Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Journey to Infinity: Escher's World of Wonder

When I was in primary school, I used to receive emails from friends on optical illusions and I remember being intrigued by these. So, when I saw a newspaper writeup on the exhibition, Journey to Infinity: Escher's World of Wonder, I decided to visit the exhibition. 

There are several exhibition themes: Early Works: Art Nouveau and Nature, Tessellation, Metamorphosis, Commercial Works, Exploring Infinity and Escher Mania. 

I wasn't too interested in Escher's early works, but things got more interesting as we walked through the exhibition. 

I am not sure whether they still have tessellation in the primary school mathematics syllabus but that used to be one of the rare areas in mathematics that I found fun. This exhibition is of course a lot more high level. 

Credit: Marina Bay Sands
If you thought that Escher stopped at mere tessellations, you couldn't be more wrong because he decided to level up again by morphing his tessellation. In this part of the exhibition, the tessellation morphs from one object to another. I was trying to figure it out at the beginning and it became clearer as I walked on. 

Credit: Marina Bay Sands
Escher also created a number of drawings with impossible objects. In other words, structures which may seem plausible, but upon closer inspection turned out to be impossible to create. I spent some time look at Ascending and Descending. He must have had quite a brilliant brain to figure these. 

Credit: Marina Bay Sands
Of course, there are bound to be people inspired by such art. And one of my favourites was Donald Duck by Hans Kuiper. 

Credit: Marina Bay Sands
Art Science Museum, being Art Science Museum, wouldn't forget about "interaction", the buzzword for museums nowadays. Besides The Relativity Room and Tessellation Puzzle Activity, there are tables and chairs situated at some spots of the exhibition for some DIY activities. For example, you can punch holes into some strips of paper with music notes and slip it through a small device and music will be generated. 

An interesting exhibition if you are into tessellations and impossible objects. 


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