SINGAPORE (12 May 2021) – Videogames take centre stage at ArtScience Museum, in a new major exhibition, Virtual Realms: Videogames Transformed. Making its global premiere in Singapore on 12 June, Virtual Realms is curated and organised by the Barbican in co-production with ArtScience Museum and Melbourne Museum.
Co-curated by celebrated Japanese videogame designer, Tetsuya Mizuguchi, Virtual Realms is a multi-sensorial exhibition that re-imagines videogames as a 21st century artform. The exhibition brings together interactive works by six of the world’s leading videogame developers, who have collaborated with top media design studios to create a series of large-scale, immersive installations.
The game developers at the centre of the exhibition are KOJIMA PRODUCTIONS (makers of the hit game DEATH STRANDING), Enhance (Tetsuya Mizuguchi and team behind Rez Infinite and Tetris Effect), thatgamecompany (authors of the meditative games Sky: Children of the Light and Journey), Tequila Works (the studio that made Deadlight and RiME), Media Molecule (creators of LittleBigPlanet and Dreams) and David OReilly (artist and creator of the games Everything and Mountain). They have partnered with media artists and design studios, Rhizomatiks, FIELD.IO, The Mill, Marshmallow Laser Feast, onedotzero and The Workers to make six new commissions that transport videogames from the screen into the galleries.
“We are delighted to be working with the Barbican in London on the world premiere of this extraordinary new exhibition at ArtScience Museum. Perfectly aligned with ArtScience Museum’s mission to explore the intersection of art, science, culture and technology, Virtual Realms brings cutting-edge videogames into a museum setting. It enables visitors to step inside worlds created by renowned videogame developers. The six newly commissioned artworks at the heart of the exhibition take the form of stunning participative installations. By extending the story worlds, aesthetics and interactivity of well-known videogames into spatial environments, the exhibition offers a different kind of museum experience. It invites visitors to venture on a journey of light, music, contemplation and play, experiencing how contemporary videogames have become a truly 21st century cultural phenomena,” said Honor Harger, Executive Director of ArtScience Museum.
“By creating these exciting new collaborations, Virtual Realms offers game developers a unique opportunity to break free from the constraints of consoles and formal game playing and really push the boundaries of how videogames can be experienced together. This exhibition paves the way for a future where the world of games spills out beyond the screen,” said Tetsuya Mizuguchi, Co-Curator of Virtual Realms and Founder of Enhance.
“Over 20 years since the Barbican launched Game On, it is hugely exciting to be returning to the subject of videogames in such an ambitious fashion. In Virtual Realms, Tetsuya Mizuguchi and the design teams have established new, playful and experimental approaches to contemporary videogames as a medium. Six of the world’s leading game developers have collaborated with cutting edge media designers to create these immersive interactive experiences, celebrating collaboration and creativity across the artforms. My thanks to our co-producing partners, ArtScience Museum and Melbourne Museum and the incredibly talented artists designers for sharing and supporting our vision for Virtual Realms,” said Patrick Moran, Co-curator and Acting Co-Head, Acting Head of Barbican International Enterprises.
Inside the Virtual Realms
Each of the six new commissions is a kaleidoscopic realm driven by a unique theme. The thematic focus of the six virtual realms is: SYNESTHESIA, UNITY, CONNECTION, PLAY, NARRATIVE, EVERYTHING.