11 Jan 2015 Update: Congratulations to Mandy Ng, Brian Cheung and Amie Hu. Each of you won a pair of tickets to the Da Vinci: Shaping the Future exhibition! Winners will be contacted via email. Thank you. 

I have always been fascinated with the life of Leonardo da Vinci, his creations and how he viewed the world. If I were to name one man whom I look up to the most, he will be the one. For those unfamiliar with Leonardo, he is not just an artist or someone whom one of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was named after.

Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci was an Italian polymath, painter, sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest painters of all time and perhaps the most diversely talented person ever to have lived. His genius, perhaps more than that of any other figure, epitomized the Renaissance humanist ideal. Leonardo has often been described as the archetype of the Renaissance Man, a man of “unquenchable curiosity” and “feverishly inventive imagination”.

I have read many books about da Vinci and studied his artworks. There are many things which are so fascinating about him – that he never received any formal education, but managed to learn so many amazing things on his own; he can master both the arts and the sciences; his writings are in mirrored text; he came up with many the prototypes for many subsequent inventions like the parachute, way beyond his time.

I always wanted my son Asher to learn about Leonardo da Vinci and hopefully, be as inspired by da Vinci as I was when I was growing up. When I learned that the ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands was running an exhibition on Leonardo da Vinci, I knew I have to bring Asher there.

The exhibition features some of the original masterpieces, making their Southeast Asian debut. This is awesome because this will be the first time I get to see da Vinci’s original works.

The Codex Atlanticus - a twelve-volume, bound set of drawings and writings by Leonardo da Vinci, the largest such set; its name indicates its atlas-like breadth

The Codex Atlanticus – a twelve-volume, bound set of drawings and writings by Leonardo da Vinci, the largest such set; its name indicates its atlas-like breadth

Da Vinci: Shaping the Future is an exhibition which explores the life, work, and legacy of Leonardo da Vinci. The exhibition presents 26 original pages of the Codex Atlanticus, da Vinci’s largest notebook, which collects together some of his most important drawings and writings:

Da Vinci's original artworks - no photography allowed, so only took a distant shot

Da Vinci’s original artworks – no photography allowed, so only took a distant shot

It also features six original paintings from the School of Leonardo, including paintings by his students such as Saint John the Baptist (circa 1480- 1524), The Adoration of Saint Roch (circa 1520-1530) and Portrait of a Lady (circa 1490- 1495). These masterpieces traveled to Singapore from one of the world’s great Renaissance museums, Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milan, Italy.

The exhibition in Singapore is curated by the ArtScience Museum, working with the Ambrosiana and in association with the Foundation Cardinale Federico Borromeo.

It focuses on five key domains of da Vinci’s mastery: mathematics, natural sciences, technology, architecture and music. Combining his original works with interactive exhibits, technology, film and art, this rare exhibition offers visitors a unique opportunity to explore da Vinci’s knowledge that has shaped the future beyond the Renaissance period.

Mathematics:

Figuring out how to measure a sphere, through geometrical experiments and drawings

Figuring out how to measure a sphere, through geometrical experiments and drawings

Geometry

Geometry

More geometry

More geometry

Natural Science:

Examing leaf patterns

Examing leaf patterns

Flying

Flying

Parachute and wings

Parachute and wings

A quote on nature

A quote on nature

Technology exhibits:

Prototypes

Prototypes

Gears

Gears

More of da Vinci's inventions

More of da Vinci’s inventions

A weapon

A weapon

More weapons

More weapons

Architecture exhibits:

Building a city

Building a city

Crossbow and bridge

Crossbow and bridge

Wall

Wall

Bridge

Bridge

Music exhibits:

The study of sound

The study of sound

A mechanical drum da Vinci designed to entertain guests

A mechanical drum da Vinci designed to entertain guests

A quote from da Vinci on music

A quote from da Vinci on music

The exhibition is open to the public from 15 November 2014 to May 2015.

As the largest bound collection of da Vinci’s drawings and writings, the Codex Atlanticus offers rich insights into da Vinci’s art, science and his fascination with nature. The pages which will be on show at ArtScience Museum are detailed recordings of da Vinci’s
observations and highlight his approach to interweave connections among different disciplines.

Prototype for a flying machine

Prototype for a flying machine

Centuries before the Wright Brothers pioneered mechanised flight, da Vinci was seeking a practical solution to take to the air, through his studies into the flight of birds. He designed a multitude of mechanical devices for flight. One of the exhibition highlights is a drawing, Mechanical Wing (circa 1490), of a winged device. Modeled on the wings of birds, this drawing forms the basis for the construction of modern aircraft. It is emblematic of da Vinci’s status as an innovator, a modern-thinker and a man ahead of his time.

Interactive games for kids

Interactive games for kids

One thing I like about this exhibition is that there is a great range of child-friendly activities which kept Asher entertained. This ranges from interactive exhibits throughout the route through the exhibition, to take-home activities and creative, hands-on workshops. All family friendly activities are complimentary to ticket holders for the exhibition. Find out more via the official website. There are workshops which adults can attend for free too. 

Building blocks to challenge kids' minds

Building blocks to challenge kids’ minds

Workshops area

Workshops area

In addition, there are free guided tours for ticket holders at fixed timings. I managed to go for one of the Mandarin one. The guide is a volunteer and art enthusiast, brimming with passion and very knowledgeable about da Vinci. The whole tour took around one hour, following which we then took time to explore on our own.

Guided Tour Timings:

English

  • Saturdays & Sundays | 11:30am & 5pm
  • Mondays to Fridays | 1pm

Mandarin

  • Saturdays & Sundays | 2pm & 4pm

Over the course of the exhibition’s six-month run at ArtScience Museum, three of the paintings and 13 pages of the Codex Atlanticus will be swapped at the three-month mark. This is one exhibition which might just be worth visiting more than once when the pieces are swapped! 🙂

GIVEAWAY: 

Good news for Alvinology.com readers! I have 3 pairs of adults tickets to giveaway (worth S$50 per pair) for the Da Vinci: Shaping the Future exhibition.

To win, first, either Like my Facebook page or Follow me on Instagram. Then leave a comment below this blogpost on why you want to win the tickets. Remember to fill in your email address (won’t be revealed to public) or I won’t be able to contact you! Winners will be chosen by mid January.