Harry Potter The Exhibition Singapore @ ArtScience Museum, Marina Bay Sands

I’ve been absent from the blogsphere for a while. But do you remember that I had done one wordless wednesday some months ago?

Dadum…

I’m probably in debt with my sister since I die but the point is.. I went there.. hahahaha

Although I’ve been blogging for a while and is quite new to sharing my reading habit online since I used to read and not telling anyone about it, but I’m not a new to being an obsessive reader. That actually accompanied with being obsessive fandoming.

I was probably around 10, when I first open the pages of Harry Potter. I don’t read English books then so I actually wasn’t really interested with thick fiction books. But I borrowed Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and Goblet of Fire from my cousin but it was when I was 13 that I started to get into Harry Potter. I was a paranormal reader (I love Christopher Pike, RL Stine)  and I used to read shapeshifter, vampire and horror story but Harry Potter is probably one of the reason that I became a seriously insane bibliophiliac.

I would spend days and nights rereading Harry Potter that I probably memorize every scene in the book and summarize with the back of my hand. All the seven books. Yep!

But, I’m quite the movie geek too except I don’t really prefer the movie version since naturally, the book is better than the movies but when the exhibition is coming down to Singapore (until the end of September!), my sister decided to spend her birthday on a brief Singapore trip and I’m quite . Asians didn’t have Harry Potter theme park so I guess movie exhibition is quite nice too.

My sis and brother in law got themselves the $24 while I got the $30 ticket with audio rental. RM60+ *wince* but is it worth it?

Okay, since this week is also mark the start of the F1 races in Singapore (I like the science of F1 races… but… I like Olympic better….) so the roads around the Marina Bay is filled with iron fences and some roads were closed and the GPRS had the tendency to zoom at some corners so the brother in law had taken a bunch of wrong turns. The traffic is quite bad too, kinda like Jalan TAR.

But we made it to the north parking. Which is under the Marina Bay Sands Shoppe.

We’re greeted by Hedwig and we went out to this…

This is the floor where its connected to the ArtScience Museum which is  just outside the class door. Honestly, its huge. Like seriously, steel beams and glass huge. Its quite interesting that the curves are concave and somehow look natural and less structured.

Later the afternoon, I heard an American talking loudly with his wife saying “Anyone can do this!” in very loud voice.

-_-

Yeah, dude… the space where you’re standing on should be made into someone home instead of some extravagance boutique mall where it exist to attract trust-fund shopaholics and foreign investors like you into thinking the place is so posh so that you all could vomit money all over the floor. Yeah… I’m bleeding sarcasm….

And we went through the vast hotness unshaded area (the place is really hot in the afternoon. one of the problem with Singapore and the unshaded areas) and found..

http://www.artsciencemuseum.com.sg/harrypotter/ for booking

As you can see… even booking can be quite unnecessary…. but as a foreigner aka Malaysian, we have to pay overpriced stuff so my ticket with the audio rental is $30 and my sister’s and brother-in-law’s $24. If you have Singaporean cousins or what, ask them to buy it for you. I don’t think they check whether I’m Singaporean or Malaysian or anything.

All this time, I’ve been questioning people about the exhibition and ask if it necessary to get the audio rental and people we’re like, “if you want to get it, get it” and “its nothing much” and stuff.

And here I am, saying. You should get an audio rental. Like seriously. You should.

Once you went to the underground floor, you’ll be greeted by…

Actually, it will be more lovely had the Mr Weasley car was bashed by the Whomping Willow… and you should be TOTALLY camwhoring like I do in this area since this area is the only place that you can capture anything with your camera.

I don’t know why I’m  mischievously posing with my Kindle.

I kept rearranging my hair all these time btw… there’s a sorta-cute owl with Gryffindor tie over the exhibition bunting. Its actually pretty bad looking but if you really want it, you should get it at the end of the exhibition shop.

At this section, there’s two table next to this, one is exhibition guide book seller which cost one ticket with audio rental and the other table is the audio rental guy which you give your second ticket to him.

The exhibition guide book is actually a collection of pictures in the exhibition. You can’t take any picture inside so they’ll ask you to pay for it with the guide book. If you have $SGD 30 to spare, feel free to get them but do wait until you go to the shop.

And do you remember the part where I said ‘start camwhoring’?

Remember this from Philosopher’s Stone, Ron’s “Knight to H3” Scene? You better!

Seriously, people just walk past it. Jezz.. its a scene where Ron sacrifice himself for Harry. Dude! *roll eyes*

And yes, at this point, I’m starting to be possessed with my 13 years old Harry Potter fan-girl self. Actually, Rupert Grint is my age (clue to you kids : Most original Harry Potter fans are adults now. Deal with it.). So it does make sense for me to geek out. Right?

