National Museum's Glass Rotunda to reopen with stunning forest-themed installations

National Museum's Glass Rotunda to reopen with stunning forest-themed installations

SINGAPORE - Nature, history and art lovers, here's an event that is perfect for you.

Two new permanent exhibitions launching at the National Museum of Singapore on Saturday (Dec 10) will feature an impressive digital installation of a virtual rainforest, as well as photographs of Singapore's iconic city trees.

Also debuting is the revamped Glass Rotunda at the museum. After a two-year closure, the rotunda will now be home to to the Story of the Forest installation by internationally renowned art collective teamLab, as well as Singapore, Very Old Tree, which is a special exhibition featuring photos by local photographer Robert Zhao.

Measuring 170m by 15m, Story of the Forest will greet visitors to the rotunda with a larger-than-life interactive digital installation that mimics the sight and sounds of Southeast Asia's dense tropical rainforests based on drawings from the prized William Farquhar Collection of Natural History Drawings.


"Due to the massive size and scale of the Glass Rotunda, this is by far the most challenging digital artwork installation created by teamLab to date," founder of teamLab, Toshiyuki Inoko said.

"Our team was immensely inspired by the intricate drawings from the William Farquhar Collection while conceptualising this ground-breaking installation, and we are excited to present it to visitors from Singapore and around the world here at the National Museum," Inoko added.


In Singapore, Very Old Tree, photos of significant trees in Singapore and around the vicinity of the National Museum will showcased along with the intimate stories behind them.

For instance, did you know that there used to be a massive banyan tree located behind the Substation, along the walls of Timbre? Fans of the popular local hangout will know that the tree witnessed the evolution of the art centre and its neighbouring civic landscape, such as the demolition of the National Library that used to be right beside it. In 2015, to make way for the construction of a new building for the Singapore Management University, the tree was uprooted to be transplanted to a yet-to-be-decided location.

Singapore, Very Old Tree: Substation Malayan Banyan, 2015 by Robert ZhaoPhoto: Robert Zhao/ National Museum of Singapore

Artist Robert Zhao said: "Trees are breathing markers of history and are monuments that embody a special meaning in the nation's collective and individual experiences. We hope that this exhibit will spark conversations and stories about home and belonging."

And to add icing to the cake, visitors to the National Museum on Dec 10 and 11 will enjoy free admission to the Glass Rotunda and permanent galleries.

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