29Rooms will be making its Asia debut here in Singapore in February, featuring 29 themed rooms such as an all-white living room that visitors can slap some paint around in; an “insomnia room” made of mattresses; and a toilet-focused room that pays tribute to the solace that one finds only in the bathroom.
But it’s not just another selfie attraction – the event, which will feature collaborations with local as well as international artists, aims to stimulate thought and reflection. Each room, an environment with its own smells, sounds and textures, invites visitors to ponder a provoking, open-ended question.
29Rooms’ inaugural edition was held in 2015 in New York City and in following years, the event, created by digital publication Refinery29 and its parent company Vice Media, branched out to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and more cities.
In Singapore, 29Rooms will run from Feb 3 to Apr 16.
Artists who have been involved, and even designed rooms of their own, include Lizzo, Margot Robbie, Jake Gyllenhaal, Emma Roberts, Solange, RuPaul, Janelle Monae and Jason Wu.
Spanning 4,500 sq m at Gardens by the Bay, the theme for this 29Rooms, largely inspired by the pandemic, is Lost & Found. Visitors will enter through a room called the Forest Theatre, where a mystical collection of trees and the scent of bergamot and sandalwood will give them a preview of the event’s signature “29 Questions”.
In one room, called Dora’s Diary, you get to immerse yourself in a child’s view of the world, and even add to her diary under the guidance of local journalling artist Steph T.
There’s a vast Huetopia room, in which Hong Kong artist Desmond Leung will create an immersive sunset experience, and breath work artists and meditation teachers will help visitors decompress.
In a room called Paradise Found, a collaboration with local visual artist Aeropalmics, you’ll get the experience of stepping into a bathroom complete with giant, flying toilet paper and a mirror in which you’ll see a low-pixel refection of yourself.
In the Flag Your Goals room, inspired by laundry hanging out to dry on bamboo poles at HDB estates, you can screen print your own personal goals onto a T-shirt and hang it up.
There’ll also be a Nice To Meet You cafe area designed for people to build relationships – for example, tables come with seesaw seating so that you’ll have to partner up with someone if you want to enjoy your coffee.
And, for the first time ever, 29Rooms will debut an XRoom, a 800 sq m space dedicated to dynamic programming. It will host music acts, DJs, artists, workshops, speakers and F&B concepts including some of Singapore’s most popular restaurants as well as pop-ups by restaurants and bars from around the world.
While the lineup will only be revealed early next year, 29Rooms Asia’s organisers told CNA Lifestyle we can expect a young, female, globally-known A-list musician as one of the XRoom’s acts.
More collaborations with local and international artists will also be announced as the event draws nearer.
While previously, 29Rooms was held over a weekend or fortnight, the Singapore edition will be held over 10 weeks from Feb 3 to Apr 16. The event is wheelchair-friendly.
Standard tickets are S$35 for weekdays (Tuesdays to Thursdays) and S$48 for weekends (Fridays to Sundays and public holidays), 10am to 10.30pm. Children under 13 must be accompanied by an adult. For information on ticketing, including early bird and concession tickets, visit https://www.tickets.29rooms.sg/29rooms-sg-weekend.