WORLD’S FIRST ARTSCIENCE MUSEUM AT MARINA BAY SANDS SINGAPORE

On 17 February 2011, a ceremony to mark the Grand Opening of Marina Bay Sands, at the auspicious hour of 3.18pm, Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong was presented the golden key to “unlock” Singapore’s newer cultural landmark — the world’s first ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands. The Museum was officially unveiled by Mr Sheldon Adelson, visionary Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Las Vegas Sands Corp who called the lotus flowers “The Welcoming Hand of Singapore.” As the world’s first ArtScience Museum, Singapore has the unique position of becoming the epicenter for the growing ArtScience knowledge base and the test bed for new and innovative ideas. According to Morshe Safdie, Marina Bay Sands’ design architect, every element in the design of the ArtScience Museum reinforces the institution’s philosophy of creating a bridge between the arts and sciences. The building combines the aesthetic and functional, the visual and the technological, and the forward looking spirit of Singapore.

MORE IMAGES FROM MY ARTSCIENCE MUSEUM TOUR

Museum-exterior

With its unique lotus-inspired design, the museum showcases impressive blockbuster exhibitions from around the world. Photo courtesy of Marina Bay Sands.

The Museum’s design features both breathtaking form and environmentally-friendly function. Its dish-like roof channels rainwater through the central atrium of the building (see photo below), creating a 35-meter water drop into a small, reflecting pool. The rainwater is then recycled for use in the building’s restrooms. Materials such as Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer (GFRP), typically used in high-performance  racing yachts, which has never been used in a project in Singapore, was used for the construction of this architectural wonder.

STB2011-0551

A view of the ArtScience Museum from the Sands SkyPark at sunset. Note the dish-like roof that channels rainwater through the central atrium of the building, creating a 35-meter water drop into small pool.

STB2011-0355

The iconic ArtScience Museum will host blockbuster international exhibits as well as permanent exhibits on three floors of gallery space across 6,000 square meters.

STB2011-0275A

The ArtScience Museum not only creates a bridge between the arts and sciences but 'The Welcoming Hand of Singapore' also provides shade where visitors young and old love to hang out.

artscience-ticket

Traveling The Silk Road Exhibition Guide and my complimentary ticket to the Museum, a nice addition to my growing collection of travel memorabilia.

Gallery

The Gallery — photo courtesy of Marina Bay Sands

main-gallery-lobby

The Main Gallery Lobby — photo courtesy of Marina Bay Sands

STB2011-0064

Camel caravan. Come face-to-face with three life-size camel models decked out in full caravan regalia and loaded with trade goods at the entrance to the exhibition. The camels and visitors are surrounded by a 120-foot-long mural depicting a landscape of sand dunes.

STB2011-0116

The Interactive "Silk Road" map to discover the links among cultures, technology, and geography along the Silk Road with an interactive electronic tabletop map in the Samarkand section of the exhibition.

STB2011-0121

Step 1,000 years back in time to experience the sights, sounds and stories of the greatest trading route in history. The interfactive Silk Road map is a popular stopover for curious visitors. By pressing different buttons new information is projected across the map, revealing surprising connections.

STB2011-0132

Our guide, Toon Hee, stands next to a 41-foot long portion of a full-sized model of a 71-foot long Arab sailing ship, called a dhow, split in half to reveal a cargo of ceramics and elaborate metalwork.

A dhow (Arabic,داو) is a traditional Arab sailing vessel with one or more lateen sails. It is primarily used to carry heavy items, like fruit, along the coasts of the Arabian Peninsula, Pakistan, India and East Africa. Larger dhows have crews of approximately thirty people, while smaller dhows typically have crews of around twelve. Dhows are much larger than feluccas, another type of Arab boat usually used in fresh water in Egypt, Sudan and Iraq. — Wikipedia

STB2011-0136

A closeup shot of the ceramic cargo

The Genghis Khan exhibition takes visitors on a journey back to the 13th century Mongolia. Experience stunning re-creations of Mongolia’s grasslands and battlegrounds, and walk among the archaeological artifacts and weaponry of the Mongol Empire. The 1,500-square meter exhibition tells the story of the legendary conqueror whose innovation, technological mastery and cultural creativity gave him the reputation of one of the world’s greatest yet most misunderstood leaders.