And then I saw three shining face up in the air…

Sigh… our youth…

We took our group pictures, with my niece and Saiful wearing Gryffindor scarves while me and Eida wears the Ravenclaw scarves. The woolen scarves seems scratchy. So… I don’t think I want them anyway. Its overpriced in the shop. Later about that.

We were made to wait in this corner with the movie posters collection from the first to the last movie. My sister made a comment about the Half-Blood Prince being the only movie that Daniel Radcliffe didn’t have others around him. Actually, they have individual posters, including Ginny. (yes, again, fangirl trivia from me)

This is where I said to my niece, “When you’re growing up, you’re gonna have Harry Potter movie marathon with me!” Because now, we’re pottergeeks. Okay?

I didn’t actually realize the camera have lowlight setting, hence the blurry part of the pictures.

The entry point is quite cool you know. The have these light projecting “Harry Potter The Exhibition” on the smoke-mist and the letters shine up. I should have recorded it to make a gif but I know it wouldn’t show up in low light situation so… there’s my description. Cool.

This is also the part where the guide told us “No camera allowed” and thus the DSLR-weilding people started to frantically capture picture of themselves. Sigh… amateurs.

Actually, you can get to see some part of the exhibition in the official site gallery, here  —> http://www.harrypotterexhibition.com/images_gallery.php

DISCLAIMER : I’m including the pictures from the gallery into this blog but the rest of the pictures in this blog is not mine! .But its hard to be descriptives about the exhibition without any visual aid. So, I’m giving you a glimpse of what you’ll get.

But if I saw MY picture in someone’s blog. I would get mad. Especially if you crop out my face or something. Like seriously, dont. Or I’ll send dogs after you.

So at the start of the tour, we are being guided by a person speaking in Harry Potter-British and guide us to a sorting room. The sorting guide actually ask the seater if what they want to be. So if a kid wanted to be a Gryffindor, she will be. And I volunteered myself and I had a blank moment on the seat. Jeez… people are looking at me.

The woman ask where I come from and I said Malaysia and she asked me where I came with and I had a blank moment. My mind conjured the floo powder scene and I was debating in my head *how to say that scene ish.. f…* and I noticed a heartbeat passed and the woman said something about sorting house and I said “….. sorting hat?” and lol.. .the guide laugh and said “do you mean the flying car?” and I said “maybe? *insert my usual shrug*”.. and there we’re people staring at me… jeez

…I’m so goddamn lame… anyway..

Sorting Woman Guide : So what house do you think you should be in?

Me (inner conversation: Gryffindor? … overused……. Hufflepuff? … urgh no…. *insane moment* Slytherin? would be interesting… flash blue scarf..) *and what came out was*  : Ravenclaw.

Sorting Woman Guide : Ravenclaw is it? *cue to the operator*

Leslie Phillips aka Sorting Hat voice : *something about bright mind and stuff*.. better be… Ravenclaw!!

and claps and then we’re sent to the other room which the probable hydraulic door open to a dark room with several concave LCD screen which shows some scenes from the first book to make it like we’re in a train ride. Which is lame -_- and never real, so I played with Amni who was wide eyed with the darkness and sounds and I make chugga chugga sounds and she squeals and happy stuff. BTW, Amni is cool the whole time and haven’t been cranky much. So proud of my niece.

So the door opened and I saw the Hogwart’s express replica and Sirius Black poster and said to my sister : “They should put a LCD screen so they could loop the picture and make it more real.” like this!

We’re ushered to a room where I saw pictures from the Hogwarts, only a couple is moving and the fat lady is from the third movie. Since I have the audio thing, I press the numbers supplied and the audio commentary played in my ears and I listen to it more closely than I read the labels supplied with the exhibition items.

Frankly, the audio thing is worth getting because the whole exhibition is not guided by anyone. Only the exhibition staff will observe you and reprimand you if you try to take photo or touch something. So thats the problem with the no-audio thing.

The whole exhibition is quite small actually, but with enough items to pique interest in any Pottergeeks heart. A lot of people in my group just glance several stuff and move on and me and my group were left behind (especially since I was listening to the audio which took time.) That’s the problem, with people who complained that the exhibition suck. You don’t stay and look. You miss a lot of it actually.

On the Hogwart’s Castle pictures and potraits, the audio commentary explained about how Hogwarts was more than a hundred years old so it need to be old and stuff. But it didn’t actually talk about the pictures I think, and probably explained the setting in the movies instead.

