Vibrant season dedicated to Frida Kahlo at ArtScience Museum

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Frida Kahlo | ArtScience Museum
Frida Kahlo | ArtScience Museum

ArtScience Museum is hosting a special season that explores the life and work of extraordinary Mexican artist and cultural icon, Frida Kahlo. Titled Frida Forever, the season provides visitors with an opportunity to look beyond the surface of one of the most influential figures in the art world and step into the vivid narrative of her life through two distinct exhibitions and an extensive slate of programmes.

Known for their vibrant colours and rich symbolism, Frida’s works of art capture her personal experiences and reflect on her passions, struggles and beliefs across the decades. Primarily painting self-portraits, she often used her own image to engage with powerful topics, breaking boundaries with her raw and unapologetic depiction of womanhood, pain, death, the human body, and identity.

Frida Forever looks beyond the canvas to trace her life story and pivotal moments that transformed her and inspired her work. Visitors will encounter the many facets of Frida’s life story and celebrate the significant impact she continues to have not just on art, but across fashion, popular culture, feminism and more, even 70 years after her passing.

“As part our Year of Extraordinary Women at ArtScience Museum, we are delighted to announce Frida Forever – a new season dedicated to the life and legacy of an artist who has left an indelible mark on the world. At the centre of the season is Frida Kahlo: The Life of an Icon, an immersive biographical exhibition that celebrates Frida’s life story through interactive installations, cutting-edge technologies, and 360-degree projections.

Laid Bare: Frida’s Inner World is a companion exhibition curated by ArtScience Museum. It takes a more intimate look at the person behind the icon, revealing the way that Frida’s medical conditions helped shape who she was. It brings science into Frida’s story, detailing her medical journey, her relationship with doctors, and the physical conditions she lived with. It is a unique and unexpected angle on the life and work of one of the most extraordinary women of the modern era. Frida made women’s experiences a serious subject for art, but her artwork transcends gender. Personal and profound, Frida’s work commands attention from all audiences – men, women and children alike.

Frida Forever will show how she lived with authenticity, courage, and creativity, encouraging all of us to do the same,” said Honor Harger, Vice-President of ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands.

Experience Frida Kahlo’s life in technicolour

Developed by Layers of Reality and Frida Kahlo Corporation, Frida Kahlo: The Life of an Icon is an immersive biographical exhibition that is making its Southeast Asian premiere at ArtScience Museum. It brings together a unique blend of historical photographs, original films, digital art, and interactive installations that re-create significant moments of her life across eight dynamic spaces.

Also featuring 360-degree projections and a creative space that brings drawings to life, the exhibition invites visitors to experience her visionary world not only as spectators but also as active participants. Throughout the exhibition, visitors will be able to discover her rich lore and learn how her empowering story of perseverance, rebellion and talent placed her ahead of her time.

Revealing Frida Kahlo’s Inner World

Offering a different perspective to Frida’s story is Laid Bare: Frida’s Inner World – a new exhibition curated by ArtScience Museum with the support of Cristina Kahlo Alcalá, the great niece of Frida Kahlo.

It explores Frida’s life through an unconventional lens — her medical history, delving into her rarely seen archives to present an intimate portrayal of her relationship with her body, her medical ailments, and the profound impact these struggles had on her artistic work.

The exhibition includes close to 40 photographs, diary pages, contemporary artworks, and medical records. It includes exclusive interviews with Cristina Kahlo Alcalá speaking about how she acquired these medical documents from the American British Cowdry Hospital where Frida Kahlo spent long periods of time. These interviews will also reveal the person Frida was beyond the persona she became known for.

Additionally, Laid Bare features interviews with doctors and medical experts from Singapore, ranging from an orthopedic surgeon to an anesthetist and a clinical psychologist, who provide contemporary diagnoses of Frida’s medical conditions, discussing the kinds of physical and mental challenges she would have experienced. Through these interviews, as well as a carefully curated collection of archival material, records, and photographs, the exhibition offers a narrative that intertwines the fragility of the human condition with the resilience of the human spirit.

Laid Bare sparks dialogue about the intersection of health, identity, and artistic expression, showing that despite a lifelong battle with chronic pain, Frida Kahlo took great joy in life, had a daring and vivacious personality. and found her own way of overcoming life’s adversities.

Enter Frida’s realm of imagination

Following a serious accident, Frida’s life was marked by periods of convalescence, confined to her bed. These periods in her life form the backdrop for an extraordinary virtual reality experience that will be presented in ArtScience Museum’s VR Gallery for Frida Forever.

Produced by Layers of Reality, Exquisite Corpse allows visitors to enter Frida’s paintings. This VR experience takes inspiration from Frida’s aesthetics, her vibrant colour palette, and the textures of her paintings. Starting from the very place where Frida spent much of her time – her bed – viewers are transported into her room, as if convalescing alongside the artist herself. From there, the journey extends beyond the walls of her room, seamlessly blending computer-generated imagery, 360-degree filming, and specially shot footage to immerse viewers in the dreamlike landscapes and defining elements of Frida’s work.

A tribute to Frida Kahlo

Bringing Mexican traditions to the heart of Frida Forever is an ArtScience Museum commissioned work of Singapore-based Mexican artist and curator, Lidia Riveros. Her flower arch installation symbolises a warm welcome to a home, with vibrant colours that reflect Frida Kahlo’s lively spirit and her deep connection to Mexican heritage. Also etched onto the arch are flowers that mirror Frida’s iconic fashion alongside butterflies that represent Frida’s transformation and beauty despite the adversities she faced in life. Central to the installation is “Frida’s heart”, which represents her enduring influence in having touched the lives of many. This installation stands as a heartfelt tribute to Frida’s enduring legacy.

Hope and Defiance – Frida Kahlo Opening Symposium

On 4 May, visitors to ArtScience Museum can also look forward to a special symposium that will draw them deeper into the intimate yet expansive universe of Frida Kahlo. Frida scholars, fashion curators, artists, and exhibition producers will be speaking at the event as they explore Frida’s artistic practice, ideology and identity as well as discuss her profound impact that extends far beyond the art world.

Speakers include Circe Henestrosa (Curator and Head of School of Fashion at LASALLE College of the Arts), Lidia Riveros (Curator of Mexican Art & Culture), Jordi Sellas (CEO of Layers of Reality), and more. The symposium is limited in capacity and ticketed at $10 per participant.

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