STB2011-0155

Visitors to ArtScience Museum enjoy the largest collection of Genghis Khan artifacts ever assembled with over 200 rare authentic treasures from the conqueror's reign. This is the first time this extensive exhibition is shown in Asia and currently the ArtScience museum is its only Asia venue planned.

STB2011-0157A

Visitors listen to a various instruments, including the morin khuur, or horse-head fiddle being played as part of the live, traditional Mongolian performance art featured in the exhibition.

Diplomatic Passport of the Mongol Empire. Genghis Khan's government issues passports, called paizi, as portable symbols of authority over his vast empire. These medallion guaranteed safe passage for diplomats and state messengers throughout the empire and signified official status.

STB2011-0170

View a royal mummy of an unusually tall female who died in the 11th or 12th century and her coffin. Unlike the embalmed mummies in ancient Egypt, this body was preserved naturally. Two silk and one leather robe were found with the body. In the mummy's case are a variety of materials found in her tomb, including a hat and jewelry.

STB2011-0247

Young visitors look at painted Changsha bowls from the ship. These bowls feature the head of Central or West Asian man while the brown patches were applied by dipping in the glaze.

STB2011-0248

The Museum's education team is also actively reaching out to schools in Singapore to develop tailored educational programs for youth.

STB2011-0264

This Gold Cup is the most important Tang gold object ever found outside China. It is unusually large (and heavy) and the cost of its material alone would have equaled ten year's salary for a low-ranking Chinese official. The musicians and dancer on the cup are identifiable as foreigners by their long hair and billowing clothes, and the ring handle with its bearded faces also suggests the influence of Central Asian metalware.

STB2011-0313

A total of 10 "fingers" that make up the building form plus two bay windows with special views of Singapore and Marina Bay Sands. The interiors of the "fingers" are unique gallery spaces with natural lighting from the fingertips illuminating the sculptural interior wall forms.

Museum- Night view 2

After-hours view of the illuminated Lotus-inspired ArtScience Museum.

THE SINGAPORE NIGHTLIFE NOCTURNALLY SPEAKING

From festive lights-up and shopping in Orchard Road to culinary indulgence to 12-hour partying at ZoukOut, Singapore is better known for its nightlife. After hours, Singapore practically transforms itself from a super-efficient business hub to a buzzing network of pubs and nightclubs. People indulge freely in late night bar-hopping, leaving behind the burden of the day’s stress. Pubbing and clubbing at Singapore is a must if you want to feel the night-pulse of the city—experience the city only by day and you get just half of the picture.

One such nightspot with breathtaking views of Singapore’s night lights is the New Asia Bar, located on the 71st and 72nd floor of Singapore’s tallest building – the Swissôtel Stamford. New Asia Bar offers guests a spectacular 360° view of Singapore. The lift takes you up to public access Level 71st while access to 72nd is by invitation-only. Check out also  the brilliant city lights as seen from the Singapore Flyer.

Other night spots I visited include the glittering lights, beautiful people and buzzing bars of Clarke Quay. A lot of its facade seems to have changed since my last visit years ago and with its kaleidoscope of hip bars and nightspots along the Singapore River, Clarke Quay is certainly a great nightlife location. Originally a centre of commerce along the Singapore River, Clarke Quay is nowadays a labyrinth of restaurants, concept bars, retail stores and recreation outlets. Clubs like Zirca Mega Club and Attica are famous names on the local night circuit, while restaurants and bars with a mind-boggling selection of themes and attractions round out your choice of after-sunset indulgence.

Located right in the heart of Clarke Quay, Clinic’s unique alfresco is easily identified by its hospital whites, colourful pills, syringes, drips, test-tubes and paraphernalia in all manner of the clinical. Stressed out folks can check in at The Clinic for a much needed shot.

Cool looking membrane roof structures, these permament transparent (ethylenetetrafluoroethylene) ETFE cushion street roofs, provide shading and cooling between shops and houses, are patterned with custom decorative fritting and emphasised with colour lighting.

