top of page

Frida Kahlo

ArtScience Museum presents two exhibitions focused on iconic Mexican artist Frida Kahlo

Part of the season Frida Forever, the shows chronicle the artist’s incredible life and legacy


Introduction - Profile

Frida Kahlo was born on July 6, 1907, in Mexico City. Her artwork, rich with elements of surrealism, symbolism, and nature, intimately explores themes of identity, postcolonialism, gender, and class in Mexican society. Kahlo’s paintings are often intensely personal, with her vivid self-portraits depicting both physical and emotional pain while asserting her personal resilience. Before her death on 13 July 1954, aged just 47, Kahlo created around 200 paintings and artworks of which 55 are self-portraits. Through these works, she communicated not only her anguish and passion but also her revolutionary ideas, her love of nature and her deep engagement with Mexican culture.

 


Despite her passing 70 years ago, Frida Kahlo’s story continues to inspire people from around the world. Her distinctive style has made her a fashion icon who has influenced great fashion houses, with Dior recently paying tribute to her with its 2024 Cruise Collection. Kahlo's ability to incorporate her personal trauma into her art has made her an icon of courage and creativity in the face of adversity. The exhibitions and programmes in Frida Forever pay tribute to her enduring legacy and invite visitors to explore different aspects of her story and her impact across the realms of art, fashion, popular culture, and feminism.



The Show

Two fascinating exhibitions celebrating the vibrant and extraordinary Mexican artist and cultural icon Frida Kahlo are set to open at ArtScience Museum as part of a season titled Frida Forever, from 4 May to 1 September. Known as one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, Frida Kahlo defied social norms throughout her life, exploring themes of identity, gender, and politics with raw honesty and intensity.


The Frida Forever season continues ArtScience Museum's ‘Year of Extraordinary Women’ – a year-long celebration of the stories of women who have challenged narratives, defied

expectations, and transcended conventions. The exhibitions and programmes in Frida Forever take a distinctive approach by focusing on the biographical story of Frida Kahlo. Through immersive displays, historical artefacts, film screenings, symposia and workshops, the season provides a deeper understanding of Frida Kahlo not just as an artist but as an individual whose life experiences deeply influenced her creative process.



The season features the Southeast Asian premiere of Frida Kahlo: The Life of an Icon, developed by Layers of Reality and Frida Kahlo Corporation, alongside the world premiere of Laid Bare: Frida's Inner World, which is curated by ArtScience Museum in collaboration with Frida Kahlo's great-niece Cristina Kahlo Alcalá and renowned curator, Circe Henestrosa. Together, these two exhibitions offer visitors a comprehensive look at Kahlo's remarkable journey beyond the canvas.


Despite a life marked by physical suffering which began with polio in her childhood and later a severe accident that caused lifelong complications, Kahlo channeled her experiences into her art. At the heart of Frida Forever, the exhibitions explore the interplay between Kahlo's medical challenges, her exuberant embrace of Mexican culture, her revolutionary zeal, and the passions that defined her life. The season also includes a virtual reality (VR) experience that offers fresh perspectives on Kahlo's artistic imagination, as well as a newly commissioned installation by Mexican artist and curator, Lidia Riveros, that celebrates Kahlo’s cultural heritage and the motifs in her art.



“As part of our ‘Year of Extraordinary Women’, ArtScience Museum is thrilled to launch Frida Forever, a new season about the life of the iconic artist Frida Kahlo. Frida is one of the most well-known artists of the modern era, but beyond her exceptional body of work, the trials and tribulations of her life projected her into the position of a cultural and feminist icon. Within this season, we are taking an unusual approach to exploring Frida’s story, focusing on the intersection of art and medicine. Frida was able to draw on vast reservoirs of strength and resilience to transform her medical conditions into artworks of verve and vigour, and passion and poetry. Her art emerged not in spite of her physical challenges, but because of them. Her portrayal of her own body, laid bare and damaged, transcends personal suffering and speaks to the ability of art to serve as a vehicle for healing and self-discovery. Frida's story draws attention to the often invisible experiences of those living with disabilities and is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit,” said Honor Harger, Vice-President of ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands.