Here’s the thing about the exhibition, it actually very detailed on the costumes, the creatures, and props from the movies. Why I said its pretty limited is that considering there’s EIGHT movies there’s only small bit of stuff they’re lending out. But you could see all the money from the earlier movies really helped with the quality of the props.

Costume

I’m surprised that a lot of the main cast’s clothings from the earlier movies is very costumey. I guess, the filter did really tone down the clothes since some of them is quite uncomfortable. Wool, thick, hard and stiff. I can imagine why the three of them is very willing not to associate themselves with the movies. There’s the bed from the  Gryffindor dorm scenes which reminded me that Pulai Spring’s bed look and is more comfortable. And all seems painfully costumey. The trio clothings is very yawn-worthy. The only thing interesting is the Quidditch team uniforms.

There’s Krum, Harry and Ron’s Quidditch uniform and Madam Hootch’s uniform. There’s a Cedric Diggory uniform too and I was like, dude, I’m in the room with Edward Cullan’s old Quidditch uniform. (I’m actually waiting for somebody to yell and puncture my eardrums) But it is weird because the fourth movie is without a Hogwarts’ Quidditch game so why make one? Probably its the Cedric uniform in the third movie but one can imagine how a Twi-hard would react to it.

But don’t be sad, the adult actor’s (Alan Rickman, Helena Bonham Carter, Micheal Gambon, Maggie Smith etc) doesn’t really look costumey at all. In fact, I was starting to get fascinated with the costume when I listen to the audio commentary from the french costume designer talking about Helena aka Bellatrix being crazy and sexy and the designer embodies it in her Azkaban prison uniform. Like dude, I’m looking at the sack and was like, it being worn by Helena Bonham Carter.

In fact, I was like… *hand reach* its being worn by *insert name*…. every single time.

The Bellatrix Lestrange black dress is without a commentary but I was like… “I want that corset” its actually embedded with filligree and a mix of black silk and chiffon and thin cotton and “Helena is taller than me… A_A” damn.. I’m geeking out.

I never actually realize Alan Rickman’s black cloak is the same one since the first movie. Its actually very similar to the black jubah suit tuxedo. The button is huge and I never actually notice it. But I still geek out, “the great Alan Rickman” wore this… A_A

I was stunned by Black Baron’s costume. Its actually really fascinating upclose. Remember the shimmery thing on kid’s clothes and a bunch of lace and velvet. Like dude, that ghost costume have more character than the Hogwart’s students stuff…… ….. I’ve figured. Boarding school.

There’s also the Durmstrang Institute’s Krum’s woolen uniform and Beauxbatons Academy’s Fleur thick woolen blue uniform. Its really well cut btw.

There’s also the famous pink costume AKA Prof Dolores Umbridge. I smiled when I see a section of her with cat noises in the audio commentary and the designer saying something about putting shades of pink into her and sinister things. I actually do watch the fifth movie’s commentary with Imelda Staunton. Its very funny when the actress first saw her costume and the shocking pink.

There’s also Hagrid’s giant costume. I was like umm… huge… garrrr…  I was tiny next to the thing. There’s the norwegian dragon egg on the table and there’s a “Please Sit” Hagrid’s sofa which is pure leather and wasn’t ‘used’ at all. I’m surprised at the well maintenance it is.. probably they have a lot. And pretty comfortable too. I want one.

There’s also the Weasley twin’s school uniform. Its at the corner to path that leads the other room and left forgotten 😦 aww Fred and George.

There’s a small section with the seventh movie’s Bill Wedding’s stuff and I saw Emma Watson’s red costume and it really look costumey. Radcliffe’s and Grint’s suits is never look pleasing as usual including Luna Lovegood’s bright yellow costume.

There’s also a section for the Goblet of Fire’s Yule ball which all of the costume is displayed including Harry, Ron, Patil’s, Cho Chang, Edward Cullen’s (uh… Diggory),  Krum and Hermione’s, and Fleur and stuff. Cho Chang’s dress is like half cheongsam and half dress and I was not really impressed upclose, its satin but my own baju kurung is more well embroideried than that.

I was looking forward to Hermione costume which I took great note to the details. Its actually pink-violet, and the flowing thing is made of the hard chiffon which is very like one of my blouse. Its cut criss-cross with a bunch of satin being sewn to make a gown. the chiffon is sewed between the satin. Its really pretty cut but I’d expect more… etheral thing… sigh.. movies editors. The french designer commentary talk about the dress being hard piece to work with, especially with the sewing and making sure Emma doesn’t look like a woman but more like a girl. I guess it is a hard work to make a growing teenage looking like a girl.