“The Cannery unveils Mulligan’s, a classical, traditional Irish bar that provides a meeting point for like-minded individuals and sports enthusiasts who appreciate great value Irish food and beverage culture, and authentic Irish live music, a first in Clarke Quay.” source: e-clubbing.com

One of Clarke Quay’s so called “little entertainment attraction” is the Turkish Ice Cream man who constantly fiddles with his ice cream and if you’re one of the fortunate ones on the receiving end of his acrobatic acts, everyone has a laugh at your expense. That’s quite a good deal :)

If you need an adrenaline boost, try the hair-raising GMAX Reverse Bungy which reaches 60 metres in the air at speeds of up to 200 kph and hits G Force 5 — your hair might never look the same again.

Being hosted @ Clarke Quay meant I was able to take pictures where normally frown upon or prohibited inside. It’s Friday night and the energy was simply electric everywhere. Here, folks danced to a live performance of Sean Kingston’s Fire Burnin’ On The Dancefloor! Other clubs we visited included Lunar Asia Fusion Bar, YelloJello, Rebel Boutique Club and we ended the night at Zirca where we were treated to an audio visual spectacle with interactive and engaging live performances.

Rebel is a cool urban boutique club which features customised street art pieces by renowned Melbourne artist, Meggs.

As we left for the evening, more people had just arrived to start their evening …

TEACH KIDS MONEY AND PROPERTY OWNERSHIP

SHIMWORLD Feature in The Brunei Times
bruneitimes_valueofmoney_19032009
Read this story on BT Online

Believe it or not, I had never played Monopoly as a kid or as an adult. The last time I came across the name, it was in Robert Kiyosaki’s book, Rich Dad Poor Dad. The game just never appealed to me and I managed to grow up completely ignoring it altogether. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I came across a Special Edition UNIQUELY SINGAPORE version of Monopoly, one that immediately got my attention and definitely one the kids could relate to as they know Singapore well. Certainly, a game that their dad would, in an embarassing but not obvious kind of way, be playing for the very first time.

monopolyboard.jpg monopoly-lion.jpg
© Jan Shim Photography

As you can see, it’s very colorful, a very important consideration and factor as far as kids (and first time big kids) are concerned. It scores 10/10 for appeal and design. Using the very familiar Singapore Merlion one of a number of familiar game tokens. Here Jewel uses the Merlion while mine is the Gentleman’s Hat and Jamie’s Antique Car token is elsewhere on the board.

monopoly-dice.jpg monopoly-reaching.jpg
© Jan Shim Photography

Like the actual place and very popular hang out, Clarke Quay is a property you can buy from the bank. A Title Deed card shows ownership of the property. When a player lands on your property, you collect rent but there are rules that apply to mortgaged property and so forth. The game can get pretty intense and at the level my 9 and 7 year olds are playing, it can get competitive and emotional too.

monopoly-incometax.jpg monopoly-laupasat.jpg
© Jan Shim Photography

Bruneians may find Income Tax unfamiliar territory as we have no such tax. As this is a game, we just consider it one of the many penalties that exist alongside with rental, etc. The game lists many familiar properties that Singapore is known for such as Lau Pa Sat, Newton Circus, Little India and Chinatown, many of which my kids have not actually visited. When they do someday, it will be a place they can associate with.

monopoly-outofjailcard.jpg monopoly-property.jpg
© Jan Shim Photography

Jewel holds up a Get Out of Jail CHANCE card and to date (continuing from previous play) she now owns the most property including Utilities and MRT stations and she gets good healthy income from collecting rents :). That striped rug next to the board resembles the corporate colours of Standard Chartered Bank and its appearance in this photograph is purely coincidental.

monopoly-banker.jpg monopoly-moves.jpg
© Jan Shim Photography

Like the real world we live in, banks are responsible for much of the money and properties that exchange hands. It’s no different in Monopoly and this banker is responsible for the bonus payments when luck comes your way.

monopoly-propertysale.jpg
© Jan Shim Photography

Jewel sells me a Singapore Indoor Stadium property for a bargain price of $100. I’ve had a streak of bad luck and lost much of my money to rents and jail time. It’s comforting to know where she places her priorities when her dad needs help. It’s interesting how a game can reveal a person’s behaviour too.

Here’s the bottom line, I feel Uniquely Singapore Monopoly has greatly reduced the learning curve required for kids to learn about finances and property ownership. As they grow up, their perception of money will undoubtedly change but as business and finance savvy parents, there isn’t such as thing as too young.