Art is understandably outside the domain, and interest, of the common people. Art is generally expensive. It’s either fashionably snobbish or genuinely boring. So, what better way to beautifully and effectively bring art to the general public but to make it interactive? And cool. Fun and cool.
That’s what they’re trying to do (or that’s what we think they’re trying to do) at the Trick Art Museum, located at the Seri Fantasy World, second floor of the Manila Ocean Park (and you thought you’ll only see fish, birds and penguins at the Manila Ocean Park).
Ok, maybe they’re not even thinking about the altruistic purpose of bringing art to the people. Just like any business venture, this could be all about the entrance fee. But even so, the fee is still reasonable at P150 per head (kids below a 2 feet in height go in free). Let go of one burger meal and you’re all set for a short trip, but surprising fun trip to the Trick Art Museum.
It’s a good thing that entrance to the Trick Art Museum is at the far end of the main entrance to the Manila Ocean Park. The field trip crowd alone, with almost a hundred tour buses lined up like necklace pendants at the parking lot inside and spilling into the streets outside, clogged the main arteries of the venue. Brace yourself for the disorienting noise and the hive of unbridled energy from kids running around (and adults running after them).
At the other side, past the entrance to the penguin exhibit and the bump cars, is the escalator leading direct to the Seri Fantasy World. There are four wings of the Seri Fantasy World, covered by separate entrance payments. There’s the 3D Cinema Plus, Mirror Maze, Kids’ Paradise and the Trick Art Museum. P150 each wing. The Trick Art Museum was our top priority.
The place isn’t much to look at from the outside. We completely missed it during the previous times we visited the Manila Ocean Park. It’s like a bare hole in the wall. Well, door on the wall. Nothing to catch the guest’s attention. No bright, running lights to highlight the entrance, just a painting of a brown, angry dinosaur baring its razor-sharp teeth, which serves as a sampler of the better stuff inside.
Stepping through the door ushers a journey of discovery. Yes, we said it’s some kind of art, one that is meant to be interactive. These are paintings that are meant to appear 3D through your camera lens. The challenge is to check the proper angle, and the best pose, to get an amazing photo effect.
Guests are ushered in facing a binibini on a tree swing, with her food protruding from the border of the painting. at the other side is the statue of a knight, with his hand at rest on his broad sword. There are two kids playing tumbang preso (or tumbang lata?). There’s a serene Mona Lisa with a finger playfully extended beyond the painting frame. There’s a shark jumping off the water, with jaws wide open, ready to devour the passing guests. Defy gravity by doing a handstand while lying down (this will only make sense if you go and try it). On the floor and along the whole stretch of walls in the T-shaped room that is the “museum”, are various paintings with suggested poses. We could go on describing all the paintings, but we believe that would remove much of the fun.
The Trick Art Museum is not a place to silently watch the “paintings”. This is not a place to be tame or stiff. This is not a place to play cute. The Trick Art Museum is a place to let one’s hair down and one’s imagination run free. Look at the paintings, be mindful of the shadows, explore what could be done, imagine how it would look like, and fire away with the camera.
And a camera or some recording device should be in hand, and there should be someone to patiently wait for the pose and take the photo. It’s weird posing with the paintings without a camera and it’s useless to visit the Trick Art Museum with any plan of taking pictures.
So shed some stiffness and embark on a fun 3D journey at the Trick Art Museum. Hit us with a link of your best shot so we could link back and showcase your fine interactive work of art. Enjoy!