There’s also Dumbledore’s Yule costume, including Minerva’s. Its included with their professor robes and other formal robes. There’s also displayed the Yule taj mahal lamp thing and the commentary said something about putting the set in silver and stuff.

There’s also the costume for Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) and Tom Riddle (Christian Coulson). The audio commentary said that for the birth of Voldemort in Goblet of Fire, his costume need to be light and airy. Something metaphoric and I saw its shone, like golden green or something. Its chiffon silk I guess… there’s no other Voldemort costume besides the Senior Prefect badge Hogwart’s Slytherin uniform. I’m quite disappointed by it btw.

Props : Wand

A lot of the wands are uncommentaried and are kept behind box glass. So I kind of press my face against the glass to look closer and no one seems to mad at me doing it so I kept doing it. There’s a worth noting that James Potter’s wand is like spiderman’s wand. There’s also starry wand, fish rune wand (I think its Ron’s), intricate fillegeries, Tonk’s wand, Elder’s wand, Harry’s wand, Voldemort’s wand, Draco Malfoy, McGonagal, Hermione’s, Belatrix’s wand (which is huge, surprisingly) and her small intricate knife which is hand carved, actually everything is hand-carved.

There’s also a section in the gift shop that sells these want which is largely overpriced but is interesting if you need something partially authentic.

Props : Monsters, Books, Glasses, Deathly Hallows and cursed objects and stuff.

There’s a table with the Mandragora thing which you lift it up and the Mandragora shrieks. Played it with Amni and its sorta fun. Kid’s zone. Wish the things would move its limbs around.

There’s a section in the exhibition which is dark and gloomy and is filled with creature’s from the movies. Centaurs (one of them is blue lighted and my sis were like “Avatar!”), Aragog the Acromantula, the Thestrals, BUCKBEAK!, the Pheonix and most importantly…. The Hungarian Horntail Dragon. There’s an audio commentary on it talking about how they have to create a real life sized version of the dragon to make the CGI authentic, they carved the dragon and painted it on before scanning on the computer. The spikes are really sharp and pointy. And I was extremely captivated by the size of it. Awesome.

Aragog is quite smallish than I’d remember but it did give me freaks. I didnt look at it close enough because it does look real in the dark especially with similar tarantula hair…. brrrr…

There’s also Dobby and Kretcher. I didn’t listen closely with these two but I do notice the sculpture of it. You may think its CGI but the dolls are very eerie real. The skin does look like a gollum including the vein, the thin muscle, paleness, the wrinkles, the translucent quality of the thin skin in old people. Its hard to notice these on camera but they really did great job on the props. (The right one is Helena Bonham Carter’s Bellatrix costume. The left is Gary Oldman’s I think but I didn’t notice it…)

Books. I love books. In fact, there’s History of Magic, ALL Gilderoy Lockhart’s books including his narcissistic interview, the Umbridge list that Harry wrote in blood, the book on Dumbledore, the Quibbler which is real magazine btw, Madam Rosmerta’s interview books, Harry Acceptance letter, his Marauder’s Map ($SGD 60!!!!), Books of Monsters. Glee!!

There’s also Professor Slughorn’s potion part of the exhibition. Its quite uninteresting to me except for the bezoar in one of the glass box.

Remember the scene in Divinition room (there’s Emma Thompson’s Trelawney costume too) and there’s the crystal ball in a glass box. The commentary said that when Hermione push the glass ball off the table, they wanted to make it sturdy so they make it out of rubber and then they dont want it to bounce so they created a way that make it roll and stuff.

There’s also the Death Eater masks in the Dark Art’s area. There’s a scene in one of the movie with a bronze mask and cloak. Its actually carved with fillgeries. It’s so beautiful in sinister way. The other side *see above* costume in Death Eater scenes in Goblet of Fire (with David Tennant) have a commentary about the skull mask which they casted it, put something, plate it silver or copper and aged it. They really do put a lot of stuff in minutive details.

There’s also things from the Hogsmeads and Fred and George Weasley’s shop. Love potions and stuff.

There’s also the Philosopher’s stone (which the gem look fake btw) and the wardrobe with the Boggart, the huge jack in the box and I really want to see the costume with Snape in dress. I am that sadist. There’s also Dementor which I just walk past since its less scary even with black chiffon flowing.

