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New Eden: Science Fiction Mythologies Transformed: A Journey Through Asian-Inspired Futurism

The ArtScience Museum in Singapore is currently hosting an intriguing exhibition titled “New Eden: Science Fiction Mythologies Transformed.” This thought-provoking showcase delves into the multifaceted realm where science fiction and Asian spiritual beliefs converge.

It features the imaginative works of twenty-four talented Asian female artists and collectives, who have masterfully blended elements of science fiction with diverse Asian spiritual philosophies, resulting in a captivating fusion of art, culture, and futuristic ideas.

The exhibition is meticulously curated into eight distinct chapters, each meticulously exploring a unique theme pertaining to the intersection of science fiction and Asian mythologies. Some of these captivating themes include:

Words and Worlds

This chapter embarks on a journey across parallel universes and interdimensional travel, concepts that may seem intrinsically Western due to their frequent depiction in media and films. However, “Words and Worlds” unveils the surprising presence of these concepts in Asian history, where portals to other realms and transcendence are prevalent motifs in Chinese and Indian cultures, as well as in religions like Buddhism and Taoism. Shilpa Gupta’s artwork beautifully encapsulates this convergence, merging spiritual ideologies with Western literary concepts.

Paradox of Paradise

This intriguing exhibit delves into the profound question of whether a perfect utopia can truly exist without the presence of emotions such as sadness, anger, and fear. These very emotions define our human essence, and the exhibition prompts us to consider whether a society that demands the suppression of these emotions to achieve perfection is truly worth striving for.

In a New Light

This chapter aims to challenge and reshape the perception of Asian culture in Western science fiction. A collective of artists has curated a collection of thought-provoking short films, displays, and photographs that reimagine and redefine the modern-day perspective of Asian science fiction. Astria Suparak’s short film boldly denounces Asian stereotypes in movies, offering a fresh and authentic portrayal of Asian culture.

Meanwhile, Lee Bul’s captivating installation features a shattered and splayed female cyborg, blurring the boundaries between flesh and metal, underscoring their indistinguishable fusion.

In addition to these captivating exhibits, visitors can enjoy a captivating 22-minute 3D film titled “Anicka Yi: The Flavor Genome” by South Korean artist Anicka Yi.

The film follows a chemist in the Amazon rainforest on a quest to extract the DNA of a mythical flower with transformative properties. It poses the intriguing question of whether, through biotechnology, humans could potentially experience the emotions of various species, fostering a deeper empathy towards the living entities in nature.

The film beautifully intertwines science, philosophy, AI, climate change, and anthropology, and is worth noting that it is rated M18. This special experience is included in the price of admission to New Eden, and screenings occur throughout the day at 30-minute intervals.

“New Eden: Science Fiction Mythologies Transformed” is an experimental yet focused exhibition that meticulously redefines the world’s perception of Asian females in science fiction works.

It achieves this by skillfully blending science fiction with Asian ideas and stories, a genre typically dominated by male perspectives. The exhibition showcases the fantastical visions of these artists, highlighting their efforts to shape a future that embraces a wider range of voices and perspectives.

Website: New Eden: Science Fiction Mythologies Transformed

Dates: 21st Oct 2023 – 3rd March 2024
Time: 10am – 7pm
Location: ArtScience Musuem, 6 Bayfront Ave, Singapore 018974
Price: Adult: S$20/Child: S$16, Tourists: Adult: S$23/Child: S$18