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Theo Jansen’s world-renowned Strandbeests land in Singapore

Theo Jansen’s world-renowned Strandbeests land in Singapore

13 large-scale beasts, each with unique characteristics, will ‘beach’ at ArtScience Museum from 23 June to 30 September. 

Wind Walkers: Theo Jansen’s Strandbeests is the first Southeast Asian exhibition of Jansen’s world-famous moving sculptures. Intricately constructed from everyday objects, these magnificent wind-powered machines bring together art, science and performance.  

Theo Jansen’s world-renowned Strandbeests land in Singapore

In the spirit of Leonardo da Vinci, Jansen trained as a physicist, before focusing on art. He has applied his background in both art and science to create dozens of self-propelled Strandbeests that utilise wind power to walk in a startlingly lifelike fashion. They have been exhibited in major galleries and museums around the world, and seen by millions of viewers online. Over the years, the Strandbeests have become popular culture sensations, even featured in an episode of The Simpsons.

Theo Jansen’s world-renowned Strandbeests land in Singapore

Originally conceived as a solution to combat rising sea level due to global warming, the Strandbeests (Dutch for ‘beach animals’) were designed by Jansen to roam the beaches, pushing and piling sand on the shore to form dunes to protect the coastline. Through over two decades of experimentation and development, the Strandbeests have evolved in design and function to respond, interact and adapt to changing environmental conditions to ensure their survival. Their capabilities include storing of wind power, navigating the shore through changing tide direction and anchoring themselves ahead of oncoming storms. 

Theo Jansen’s world-renowned Strandbeests land in Singapore

Presented in four sections, Wind Walkers: Theo Jansen’s Strandbeests begins by charting Jansen’s imaginative vision and the origin of Strandbeests, while unfolding the science behind their unique locomotion, and the creative processes that have driven their evolution. As well as showcasing 13 extraordinary Strandbeests in Singapore for the first time, Wind Walkers features films, prints, artist sketches, and prototypes, an immersive environment that recreates Jansen's workshop, and interactive educational activities for all-ages that explore the creativity of Jansen's engineering.          

 

Theo Jansen’s world-renowned Strandbeests land in Singapore

Meet the Beests

Wind Walkers presents different generations of Strandbeests, classified into time periods similar to geologic eras, with each Strandbeest having a Latin name reflective of its characteristics. Notable Strandbeests on show in Wind Walkers include the massive Animaris Siamesis, which weighs over 200kg and has 72 legs. It is the largest Strandbeest Jansen has made. As its name, Siamesis (Latin for ‘twins’) suggests, it has two bodies anchored onto each other for stability. At the other end of the scale is the small and mobile Animaris Ordis. It moves with the wind generated through its sails and can be pulled along beaches or across gallery floors. Ordis is one the most versatile Strandbeests and functions as the walking unit of several other larger Strandbeests.

Theo Jansen’s world-renowned Strandbeests land in Singapore

(Animaris Siamesis)

Theo Jansen’s world-renowned Strandbeests land in Singapore

(Animaris Ordis)

Also on show is the intriguing Animaris Burchus Primus, which bears an uncanny resemblance to a caterpillar. Unlike its predecessors, it is not wind-driven, but is instead pulled across the beach, or the gallery floor, by hand.

Theo Jansen’s world-renowned Strandbeests land in Singapore

(Animaris Burchus Primus)

Visitors will be invited to walk with Strandbeests in the galleries, during special sessions where the creatures will be “reanimated” by assistants. These reanimations will be held at various timeslots throughout each day of the exhibition.

Theo Jansen’s world-renowned Strandbeests land in Singapore

For ticketing and programme information, visit the Marina Bay Sands ArtScience Museum website.

Tickets are priced at $19 (standard) and $16 (SG citizen) for adults, $14(standard) and $12 (SG citizen) for senior/student/child. 

 

Images courtesy of Media Force, Marina Bay Sands.