Sunday, June 10, 2018

ArtScience Museum's Marvel Studios: 10 Years of Heroes Exhibition Needs More Punch


The Marvel Studios: Ten Years of Heroes exhibition, which celebrates the 19 Marvel superhero movies in the last 10 years, opened to the public at ArtScience Museum on 9 June 2018. From now till 30 September, fans will be able to relive their favourite Marvel superhero movie moments at the show.

The project is part of a three-year collaboration between Singapore Tourism Board and The Walt Disney Company Southeast Asia. For the exhibition, Taiwan-based toy company Beast Kingdom worked with Walt Disney for the concept and displays.



Within the exhibit hall, there are 10 different galleries featuring places from the movies - for example, Stark Industries, Aasgard, and Wakanda. Each of these areas have life-sized statues, static displays, or interactive areas for fans to get their superhero fix.

Red Dot Diva was at the special preview for bloggers to take in the signs and sounds of the exhibition, and here are some of the things you can expect.

At the first landing site, #TeamRichGuy Tony Stark's workshop, there is a pretty awesome digital light projection mapping of the various versions of Iron-Man suits.




Also, one will not be able to miss the giant 5-metre tall Iron-Man statue on display just round the corner.



In the Captain America section, there is a wonderful detailed model of the Heli-carrier. It is great for creating your own toy photography with action figures.



Next, get on the Bifrost, and head into Aasgard. Red Dot Diva did not see Heimdall, but guess who she bumped into?




At Sakaar's gladiator area, there are these statutes of bicepstous fight buddies - Thor and Hulk from "Thor: Ragnarok"... 




And, of course, Red Dot Diva is confident that she's very worthy for Mew-Mew because #MewMewLovesDiva. Tip: you need to stand closer to Mjolnir to call for the "lightning"!



Once you're worthy, you are deep in Guardians of the Galaxy zone in Yondu's ship, as it's all about a particular space rabbit ... er, I mean Rocket Raccoon, and Groot!



Talking about Groot, Red Dot Diva's inner child emerged from her shell to dance with him at this super-kawaii interactive display! It is her favourite section of the exhibition. So Fun!



To get back into the GoTG groove, put on a pair of headphones to enjoy songs from the Awesome Mix cassette tape. Or even better, maybe do a dance jam with a friend!



Then, get ready for the world of spell-binding magick in Doctor Strange's lair.

Just... need... to... grab hold of the Eye of Agamotto. Red Dot Diva also tried to create a portal at an interactive booth, but did not succeed. Boooooo....




Welcome to Wakanda! RAWRRRR. Another from #TeamRichGuys.



After a really short visit in Wakanda, it's time to adjust one's vision, and... Look Down! Be careful of the ants!
Guess who else are hanging out at Pym Industries too?



Finally, after visiting the different worlds, Red Dot Diva comes face to face ith the Mad Titan, Thanos, and tries to make a grab at the Infinity Gauntlet!




The last section is an Augmented Reality display where you can select a character projected on a screen and step into his or her shoes, before viewing a video montage celebrating the 10 years of Marvel Studios' superhero movies.

There is a gift shop after that for those who need retail therapy. The store has nicely crafted figurines by Royal Selangor (check out the one for Iron-Man, Red Dot Diva thinks it has the best sculpt), plush toys, T-shirts, and toys by Beast Kingdom.

Don't just get distracted by the merchandise though! Go snap a selfie with the large wall of Marvel Studio's 10th anniversary photoshoot with the cast members and directors.




So, now....let's get down and dirty. Red Dot Diva knows the one question that geeks have been asking about the exhibition. Is it worth going?

Yes and No.

YES
- If you have children, and you want to them to get familiar with the Marvel movies and superheroes whom you love, then bring them there to enjoy an hour of family time. Get ready to tell them about the characters and places though, there are hardly any display boards around.

- The setups are primed mainly for photo-taking, or Instagrammable moments, even if the down lights can be too dark for good selfies. Still, if you are geek, Red Dot Diva knows that you can get creative with photography. (Check out the photos taken by Red Dot Diva on Instagram using the hashtag #DivaatMarvel10ASM!)

- The evolution of the Iron-Man suit interactive display was stunning. From then on, the quality of the displays seem to deteriorate and get less bland - with the exception of the cute Dancing with Groot booth.


NO
- For hardcore geeks, the exhibition might most probably disappoint you (of course, that depends on your level of expectation).

The location galleries were mostly bare, with blurry background and floor images. There are no props or costumes from the movies, not even storyboards or video displays of "the making of" to give further insights into the story-telling, and a lack of display boards. Oddly enough, there were items which were haphazardly tagged on to the areas, like an M.C. Escher print of Convex and Concave in the Doctor Strange section. Or the desperate attempt to tie in the Infinity stones with wellness stones in Asian culture.

In fact, the Marvel's Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N exhibition held at the Singapore Science Centre two years ago was more carefully thought out. In that exhibition, one could pretend to be a S.H.I.E.L.D. trainee while walking through the different areas which had lots of information and were nicely done (Red Dot Diva remembers "Bruce Banner's lab" quite vividly), and despite the battery-sucking event mobile app plus lack of wifi within the premises, the visitor experience was more enjoyable and immersive than this one.

- Most of the sculptures were also already displayed in previous events like STGCC and the NEX mall promo for "Avengers: Infinity War" movie. So, many fans already saw those and took selfies with them for free or at a lower ticket price.

Red Dot Diva felt there were a lot of missed opportunities with the exhibition. For one thing, where were the the women superheroes??? There was NO SIGN of Black Widow or Scarlett Witch, or even a mention of the Dora Milaje?

Furthermore, there is no need for superheroes if there are no supervillains, so Red Dot Diva feels they should also be featured. Due mention should be given to Loki, Aldrick Killian, Kaecilius, Hela, Red Skull, Erik Killmonger, and so many many more!
 
The exhibition will also fare better if there was more cohesive link about the location galleries with the movie itself, and there should be more graphical information on the history of the places/ people, perhaps even some comic book references. To add on the fun, there could be a little game for visitors to collect something on site or interactively through an app.

It is obvious that the people who planned for the exhibition had no passion for the material. Sadly, the Marvel's 10 Years of Heroes exhibition is mostly just a photo stop, and targeted for the casual non-geek tourist.


If one feels that an SGD $16 to 19 adult ticket is worth the price of selfies and Instagram bragging rights, then go visit the show with a sense of childlike fun, and you might enjoy it anyway. Red Dot Diva visited it with her geek sibling, and together, they created their own fun with action figures and Lego minifigures, all in airconditioned comfort!

Have you visited the exhibition? Tweet me at @reddotdiva and tell me what you think of it.



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