic flowing smoothly on an overhead screen.
I think it would have been helpful if the museum staff at the entrance of this installation could have given a quick explanation on how best to interact with the installation – like they do at some of the other installations - as we were rather clueless as to what else we could do other than move the blocks around, having missed the installation’s sign which was placed a little far from its entrance.
7) Impermanent Life: People Create Space and Time, at the Confluence of their Spacetime New Space and Time is Born
This installation depicts cherry blossoms blooming and scattering, playing out the cycle of life and death. Though our kids darted in and out of this rather quickly, I did find it rather spellbinding and surreal.
8) Light Ball Orchestra
This is a clear favourite with kids where they can roll large balls with multicoloured lights in them, and create sounds while doing so. I like that museum staff sets the expectations right by telling visitors before they enter how they can interact with the installation to create sound, and how they should only roll the balls and not kick or climb on them.
There’s a separate smaller area right next to this which has slightly smaller balls suitable for younger children. It's a really good idea as the big kids in the main area can get pretty excited running around with the balls, and might end up accidentally knocking into the younger ones.
9) Sketch Town
This installation is a depiction of a fictitious town, based on Singapore that includes recognisable landmarks, such as like the ArtScience Museum, the Merlion and the Singapore Flyer.
Like Sketch Aquarium, you can use crayons and paper to draw buildings and vehicles, then scan them and see them added into the town on the screen. You can also touch the objects on the screen like a car, for example, and it will speed up or change direction.
10) Create! Hopscotch for Geniuses
This is a cute digitally projected hopscotch. You can design your own customised hopscotch game by arranging circles, triangles and squares on an electronic tablet, which are then projected onto the floor. It might not have been working when we were there though, we tried a few times but never saw our designed hopscotch projected. But our kids still had a good time jumping on the one already there.
11) Story of the Time When Gods were Everywhere
This is an interactive digitally projected world where visitors can create their own environment by touching Kanji characters, which then transform into natural elements such as wind, rain, trees and mountains.
12) Crystal Universe
Crystal Universe is quite a sight to behold. Created with over 170,000 LED lights, the enthralling artwork which you can walk through, gives the illusion of stars moving in space.
The kids absolutely loved this one and we must have walked through it almost ten times!
I remembered being very impressed the first time we visited Future World in 2016, and I still am this second time round - this is even more so given that the museum refreshes its installations every now and then. The Future World exhibition is a one of a kind exhibition that kids and adults should visit at least once in their lifetime!
Bonus tips for your trip
- Entrance fee for Future World is at $18 for adults and $13 for children from 2-12 years old. There are discounts for locals, where an adult pays $15 and child, $11. Family packages for two adults and two children are available too at $10.25 per person, and $12.50 per person for non-locals. Tickets allow for re-entry.
- If you're visiting on a weekend and prefer more space and less crowd, try visiting in the mornings. We were there on a Saturday morning and the crowd is obviously thinner compared to afternoon when we re-entered after lunch.
- We bought the local family package and the tickets come with complimentary entrance to the Digital Light Canvas display at Marina Bay Sands near the foodcourt, where the former ice skating rink used to be.
The lovely display is also by teamLab who is behind the installations at Future World. Here you can run and chase after shoals of digital fish, and watch calligraphy art and flowers blossom right under your feet. Sans complimentary entry, entrance fees are priced at $5 per person.
Find the Future World exhibition at the ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands at 6 Bayfront Ave, Singapore 018974. Opening hours are at 10am-7pm daily with last admission at 6pm.
Disclaimer: We paid for our tickets, and my opinions and reviews here are strictly my and my family’s own.
©Vivian Teo. All content and photos are copyrighted to Vivian Teo unless otherwise specified.