In Sub/merged, artist Finbarr Fallon responds to the site of Singapore Art Museum, located in Singapore’s Bras Basah.Bugis Precinct. He draws inspiration from the history of the area to imagine a subterranean city of the future.
The work invites us to turn our attention away from our present-day surroundings to a world where the sky is no longer the limit. This hypothetical city is a reaction to the numerous plot and development regulations in the Bras Basah.Bugis Precinct, including restrictions on building heights due to the many national monuments in the area. Sub/merged presents a thoughtful and compelling argument for developing Singapore’s underground as the next frontier for urban verticality.
Fallon builds on the network of subsurface passages and transit corridors surrounding the site of the Singapore Art Museum, many of which form Singapore’s 2nd deepest MRT station, Bras Basah. The artist has also drawn on the earlier world-building in his 2017 animated film Subterranean Singapore 2065, which proposes large scale underground living in land scarce Singapore.
Visitors are encouraged to activate three digital tunnel portals, by scanning the artwork within Instagram or Facebook cameras. This launches a realtime augmented 3d environment using SparkAR, where it is possible to see beyond the hoarding and into the depths of the tunnels.
The underground city on the hoarding is also populated by thousands of humanoid figures in the form of holographic stickers. The intention was for these to shimmer and flicker as light passed over them to enliven the hoarding. Be it sunlight dappling through the trees overhead, or the passing of cars driving along the adjacent road in the evening, the brief illumination would make it look like the figures were in constant motion across the hoarding.
Keywords: Subterranean Singapore, Augmented Reality, Underground Singapore, Singapore Tunnel, 3ds Max, Vray, Architectural Visualization, Animation, Speculative architecture film.