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Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Van Cleef & Arpels - The Art & Science of Gems Exhibition @ Art Science Museum, MBS

6 Bayfront Avenue, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore 018974
Tel: 6688 8888
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marinabaysands

Opening Hours
10.00am to 7.00pm daily
This exhibition is available from 23rd April to 14th August 2016

Admission Fees:
Adult:  SGD$10.00 (Singaporeans & PRs) / SGD$17.00 (non-Singaporeans)
Child:  SGD$6.00 (Singaporeans & PRs) / SGD$10.00 (non-Singaporeans)
Student: SGD$8.50 (Singaporeans & PRs) / SGD$12.80 (non-Singaporeans)
Senior Citizen: SGD$8.50 (Singaporeans & PRs) / SGD$12.80 (non-Singaporeans)
Family: SGD$26.00 (Singaporeans & PRs) / SGD$39.00 (non-Singaporeans)

Something dazzling has come to town and got me all excited - Van Cleef & Arpels: The Art & Science of Gems exhibition at MBS Art Science Museum, with the participation of the French National Museum of Natural History.   A beautiful and enriching exhibition that allows us to explore the science of mineralogy and art of crafting the finest gems and jewelry. 

It was a weekend and the queue was super long, so instead of waiting in line, I stood by the side to make an online purchase on the spot, and collected my tickets within 5 minutes.   There are 9 galleries in total, featuring both the stunning jewels and the minerals behind them.

Gallery 1 - Masterpieces

An overview of the exhibition and Van Cleef & Arpels, showcasing the signature Bird Clip and Pendant, made up of white diamonds and a 96.92-carat briolette-cut yellow diamond formerly owned by Polish opera Singer Ganna Walska.

Gallery 2 - Couture

Ah yes, so many beautiful objects in cylindrical display cases, turning the darkened showrooms into a magical vault lit by the glow of jewels.  It is where we witness fabrics being transformed into incredible jewelry, white ribbons and lace are embellished by gold weave and precious stones.  This gallery also features mineralogy and gems.

Gallery 3 - Abstractions

Another collection of  nonfigurative jewels influenced by the art of their times, a collaborative theme with The Maison - forming a tribute together to the avant-garde, notably the minimalist, modernist, abstract and op art movements.

Gallery 4 - Influences

A fascination for Far Eastern culture swept over Parisian jewelry in the 1920s, inspiring new designs featuring heavy trend of exoticism.

Gallery 5 - Education

Several entertaining and informative activities and display shelves are showcased here to further enrich our minds and broaden our knowledge on gems and minerals studies.  There's also a hexagon table for making one's own paper gems - so families with kids can be sufficiently entertained.

Gallery 6 - Cinema

Get behind the scenes through these short films to witness Van Cleef and Arpels'  Mains D'Or - virtuoso craftsmen from the workshops and indulge in their secrets of jewelry design and making.

Gallery 7 - Precious Objects

One of my favoritest galleries within the entire exhibition - utilitarian objects being raised skilfully by Van Cleef & Arpels into precious works of art, such as the Model of the Varuna Yacht and the Wild Rose Minaudiere (day and evening bag dating from 1933), the latter containing everything a lady might need on all occasions in compact and artistic form.

Gallery 8 - Nature

Nature is a major source of inspiration and theme for the Maison since its foundation - delicate flowers and blossoms and animals (real or imaginary) have all been created in luxurious forms. 

There is a hologram flower at the entrance of this gallery that is easily missed by most patrons. I was asked to grab it so I reached my hand out and touched thin air. This was beautiful and interesting - the boys guarding the gallery even joked that if I could grab it, they would let me bring this baby home.

Gallery 9 - Ballerinas and Fairies, Icons

Another favorite gallery of mine - this one contains many striking feminine theme, the ballerinas born out of Louis Arpels' passion for dance, and these jeweled figures won hearts easily with the grace of their postures and beauty of their costumes. 

It was tough coming around in a circle and completing the tour, after having been bedazzled and mesmerized by the utterly breathtaking jeweled works of art; I went in for another round, to catch up on some favorite items.  This exhibition has been very educational, totally worth every single penny and second, as well as any collector's wildest dream come true.

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