2219 :Futured Imagined

2219: Futures Imagined

23 NOV 2019 – 5 APR 20

Step into possible futures of Singapore 200 years from now and explore how our world might change.

This immersive and experiential exhibition is a journey into imaginary future worlds, featuring over two dozen artists, architects, filmmakers, writers and theatre companies from Singapore and around the world.

Throughout 2019, the Singapore Bicentennial has been examining Singapore's rich history since the arrival of Sir Stamford Raffles in 1819 as well as the 500 years before. The Bicentennial not only prompts reflection on the past two centuries but also invites speculation on the 200 years that lie ahead. 2219: Futures Imagined explores the 200 years between now and 2219 - the year Singapore will commemorate its Quadricentennial.

Unfolding over five Acts, the exhibition places visitors in scenarios that explore how our future lives may be impacted by climate change and loss of the planet’s biodiversity. The show provides a contemplative space for visitors to consider the global context that Singapore is part of, and how larger environmental forces will impact our home.

2219: The Participants

The exhibition will feature thought-provoking works by over two dozen local and international artists and makers, including major names in contemporary art and design such as:

  • Larry Achiampong (UK) - with his first major exhibition in Asia
  • John Akomfrah (UK) - with his first show in Singapore
  • Sarah Choo (Singapore)
  • Finbarr Fallon (Singapore)
  • Ho Tzu Nyen (Singapore)
  • Shan Hur (Korea) - with his first show in Singapore
  • Adeline Kueh (Singapore)
  • Zarina Muhammad (Singapore)
  • Alvin Pang (Singapore)
  • Lisa Park (Korea) - with her first show in Singapore
  • Rimini Protokoll (Germany) - with their first exhibition in South East Asia
  • Superflux (UK) - with their first exhibition in South East Asia
  • Robert Zhao Renhui (Singapore)

More names will be announced soon.

The participants of the show will create ‘experiential futures’, immersive installations, theatrical sets, meditative spaces, interactive artworks, films, prints and sculptures that allow audiences to step into, and be part of, possible futures. Together, the artworks convey a future which contains many familiar aspects of Singapore in the present day. Industrial features, such as shipping containers echo Singapore's historical importance as a port. Domestic features, such as the HDB apartment, will be key environments to communicate how the city of tomorrow is being transformed by threats such as climate change. 

Throughout the exhibition, graphics and films which represent scenarios for Singapore's future - such as the development of green-buildings and the expansion of vertical farms - feature as visible symbols of Singapore's continuous process of preparing for the future.


Experience 2219: Futures Imagined
The exhibition is organised into five Acts, echoing the structure of the Bicentennial Experience, From Singapore to Singaporean, at Fort Canning. Each Act aims to immerse visitors in scenarios which show how life may be impacted by changes in the Earth's environment. The five Acts explore how Singapore's society, culture and traditions may evolve when faced with global changes.
Act I articulates some of the worldwide transformations which are already occurring due to environmental degradation – desertification in some places, flooding in others - as visitors transition from 2019 into the world of the future.

In Act II, visitors will step into a possible future located in a public housing apartment set in the midway in the 21st Century. Through cleverly designed interiors and strategic placement of various household items, the apartment enables visitors to experience the lived consequences of climate change, showing how Singaporeans may adapt to a changed environment. This section also includes artworks that show how Singapore, and its neighbouring nations, may acclimatise to a world which is beginning to be reshaped by rising sea-levels, and disruptions to global trade.

Act III explores a possible new subterranean world, created by the necessity to migrate underground. The centrepiece is a detailed speculative architectural proposal for large-scale underground living environment. Singapore's mastery of critical infrastructure is highlighted, suggesting that the island-state is well-placed to adjust to such a dramatic change. Act III also investigates how our relationship with nature may to change, if we moved away from the surface where much of life is sustained. 

Act IV presents a dramatic immersive installation that aims to evoke a sense of urgency, encouraging us to take steps towards environmental conservation to protect all our futures. Visitors are invited to take part in a piece of participatory theatre which explores a future in which the oceans have adapted to support certain marine life, but the planet has become hostile for people.

No matter how dramatically the world around us will change, the qualities that make Singapore unique will remain, as it moves towards its Quadricentennial. The final section of the exhibition, Act V, meditates on how cultures and traditions persevere, suggesting it is through these collective memories, and shared customs, that we will be able to create the links between the past, present and future.

Donate a Book to The Library of Necessary Books

At the heart of 2219: Futures Imagined is The Library of Necessary Books.  From literary cannon to DIY manuals of utilitarian know-how, The Library of Necessary Books is a collection of books that have been lovingly handed down for generations, from the past into the future.

Visitors are now invited to submit books to the Library for display in the exhibition. The Library is accepting donations of books that may hold a special meaning to visitors, or books that donors deem important for future generations of Singaporeans. When they make their book submission, donors are encouraged to write a message that they would like to convey to the library users of the future. The Librarian of Necessary Books will take receipt of the books in special sessions at ArtScience Museum, and curate a selection for display in the exhibition. The first book donation will happen on 21 November, and subsequently on every first Saturday of each month throughout the run of the exhibition. 

2219: Futures Imagined is curated by ArtScience Museum, based on an idea by Alvin Pang, with support from curatorial advisors Annie Jael Kwan and Adriel Luis.

It is co-produced by SpaceLogic.

About  the Partners
Supported by
The Singapore Bicentennial is a prequel to SG50, and is an opportunity for us to look deeply at our history within the context of a wider time and space. In terms of time, our history is a 700-year journey going back 500 years before 1819, and forward 200 years to 2019. 1819 was a turning point in that journey that set us on a new trajectory. In terms of space, we look at our place in the world throughout this journey. We examine how we have responded to, and been part of, regional and global influences and events.
Co-produced by
A one-stop solution provider that specialises in interior, permanent gallery and museum fit-out projects, SPACElogic has built a strong foundation of trust and an excellent track record to deliver high standard services. SPACElogic collaborates with experts from various disciplines to co-create spatial stories, integrating visual aesthetics with technology and functionality to craft out meaningful and engaging experiences for its customers. As thinkers and doers, SPACElogic thrives on ideas and solutions to create enthralling encounters in museums, commercial and artistic environments.