By Lynn Wee
The M.C. Escher’s World of Wonder exhibition has made its Southeast Asia debut at the ArtScience Museum in Marina Bay Sands on Sept 24.
(Unfamiliar with the Dutch artist and his world renowned enigmatic sketches and paradoxical designs? Find out more about him here.)
Escher’s works have been celebrated by both the artistic and scientific communities for his extraordinary ability to depict infinite worlds.
Young Parents popped by to see what the hype is about, and the galleries featuring Escher’s 150 original masterpieces certainly did not disappoint – especially when we discovered a myriad of projects, dazzling installations and games.
Preschoolers would love the hands-on fun, while the different learning projects might help primary schoolers understand maths and science better.
Step into the exhibition and you will be greeted with tessellated walls and floors. Wander in further and you will be awed by Escher’s drawings and videos of tessellations (GIF image above), from regular shapes to complex interlocking designs of fishes, birds and reptiles.
The section features a large-scale interactive tessellation grid, where children can move the grids around easily, and fit the pieces, in an attempt to successfully complete the enormous jigsaw puzzle.
With such interactions, it invites children to explore the potentials of tessellation, and better understand the four guiding principles behind Escher’s works – translation, reflection, rotation and glide reflection.
In addition, kids will also be exposed to different viewpoints, strange composition and impossible constructions in The Relativity Room (GIF image below). The room’s environment and proportions create a distorted illusion of size.
Why not let your little ones swap places with you and allow them to pose for pictures at the “taller” end? This allows them to understand how a distorted illusion of size is created with just simple compositions.
In The Mirror Room, equipped with full wall and ceiling mirrors, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped right into a room with an infinite amount of similar fish figures on display (GIF image below).
Your kids might be a little surprised to see so many replicas of themselves, as well. Take the opportunity to explain how mirror reflections can create an endless image. This activity helps to foster their imaginations and stimulate their growing minds.
Finally, don’t miss out on the hands-on activities available at different zones of the exhibition. Let your children assemble their very own Kaleidocycles at one of the stations.
Kaleidocycles are three-dimensional rings formed from chains of tetrahedral (four-sided geometric forms). When completed, they can see how different geometrical shapes and repeated patterns can form notions of infinity (GIF image below).
Another activity we thought was interesting and enjoyable, is the Music Box station.
Kids can explore their creativity by composing their own musical masterpiece. They will start off by punching holes in the provided empty scores strips, review them by feeding it through music boxes, and gently turning the crank.
The dots or lines on the scores will help them notice the structure of what they are listening to. They can even speed up, slow down or reverse their musical themes.
If you are a big fan of Escher’s work, and absolutely cannot leave without a souvenir, there’s a small merchandise section at the end of the exhibition. Items include tote bags, stationeries and interesting books (like the one shown below).
Tickets are priced from $14 per adult and $7 per child aged two to 12. Family packages are also available. The exhibition will run until the first quarter of 2017.
For more information, visit www.marinabaysands.com/ArtScienceMuseum.