Find out more about the endangered species in Southeast Asia, what it’s like being a ranger, and do your part to save an Indonesian rainforest at the new Into the Wild exhibition at Singapore’s ArtScience Museum
Did you know that Indonesia loses forested area the size of 13 football fields every minute due to deforestation and illegal logging activity? In a bid to conserve the Central Sumatran rainforest, called Rimbang Baling, corporate giants such as Google and Lenovo have worked with the World Wild Life Find Singapore to create an interactive exhibition, spreading awareness of nature conservation through art and technology.
Available for free for all museum visitors, the immersive experience takes you through a lush, rainforest world using the latest in smartphone augmented reality. On top of that, you can do your part for the environment by pledging to plant a tree. Here are some things you’ll get to do at the exhibition.
1. Experience the latest in smartphone augmented reality technology
Each guest is given a Lenovo Phab 2 Pro smartphone to use for the duration of the visit to the exhibition. With Tango’s augmented reality technology, it acts as a personal guide, using motion tracking, depth perception, and area-learning to map a lush, 360-degree rainforest world onto the spatial configuration of the museum’s basement floor.
While looking at the device’s screen, walk around the exhibition where you can “observe” animals in their natural habitats, discover new facts, and “defend” natural environments from destruction. Without time limits, you’re free to peruse the exhibition at your leisure.
2. Learn more about endangered species in Southeast Asia
Did you know that a pangolin is poached every five minutes? Besides the pangolin, you’ll also find out more facts about other endangered species of the Sumatran rainforests, including the Sumatran tiger, Malayan tapir, mousedeer, and orangutan, and the plights they face as a result of deforestation.
3. Step into the shoes of a ranger
According to Elaine Tan, CEO of World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Singapore, rangers are on the front line of defense of rainforest conservation. Besides fighting fires, they also place motion-tracking devices to detect poachers in the area. Have a (virtual) taste of what these rangers face on a daily basis at Into the Wild. Starting from base camp, you’ll get to free animals from traps and even help stop a forest fire as you journey through the rainforest.
4. Save the environment by pledging to plant a tree
By the end of the project’s first phase, WWF aims to plant 20,000 trees in Rimbang Baling. Sounds impossible? “Only with collective action can we effect positive change,” Tan reminds us. And that’s where you come in: for every pledge made by visitors, WWF will plant a tree in Rimbang Baling. Located in Central Sumatra, the rainforest is six times the size of Singapore, and an important breeding ground for the critically endangered Sumatran tigers, of which there are only 400 left in the wild.
5. View the works of one of Singapore’s leading visual artists
After exploring the museum’s basement, guests will be guided to Level 4 of the ArtScience Museum for one last treat. There, you will enjoy an immersive, cinematic experience with a film by Singapore’s leading visual artist Brian Gothong Tan. He shares, “By immersing visitors in this animated film, I hope it brings more awareness to the richness and fragility of our region’s natural heritage.”
6. Marvel at the architecture of the ArtScience Museum
Taking place in the basement and Level 4 of the museum, Into The Wild transforms public spaces into a sprawling, virtual rainforest. But don’t feel obliged to keep your eyes glued to the screen all the time! Take a moment to marvel at the high ceilings and spacious configuration of the museum’s layout. The lotus-shaped building is as beautiful on the inside as its façade.
Into The Wild is free for all visitors to the ArtScience Museum. Find out more here.