Into The Deep
By Nina Syahira
June 16, 2015
Visitor reading a wall panel featuring sea animals living 1,000m below surface.
Did you know that more humans have walked on the moon than have dived to the deepest parts of the oceans?
The ArtScience Museum presents The Deep, a first-of-its-kind exhibition in Southeast Asia where visitors can marvel in the sights of over 40 rarely seen deep-sea creatures on display. For an enhanced tour experience, the exhibition is set in a pitch-black environment, reminiscent of the darkest depths of the underwater world.
“It’s really a travel down a remote, distant and unknown realm with a lot of beautiful, stunning or even monstrous things to discover,” described Claire Nouvian, curator of The Deep as well as founder and director of BLOOM Association.
3 out of over 40 curious-looking deep sea animals on display you’ve probably never seen before.
In 2011, Nouvian watched a film with captivating images of sea fauna living up to 4,000 metres below sea surface. Feeling inspired, teamed up with some of the world’s most respected researchers from Monterrey Bay Institute to create an extensive archive featuring the creatures of the great undersea.
A goblin shark on display at The Deep.
It is truly an exciting project to embark on but there were challenges along the way, especially with very restricted access to the deep sea.
“There are very few remotely-operated vehicles or submersibles that can go down. There are less than 10 in the world that can go down to below 1,000 metres and there's less than six that can go up to 4,000 metres or more. Once you've got access, you've got to take pictures. Taking pictures is a real challenge because of course it's really dark and you've only got one machine with a flashlight,” related Nouvian at the press conference.
Each specimen on wall panel display comes with a description in English and Mandarin.
Developing a special presentation technique for The Deep are Stage Manager, Allan Gottini and his father Christophe, Chief Taxidermist of the National Museum of Natural History in Paris, France.
A giant isopod in a display tank.
“We’ve got lots of different ideas where we try to put them in resin but of course resin doesn’t do well with water so that took a year to develop. [Finally] Allan and his father thought of doing a resin cast on the aquarium so that we can attach the strings,” explained Nouvian.
Deep-sea specimens glow in UV light.
One of the coolest parts of the exhibition is Hidden/Depths which is an interactive installation by Australian artist, Lynette Wallworth. 18 luminescent glass sculptures and seven cylinders fill the pitch-black space.
Visitors are given UV torches to find three films of bioluminescent animals hidden in the glass sculptures and deep-sea specimens in the cylinders. Be mesmerised as the room awakens in a soft, beautiful blue glow!
Make your own The Deep souvenirs!
Visitors can also stop by Making Space, an arts and crafts station to create unique memorabilia. Materials are made available there too.
A wall panel explaining the dangers of shark finning.
With the exhibition, Nouvian hopes to motivate everyone to help conserve the world’s oceans. As a fitting conclusion to the exhibition, destructive fishing practices like overfishing and shark finning are highlighted here.
“The most important thing I’d like for people to remember is just the fact that they exist. They’re out there. This is the only opportunity in your lifetime to really see those deep sea animals. It’s almost like you’re diving deep down. That’s as close as you’ll ever get to the deep sea.”
Cool ‘glow in the dark’ merchandise of The Deep at the souvenir shop.
If you’re interested to go scuba diving, join our SAFRA Adventure Club today! Club members get to enjoy other thrilling activities like kayaking, waterfall abseiling and white water rafting!
Get 20% off prevailing admission rates when you visit our local wildlife reserves (Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari, River Safari & Singapore Zoo)!
Looking for a fun day in the sun with the family? Head down to Sentosa’s Palawan Beach and explore the Port of Lost Wonder! Then conclude your weekend with our SAFRA Family Day Out at Adventure Cove!