National Museum of Singapore unveils 170m-long digital interactive forest installation

The National Museum of Singapore has debuted a unique digital exhibit turning 69 drawings into a single giant animated interactive illustration.

Using sensors set up in the newly-refurbished Glass Rotunda, the installation by Japanese art collective teamLab allows visitors to interact with the flora and fauna.

Titled Story of the Forest, the digital piece, which is 15m (49ft) in height and 170m (558ft) long, is based on the museum’s watercolour collection and mimics the dense tropical rainforests of Southeast Asia. The design is inspired by the 19th century collection collected by William Farquhar – the first Commandant of Singapore.

Starting at the top of the three-storey structure, visitors enter through a dark room projecting falling petals across the ceiling, before walking down a 144-metre (472-foot) spiral path with animals running through the intricately-designed forest. The exhibition ends in a room raining petals. As visitors approach the petals they immediately sprout, growing in seconds into towering trees.

The exhibition also introduces augmented reality to the experience, with users downloading a free app to find animals, pointing their smart device at the creatures as they appear in the digital forest to register them.

"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," said studio founder Toshiyuki Inoko.

"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.”

The Glass Rotunda reopens after a two-year closure. It is now home to Story of the Forest and Singapore, Very Old Tree – a special exhibition featuring photos by local photographer Robert Zhao.

National Museum of Singapore  Glass Rotunda  Story of the Forest  teamLab  gallery  augmented reality  technology 
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The National Museum of Singapore has debuted a unique digital exhibit turning 69 drawings into a single giant animated interactive illustration. Using sensors set up in the newly-refurbished Glass Rotunda, the installation by Japanese art collective teamLab allows visitors to interact with the flora and fauna. Titled Story of the Forest, the digital piece, which is 15m (49ft) in height and 170m (558ft) long, is based on the museum’s watercolour
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The design is inspired by the 19th century collection collected by William Farquhar
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Company profile: Robert D. Henry Architects + Interiors
Robert D Henry Architects (RDH-Architects) was founded in 1990 in New York City by Bob Henry, known as the “sensuous architect of serenity.”
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