Saturday, January 18, 2020

Taking a stand against ecological ruin

Feb 20. 2019
A visitor experiences Water Bodies, an interactive VR installation by illustrator Adeline Tan aka Mightyellow. (Photo courtesy of The MeshMinds Foundation)
A visitor experiences Water Bodies, an interactive VR installation by illustrator Adeline Tan aka Mightyellow. (Photo courtesy of The MeshMinds Foundation)
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By The Nation

A journey through a virtual human stomach to follow the trail of microplastics or holding the gaze of the person on-screen to take a stand against deforestation are among more than 20 multi-sensory art experiences being offered at “MeshMinds 2.0: ArtxTechforGood”, which takes place next month at the ArtScience Museum in Singapore.

Running from March 7 to 17 as part of the museum’s programme, “ArtScience in Focus”, the exhibition invites visitors to engage with current environmental and societal challenges through the blending of art and technology. 

Organised by the MeshMinds Foundation, the second iteration of this interactive and technologically-rich exhibition will showcase the works of Singapore artists who have participated in the Foundation’s artist incubation programme, Please Insert Human, working in conjunction with the Foundation’s media studio arm, MeshMinds.

“With the support of leading technology partners and ArtScience Museum, our talented artists have had the opportunity to harness emerging technologies such as Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), 3D modelling and printing, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Things (IoT). The experience not only enhances their art-making, but also creates impactful and immersive artworks with which people are invited to interact and will hopefully be inspired and empowered to engage in the global sustainability conversation and to effect positive change,” said Kay Poh Gek Vasey, founder of the MeshMinds Foundation.

This year, “MeshMinds 2.0: ArtxTechforGood” artists will shine the spotlight on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, Singapore’s declaration of 2019 as the Year Towards Zero Waste, and burgeoning global campaigns such as #beatplasticpollution in their works. 

Utilising AR, animators Jason Loo and Cherlyn Mark, address the devastating consequences of marine pollution with interactive mobile game OceanScrub; while botanical artist Lucinda Law charts her inaugural expeditionary artist-in-residence experience on sustainability-focused island resort Batu-Batu through Experiencing Beauty. 

Water Bodies, a VR showcase by leading visual artist, MightyellOw offers a journey through the human stomach to educate people on microplastics that are unknowingly consumed in our daily lives.

In “From Wheelchairs to Motorbikes and (In)visible Sound”, the MeshMinds Foundation has partnered with Our Better World, Singapore International Foundation’s digital storytelling platform, to create an immersive, intimate and impactful VR experience, bringing audiences into the worlds of those living with visible and invisible disabilities.

In addition, visitors can interact with MeshMind’s mascot, AstroCat,, to find out more about the exhibition, as well as local sustainability efforts and campaigns on how one can reduce waste and recycle in their daily lives. Visitors can also learn more through artworks that address food waste and recycling such as through Ugly Vegetables, an AR-driven photo opportunity curated by social enterprise EYEYAH! Magazine; as well Paperchase by local artist Alphonsus Wong, an AR experience that aims to encourage greater recycling in a treasure-hunt setting.

“Our collaboration with MeshMinds on the first edition of ‘ArtxTechforGood’ last year was a success. It encapsulated what we set out to achieve with ‘ArtScience in Focus’ – providing the platform for the exchange of new ideas and to nurture the seed of curiosity in the next generation. We look forward to the second edition where our visitors will witness how art and technology can create works that send a powerful message about our environment,” said Honor Harger, executive director of ArtScience Museum.

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