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Photo credit: MARINA BAY SANDS

ArtScience Museum’s exhibition The Virtual Realms: Videogames Transformed reimagines video games as creative exhibits

The exhibition features six new installations created by some of the world’s leading video game developers.

Stacey Tay
Stacey Tay

When she’s not writing articles, you’ll find her at home using her sewing machine.


Published: 14 June 2021, 4:13 PM

The ArtScience Museum’s latest exhibition, Virtual Realms: Videogames Transformed, is transporting its visitors to a new dimension. 

Co-curated by celebrated game designer Tetsuya Mizuguchi in collaboration with the Barbican in London, Virtual Realms is a co-production with ArtScience Museum and Melbourne Museum.

The exhibition features a multi-sensorial, interactive presentation of artwork inspired by video games. In light of the pandemic, the exhibition allows guests to forge deeper connections amongst one another through six new installations.

The installations welcome guests to experience video games through a museum gallery displaying six distinctive themes: SYNESTHESIA, UNITY, CONNECTION, PLAY, NARRATIVE and EVERYTHING. 

In SYNESTHESIA, four Rezonance participants will be given spheres that allow them to create sounds while moving around a space. Their movements will affect the visuals that appear on a screen. 

In UNITY, participants can explore how light, sound and movement can create musical compositions with the exhibit Together: the distance between us. When participants walk under a circular light sculpture, their movements will trigger a melody and “choreography of light sequences”.

 

Together explores “the relationship between movement, light and sound”. PHOTO CREDIT: MARINA BAY SANDS

 

In CONNECTION, participants can explore two realms within the same room – The Microscopic realm, where cellular forms on the screen can be moved around by participants, and The Galactic realm, where participants can form connections with those in The Microscopic realm by moving their cellular forms together. 

In PLAY, participants can use oversized soft shapes to move digital shapes that appear on the screen. They are also provided with tracking helmets that can connect them to the virtual world “Dreams”.

 

Using oversized soft shapes, guests can enjoy an interactive experience between the physical and virtual world of video games in PLAY. PHOTO CREDIT: MARINA BAY SANDS

 

In NARRATIVE, participants can explore video games in the form of storytelling. The world of Tequila Works’ game RiME is reimagined into a 360 degree projection that participants can interact with by moving from scene to scene and solving puzzles games. 

In EVERYTHING, participants can use three controllers to manipulate the perspective, scale, and visual effects of objects that appear on the screen. 

The artworks were created by Kojima Productions (makers of Death Stranding), Enhance (makers of Rez Infinite and Tetris Effect), thatgamecompany (creators of Dreams) and David O Reilly (Creator of Everything and Mountain). 

“We hope to share that contemporary videogames transcend entertainment, and can be powerful mediums of exchange, creativity, collaboration and connectedness,” said Honor Harger, the executive director of ArtScience Museum. 

Guests can look forward to tours and programmes that are available throughout the exhibition, including Art Science Museum’s first virtual talk session titled Expanded Realities Conversation, which features artists, technologists, and storytellers sharing their expertise about creating art. 

The first session will feature Tetsuya Mizuguchi in conversation with Patrick Moran, co-curator of Virtual Realms. The session will air live on Thursday (Jun 17) at 8pm via ArtScience Museum’s Facebook and YouTube channel.

A free virtual tour of the six immersive realms will also be available online on Friday (Jun 25). 

In addition, there is an on-site guided tour of the Virtual Realms happening from Jul 2 to Jul 16. Guests can learn the creative process of making video games that entertain and engage audiences.

Tickets are priced at $5 per person. 

Dina Abdul Razak, ArtScience Museum’s assistant manager for programmes, is also conducting a Virtual Realms tour on Jul 23 from 4pm to 5pm. 

Being an enthusiastic gamer herself, she will bring guests on a tour of the exhibition where she shares more about the collaborations between game developers and media artists. 

Tickets are priced at $5 per person.

Other programmes include a hands-on workshop ($5 per person) from Sep 7 to Sep 8 that allows guests to create their own video games.

Tickets for the exhibition are now available for purchase at Marina Bay Sands Office and website


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