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NEWS

‘NOW IS NOT THE TIME’: A FIRST-OF-ITS-KIND EXHIBITION CELEBRATING LEE KUAN YEW’S LIFE AND LEGACY


 

SINGAPORE, 18 AUGUST 2023



  • Organised and produced by virtual production and animation house X3D Studio, the immersive art exhibition celebrates the life and legacy of Singapore’s visionary founding father on the centenary of his birth.

  • This unique and immersive experience – featuring virtual production, Artificial Intelligence (AI), generative art, architecture, sculpture, film, and music – brings together a remarkable pool of top global talent, including the American artist Daniel Arsham, design studio Brewin Design Office, production house Refinery Media, award-winning composer Tay Chee Wei, and institutions such as LASALLE College of the Arts (LASALLE) and Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP).

  • The exhibit will be held at 25 Pasir Panjang Road, from 10th to 24th September 2023, from 11 am to 8 pm every day. It is open to the public and entrance is free.


On 16 September, the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s beloved first and longest-serving prime minister, would have turned 100.


Widely acknowledged as the architect of modern Singapore, Mr Lee led the island nation’s dramatic transformation from a developing country to a global economic powerhouse in less than five decades.


“When it came to pursuing his vision for Singapore, his energy was unparalleled. He was just relentless,” says Karen Seah, founder of X3D Studio. “Singapore truly owes our current successes to Lee Kuan Yew’s steadfast vision, values, sacrifice, and love in building our nation. This exhibition is our way of honouring him and his constant quest for excellence and progress.”


Now Is Not the Time is an immersive experience that chronicles Mr Lee’s life and celebrates his legacy – as a national leader and global inspiration, as an advocate of multiculturalism and a champion of technology and innovation – through the magic of virtual production, AI, generative art, architecture, sculpture, film, and music.


“We’ve merged the powers of art, technology, and storytelling to create an exhibition we hope resonates with different generations and across borders,” adds Ms Seah. “It’s also our way of connecting Singapore’s younger generation with the past so that they fully appreciate what it took to build this safe and prosperous country. None of it was easy and there are many lessons to take from history.”


The exhibition’s title, Now Is Not the Time, speaks to one of those lessons. “We’ve come a long way,

yes, but now is not the time to rest on our laurels,” says Ms Seah. “Instead, we must continue to head

into the future with passion and embrace the boundless opportunities in creativity and innovation.”


Among the exhibition’s highlights is the work of New York-based contemporary artist Daniel Arsham, who created a series of art pieces – including a full-body sculpture of Mr Lee in a pivotal moment in history, right when he declared Singapore’s separation from Malaysia – for the immersive art collaboration. It is the first time Mr Arsham, whose previous collaborations include work for global brands such as Dior, has made a sculpture of a global leader.


"I’ve been intrigued by Singapore since my first visit over 10 years ago,” says Mr Arsham. “The futuristic nature of the city is incredibly inspiring to me and I'm truly humbled to be part of the celebrations marking Mr Lee’s 100th birthday. I hope that the sculptures I have made in his honour will inspire a new generation and help them to understand and appreciate the importance of his legacy as a revered global leader.”


The exhibition also showcases Singapore’s creative talent through works by students from LASALLE

College of the Arts Film School and NYP School of Design and Media; the architectural firm Brewin Design Office; and production company Refinery Media. It also features original music by the award-winning composer Tay Chee Wei, who had composed music for Emmy-nominated documentaries such as NOVA's Ultimate Space Telescope (IMDB) and Decoding the Weather Machine (IMDB).


This monumental exhibition is made possible by the support of Singapore’s eminent organisations, including Founding Partners such as DBS Bank & Pontiac Land Group; and Partners such as Allen & Gledhill, Ho Bee Land, Kuok Group, Mapletree Investments, PSA International, RB Capital, SATS and Woh Hup.


Said DBS CEO Piyush Gupta: “Lee Kuan Yew was extraordinary not only because he had exceptional foresight but also a strong sense of purpose. He lived and breathed Singapore – the success of Singapore and the future of its people were the singular lodestar of his actions. This enabled him to rally Singaporeans from all walks of life behind his bold vision of transforming Singapore from a fledgling port city to a global modern metropolis.”


“With our world today facing rapid change and constant disruption, having a spirit of invention is more important than ever. That is why at DBS, we’ve been on a multi-year journey to embrace a culture of innovation and transform ourselves digitally. We are privileged to be involved with the “Now is Not The Time’ exhibition – our hope is that it will spark meaningful conversations and ideas on how, together, we can reimagine this city for the next bound.”


“Pontiac Land Group is proud of our involvement with the ‘Now is Not The Time’ exhibition as we acknowledge art's transformative potential to inspire and educate. This meticulously curated exhibition offers valuable insights into Mr Lee's life, vision, and values, and we hope it will serve as a source of inspiration to the general public and especially the younger generation,” said Mr David Tsang, CEO, of Pontiac Land Group.


 

ABOUT THE EXHIBITION: “NOW IS NOT THE TIME”


Depicting a unique interplay between temporal perspectives, Now is Not the Time is an art exhibition that leverages the power of immersive technology to bridge the past, present, and future. It is a transformative, multi-sensorial experience that delves into Singapore's illustrious history, excavating the building blocks that have made the country what it is today.


Through technology and artistic innovations, Now Is Not the Time spotlights the notable and formidable challenges that Singapore hurdled during the visionary stewardship of Mr Lee. Each part of the experience serves as a poignant reminder of the strategic decisions, indomitable courage, and unwavering foresight that constitute the bedrock of our nation's current culture and stature.


