New Perspectives with M.C. Escher at the ArtScience Museum

New Perspectives with M.C. Escher at the ArtScience Museum
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Many of us think of mathematics and art as two separate realms, thinking that one is rigidly logical and the other, hopelessly abstract. Yet the ArtScience Museum promises to change your perspectives on this division with its new M.C. Escher-themed exhibition, “Journey to Infinity: Escher’s World of Wonder”.

For those of you unfamiliar with M.C. Escher, he was a 20th century Dutch artist who captured the popular imagination with his amazing tessellations and fantastic representations of infinity, relativity and gravity-defying visuals. His art is and was well-loved by creatives and mathematicians alike, and he counted musicians Mick Jagger and the rock band Pink Floyd as some of his many fans.

The themes of Escher’s works include visualising complex mathematical concepts, ambivalence, and self-consciousness. Yet, while he described his works as “a serious game”, the result is often fun and thought-provoking.

In the exhibition lovingly curated by long-time Escher enthusiast Dr. Federico Giudiceandrea, visitors will get an intimate look at the processes, influences and impact of Escher’s work.

That being said, the exhibition is more than just a collection of Escher’s masterpieces. Continuing the ArtScience Museum’s strong line-up of interactive content, visitors will be treated to an ocular spectacle of original works.

Witness a modern Metamorphosis with the students and alumni of Nanyang Polytechnic’s contemporary take on Escher’s artwork, tracing the evolution of Singapore from a small fishing village to a sprawling urban metropolis.

Visitors can move a modified screen across the artwork and watch the tessellations come to life, morphing from orchids to Merlions and everything in between. In another exhibit, you can even make your own tessellations on the museum floor and rotate, reflect or translate cut-out shapes.

Relativity Room // Photo Credit: ArtScience Museum

Relativity Room // Photo Credit: ArtScience Museum

If that’s not enough, visitors can even become part of the exhibition. Try an illusion on for size in the Relativity Room, which distorts visitors’ proportions and perceptions of reality; conceive infinity in the Mirror Room where reflections of fish-shaped figures intermingle with visitors, creating a compelling and boundless visual phantasmagoria.

With the surreal qualities of M.C. Escher’s work, it’s little wonder then that his works have had such an impact on popular culture. From the dream sequences in Inception to Jim Henson’s Labyrinth, Escher’s influence is ubiquitous and can be found in album covers, movie scenes and comic books, which are featured in the Escher Mania portion of the exhibition.

Escher’s art continues to fascinate millions of people all over the world and inspires generations of artists, architects, mathematicians, musicians and designers, who are captivated by his playful fantasies and fascinating constructions.

- Ms Honor Harger, Executive Director of the ArtScience Museum.

Time to break away from the bounds of reality, and step into Escher’s World of Wonder.

Journey to Infinity: Escher's World of Wonder will run from 24 September 2016 until the first quarter of 2017. For more information on pricing and other activities, visit http://www.marinabaysands.com/museum/mcescher.html