Written by root. Posted in FEATURES


Published on May 05, 2019 with No Comments

Step through the looking glass into a curious world of whimsical adventures at Singapore’s ArtScience Museum’s Wonderland.



There’s a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party and much, much more when you head down to Wonderland, a playful and interactive exhibition based on Lewis Carroll’s timeless stories of Alice and her adventures through Wonderland. Developed by Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), this groundbreaking exhibition makes the first stop of its global tour at ArtScience Museum.

This one-of-a-kind exhibition which follows Alice’s journey through popular culture invites visitors to take a trip through the looking glass into an immersive, enchanted world. Using theatrical sets, bold, interactive environments, eye-catching props and amazing audiovisual artworks, Wonderland spectacularly conjures up the surprising and magical world of Alice and her adventures.

Since first gracing the silver screen in 1903, Alice has delighted audiences in more than 40 arthouse and blockbuster cinematic odysseys. Wonderland reveals how artists and filmmakers have portrayed Alice and her story for over a century, since her first appearance on the page in 1865. Visitors to the exhibition can see how the precocious heroine has become a subcultural icon through her presence in music videos, video games, high fashion, advertising and more.

Drawing together a remarkable selection of original behind-the-scenes material, the exhibition includes over 300 artefacts and objects, including first edition books, drawings, original costumes, films, magic lantern projectors, animation, puppetry, and original work by theatrical designer Anna Tregloan, and digital creative studios, Sandpit, Grumpy Sailor and Mosster Studio.

Wonderland takes its inspiration from Lewis Carroll’s stories, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There. These stories have been adapted dozens of times for the screen over a century, which makes the history of Alice in Wonderland on screen, a way of being able to trace the history of moving image. The exhibition charts the cultural, technological and social shifts that have compelled filmmakers to create their own visual interpretation of Alice and her adventures.

From the first screen adaptation by Cecil M Hepworth in 1903 to the contemporary blockbusters of the 2000s, Wonderland also showcases the developments in special effects from pre-cinematic entertainment to silent film, animation to puppetry, live-action cinema, CGI, 3D and beyond. Films such as Lou Bunin’s Alice Au Pays des Merveilles (1949), Jan Svankmajer’s acclaimed Alice (1988), the Quay Brothers’ experimental Alice in Not So Wonderland (2007), and television versions by broadcasters BBC and NBC will be featured in the exhibition.

Visitors are handed out their own Lost Map of Wonderland that begins in Lewis Carroll’s drawing room. The map is both a physical guide and a digital prop that unlocks interactive parts of the exhibition. The exhibition continues through the Hallway of Doors, followed by the contemplative surrounds of the Pool of Tears, the quirky Looking Glass House, before visitors are invited to get hands-on in the Queen’s Croquet Ground. A highlight of the exhibition is an immersive centerpiece where visitors are invited to join in the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. Seated around a table set with empty plates and tea cups, the room looks dreary at first. But then the projections start and the room transforms into a stunning digital display that sets up the walls as lurid forestry and the table as stuffed full of food and treats – with a trail of ants included. It will leave your head spinning, especially when you factor in the plates turning into clocks at the end.

The exhibition, through its playful environments and a range of bespoke digital interactive activities, will draw visitors into an enchanted world where expectations are upended and curiosity is rewarded. Whether or not you’re an Alice fan, one thing is certain: the more curious you are, the more you’ll discover.

Wonderland will run from now till 22 September, 2019.

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