 

KEY HIGHLIGHTS OF THE EXHIBITION "NOW IS NOT THE TIME"


#1 THE TIME PORTAL — BY X3D STUDIO X DANIEL ARSHAM

The collaboration aims to introduce the younger generation to the remarkable story of Lee Kuan Yew, who was not only a formidable leader but also a man who forged a new path for Singapore despite all odds against the country in 1965. Who is this man who was able to transform a small nation into one of the world's wealthiest within just five decades?


This showcase incorporates digital culture, social media trends, Augmented Reality and AI technology, which is perfect for the new generation of youths who are digital natives and proficient smartphone users. By leveraging Daniel's creative vision and contemporary themes, we can frame Mr Lee’s legacy in a way that is palatable to young people.


#2 BUILDING BLOCKS — BY X3D X BREWIN DESIGN OFFICE

Architectural building blocks, immersive art and AI come together to showcase the years of nation-building work and the foundations of the values and vision of Lee Kuan Yew which transcends time.









#3 AN ODE — BY REFINERY MEDIA x X3D STUDIO

For the first time, Refinery Media and X3D Studio show the future of content making by creating a short film on Lee Kuan Yew using only A.I. and Virtual Production, where all images are created and prompted by A.I.








#4 THE A.I. AUDITION — BY LASALLE COLLEGE OF ARTS

This film exhibit features Mr Lee’s speech that was fed into ChatGPT to dramatise them into monologues, which will be delivered by actors and actresses undergoing auditions. This project demonstrates a collaborative approach where documenting and processes become Art.


#5 MIRROR MAZE INSTALLATION — BY NANYANG POLYTECHNIC

This exhibit deploys mirrors, personal narratives, and shared experiences such that visitors, both local and overseas, can perceive and celebrate themselves as part of Singapore's multicultural fabric and appreciate the essence of the nation’s global citizenship. The objective is to remind that Singaporeans possess the remarkable ability to transcend cultural boundaries and that they can embrace their collective identity as global citizens.


#6 THE FUTURE IS — BY X3D STUDIO

This exhibit imagines Singapore 100 years from today by using the Virtual Production process of asset creation to feature a storyline and voiceover by Singaporean actor Lim Kay Tong.









#7 ALL EXHIBITION ORIGINAL MUSIC — BY COMPOSER TAY CHEE WEI

The music composed for the exhibition is akin to a film score: the music score portrays the hidden side of Lee Kuan Yew while the compositions capture snapshots of time and space and offer a glimpse into his inner world. Chee Wei seeks to forge an empathic bridge between the audience and Lee Kuan Yew when visitors traverse the exhibition and retrace the extraordinary journey of his life. His music aspires to evoke a shared emotional voyage where the audience discovers themselves entwined with the essence of Mr Lee.







 

EVENT DETAILS

Title:

Now Is Not The Time

Website:

About the exhibition:

“Now Is Not The Time” is a modern immersive art installation that commemorates the 100th anniversary of the birth of Singapore’s Founding Father Lee Kuan Yew. The exhibition is open to the public daily from 11 am till 8 pm from 10th till 24th Sep 2023.

The exhibition blends virtual production, AI, generative art, architecture, sculpture art, film, and music to deliver a unique experience, and is designed to appeal to all ages through Instagram-worthy visuals and the incorporation of interactive Alternate Reality (AR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Visitors can look forward to appreciating original works by local art schools, and artists from Singapore and abroad.

Date:

10th till 24th September 2023

Time:

11 am to 8 pm, daily

Venue:

25 Pasir Panjang Road Singapore 117536

Ticketing:

FREE for the public.

Visitors are required to register at www.nowisnotthetime.sg and select their

preferred time slots (in 30-minute blocks).

Age Restriction:

The exhibition is open for ages 13 years old and above.

 

PARTNERS OF “NOW IS NOT THE TIME”


Founding Partners

DBS

Pontiac Land Group


Partners

Allen & Gledhill

Ho Bee Land

Kuok Group

Mapletree Investments

PSA International

RB Capital

SATS

Woh Hup


Supported By

Klobbi

Lumina

Singapore Airlines

Singtel

Whispering Angel


 

ANNEX

THE NUMBERS OF ‘NOW IS NOT THE TIME’

2

Sculptures: “The Time Portal” by X3D Studio x Daniel Arsham and “Building Blocks” by X3D Studio x Brewin Design Office x Daniel Arsham

6

Co-creators consisting of

▪ 1 international artist: Daniel Arsham

▪ 2 local schools: LASALLE College of the Arts Film School and Nanyang Polytechnic School of Design and Media

▪ 2 local design companies: Brewin Design Office, Refinery Media

▪ 1 local artist: composer Tay Chee Wei

7

Forms of art deployed in the exhibition: virtual production, AI, generative art, architecture, sculpture art, film, music

15

Esteemed partners consisting of:

▪ Founding Partners: DBS and Pontiac Land Group

▪ Partners: Allen & Gledhill, Ho Bee Land, Kuok Group, Mapletree Investments, PSA International, RB Capital, SATS and Woh Hup

▪ Supported By: Klobbi, Lumina, Singapore Airlines, Singtel and Whispering Angel

15

Number of days the exhibition is open to the public from 10th till 24th Sep 2023

30

Minutes recommended to walk through the entire exhibition

150

Staff involved in the front and backend of the exhibition

534

Kilograms is the weight of one of Daniel Asham’s sculptures of Mr Lee entitled "Eroded LKY", which measures 58.4 (H) x 38.1 (W) x 63.5 (D) cm.

5,208

Total number of hours (equivalent to about seven months) to plan and mount the

30,000

Expected attendance across the 15-day exhibition

40,000

Square feet of exhibition space across 5 zones - about the size of 8½ NBA basketball courts



 

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