There’s a section in Quidditch where you can play with the Quaffle. I was holding my own bags so my aim was off and then I tried it again and the thing have sensors and it “ding” and if you goal enough, you’ll hear the speaker cheer you on. Since everyone in the group just walk through the exhibition, we’re left behind to play with the Quaffle. Me and ida was like, yay~~~ run around the empty room since its just us (and probably shadowed by the museum guide). Which is fun when you are like; listening to people cheering and you bow down and stuff. Wacky geek stuff I know. There’s a glass box with Nimbus brooms but I want to see Firebolt -__-

And there’s the scene where Draco give a cursed necklace to Katie Bell and its green and its displayed far from me and I didnt get a good look.

Remember the Time Turner in the third movie. Its actually really pretty. The sell it in the gift shop, so if you have money, get it.

And the sword of Gryffindor… I really want to look it closer. But the thing is nailed to a wall… sucks.

Props : Horcrux

The diary in ‘the Chamber of Secret’ is quite fake actually. Even with the hole and ink spatter. Shouldn’t it be like pliable like moleskin?

The cup of hufflepuff is golden and yellow which does look like a prop.

The diadem is gorgeous. The ‘diamond’ really did sparkle and there’s english inscription on top of it which I couldn’t read because I couldn’t press my face closer..grrr.

I saw the necklace and I was like surprised that the thing is huge and the outer side is actually glass cut into several sides. The commentary said something about showing Voldemort different facade of persona to the necklace. (I was like, umm, the Slytherin necklace existed for thousands of years, why create with the thought of Voldemort?)

and as for the other 3 horcruxes….. -___- why you ask me again. go read the book la…

Props : Hallows

I didn’t actually saw Harry’s cloak of invisibility 😦

But I do see the Elder’s Wand and the stone. On closer look, the stone is actually crystal but im not close enough to see the Hallow sign in it. its actually have facades like the Slytherin necklace with the same material too. I touched the generic version and I quite like it.

The Elder’s Wand is just as weird looking as in the first time I saw the wand on Dumbledore’s hand. Its a twig actually. Its uncarved but polished. It made me remember my grandmother’s stool. Very old fashioned and something.

End of Exhibition : Gift Shop

There’s actually a lot of stuff in the gift shop. Unfortunately its very expensive. The only cheap thing was the $6 Berty Bott’s Every Flavor Beans. Everything was highly priced. And I’m just talking in MYR term. Initially I want a keychain but its really expensive $12, and the sticker too and I thought, “I could get all these in KL” so I didnt get them.

I saw a tonne of shirts and scarf and tie and stuff which is very… very.. uncharacteristic of me to get them.

There’s also a very huge Marauder’s Map which is $60. Its real and heavy but… like I said, RM120+.

There’s also Hedwig’s plushy which is not cute looking. I want a real owl.

There’s small broomstick which is $30 or $50? Ugly as hell too.

The gems of this shop are definitely the necklaces. If you have money to burn: get Time Turner’s and Slytherin’s necklace. Which is the honest replica of the real things.

The Time Turner is gorgeous and you can really turn the thing. The Slytherin necklace is a locket with green velvet inside and open to two sides with a green gem S and facade of hard purplish glass. And its $SGD100 each… sigh.

There’s also $360 piece which is consisted with REAL film reel from the scenes in Harry Potter. There’s a bookmark with such scenes at $20 I think so I’m not sure its real negative but if you have money to spare.

The group pic is expensive too.

People really want us to vomit money in there. They should just display the whole collection of books too.

But I got myself the $18 Harry Potter Exhibition Journal and I’m quite pleased than the $12 bookmark I’m going to get. Another clean journal to fill with my writings. (What do you expect from me? Of course it will be something bookish)

So is the Harry Potter Exhibition worth it? If you go for audio rental and if you are a really hardcore fan of Harry Potter, it really is an enjoyable exhibition.

I have great deal of fun, inspired by the costumes and the sculptures. The live-sized dragons is captivating as it does with the huge chess piece with arms held backward to attack. The costumes really made it realistic and I do get the sense of hard work in every piece made from the movies.

I wish there’s a section about the CGIs breakdown, the spells and the mechanical stuff that they do (like the robot doing knitting in movie 2), which the prop people explain things in the “Making of” series.  I wanted more commentaries on the wands especially with the details and stories beind it. Why Ron’s wand have fish runes and etc. I mean, its magic, it should focus more on the magic things. There are no commentaries on the egg which is gorgeous btw. The egg from Goblet of Fire is engraved with details and its sad that I could only see it from afar.

The exhibition will end in 10 days so if you have sometime off, especially Singaporeans, you should just go. Doing a marathon of all the movies will help too.

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