Wonderland whimsy: This trippy new exhibition takes you down the rabbit hole to the Mad Hatter’s tea party

Fancy a trippy plunge down the rabbit hole into the world of Alice in Wonderland? ‘Cause the world of whimsy awaits come April, when ArtScience Museum opens its doors to a new traveling exhibition. Making Singapore its first overseas stop on a global tour, Wonderland immerses visitors into the adventures of Alice, with interactive installations developed by the Australian Centre for the Moving Image.

Following Lewis Carroll’s iconic character through her escapades in popular culture, the showcase will feature theatrical sets, audiovisual artworks, engaging environments, and wacky props to create the fantastical realm Alice is known for.

Visitors with Lost Map of Wonderland at Carroll’s drawing room, ACMI. Photo: Phoebe Powell

Since her debut in 1865, she has appeared in over 40 films and 30 TV programs, showing up in video games, fashion apparel, music vids, and more. So to bring you behind the scenes, the exhibition will display more than 300 artifacts and objects related to the tale, including first edition books, drawings, original costumes, films, animation, and puppetry. Essentially, you’ll be journeying through the cultural, social, and technological changes that Alice has been through in the past decades.

With inspiration from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There by the British author, the gallery will take you from the story’s first screen debut by Cecil M Hepworth in 1903 to modern-day flicks, charting the progress of special effects through the years. Keep an eye out for noteworthy creations like Lou Bunin’s Alice Au Pays des Merveilles (1949), Jan Svankmajer’s Alice (1988), and the Quay Brothers’ Alice in Not So Wonderland (2007).

Pool of Tears at Wonderland, ACMI. Photo: Anne Moffatt

To start your journey, you’ll step into Carroll’s drawing room and receive a “Lost Map of Wonderland,” which will provide an interactive element to the exhibition. Continue on through the “Hallway of Doors” and get reflective at the “Pool of Tears” before you explore the “Looking Glass House” and end up at the “Queen’s Croquet Ground,” where you can get hands-on with the installation (and yell “off with their heads!” at unsuspecting newcomers).

If you’re not yet enchanted, the classic “Mad Hatter’s Tea Party” will draw you into Alice’s world with a digital projection work that plops you down at the table where empty plates and cups slowly transform into a full feast.

Wonderland, ACMI. Photo: Phoebe Powell


Wonderland is on from Apr 13-Sept 22 at ArtScience Museum.
Adults $16-$19, children and seniors $12-$14.
MRT: Bayfront

This article, Wonderland whimsy: This trippy new exhibition takes you down the rabbit hole to the Mad Hatter’s tea party, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!