Frida Forever is for anyone who feels different, for those who embrace themselves in any

circumstances, and maintain a love of life in spite of adversity. With this season, we hope to foster tender moments of connectedness and find that little bit of Frida that exists in each one of us,” she added. “I am so excited to see Frida Kahlo’s legacy come to life in this wonderful Frida Forever season at ArtScience Museum in Singapore. I have no doubt that the exhibitions will bring audiences closer to the life of an extraordinary woman and incredible artist. It has been a great have been delighted to work with the curatorial teams involved,” said Circe Henestrosa, curatorial advisor for Laid Bare: Frida’s Inner World.



Frida Kahlo: The Life of an Icon

Making its Southeast Asian premiere at ArtScience Museum, Frida Kahlo: The Life of an Icon is an immersive biographical exhibition that charts the life and work of the artist, journeying through her most pivotal moments from childhood to her physical and emotional struggles, to the life- changing accident that shaped her into an artist with a powerful and unyielding spirit of resilience.


Produced by Layers of Reality and Frida Kahlo Corporation, the exhibition encompasses eight thematic spaces featuring photographs, films, multi-layered technology, interactive installations, 360-degree projections and interactive spaces that bring Kahlo’s story to life. It gives visitors a deeper understanding of Kahlo’s creativity and how she lost so much, yet still managed to love and live.



At the start of the exhibition is The Altar, a tribute to Kahlo adorned with water, candles, flowers, and items representing her life. It embodies Dia de los Muertos – or the Day of the Dead – a Mexican festival where the living celebrate their brief reunion with the souls of deceased loved ones.


The exhibition continues with stories of Kahlo’s childhood, including her plans to enter the medical profession which were derailed by a catastrophic accident when she was 18 years old. On 17 September 1925, Kahlo was riding a bus when it crashed into a trolley car. She was badly wounded, sustaining a broken spine, collar bone, ribs, pelvis, 11 fractures in her leg, and a punctured midsection. From that point on, Kahlo endured long periods of recovery in her bed, and had to had to wear medical corsets for the rest of her life. The exhibition memorialises the accident through a haunting installation called The Instant that freezes that tragic moment in time, revealing Kahlo’s physical and emotional fragility. The Instant uses multi-layer technology and a new approach to holographic video by overlapping layers of projection to give them a three-dimensional effect.


While the near-fatal accident broke Kahlo’s body, it also became the catalyst for her love of painting. As she recovered from her injuries, she began painting and used art as a way of coping with pain and anguish. Her long convalescence is explored in an installation called The Dream by visual artist Jordi Massó and IDEAL. It transports visitors to Kahlo’s bed – the place where she painted a significant number of her works after her accident – and depicts the continuous cycle of life.


Additionally, the exhibition examines Kahlo’s three great passions: painting, political activism, and love. It details her many relationships, including the love of her life, Diego Rivera, whom she married in 1929. While Kahlo’s accident meant that she could not bear children, she directed her love for children into her nieces and nephews, and channeled her affection into taking care of her garden and many animal companions. This story is told in a new themed space developed by ArtScience Museum called The Garden of Love that pays homage to Kahlo’s beloved garden at her home, the Blue House in Mexico. Here, visitors can experience a Mexican-inspired garden filled with images of Kahlo with her plants and animals. Visitors can play a role in tending the garden, decorating it with flowers and contributing their own wishes of love.


The artistic motifs that frequently appear in Kahlo’s art are explored in the interactive installation, Endless Symbology. It invites visitors to interact with symbols from Kahlo’s paintings including flowers, fruit, a hummingbird, and a monkey, which visually represent themes in her life such as her Mexican culture, her marriage, fertility, pain, and death.



At the centre of the exhibition is La Rosita, an interactive space that embodies Kahlo’s vibrant and exuberant nature. It refers to the tavern, Pulquería La Rosita in Mexico, where Kahlo and her students created murals while she was an art teacher. Within this tavern, visitors of all ages are invited to become artists themselves, personalising their own portraits of Kahlo and projecting them onto the walls of the space.


One of the undeniable highlights of the show is the dramatic technicolour gallery featuring Frida Kahlo’s Immersive Biography. This 30-minute, 360-degree experience traverses the life of Kahlo from her childhood to her final days, offering visitors the opportunity to experience her life story, passions, joy and sadness through photographs, films, animation and poetry.


The final part of the exhibition, Fashion Icon, focuses on how Kahlo used fashion and traditional clothing to show pride in her Mexican roots, as well as to conceal her injuries. Kahlo adorned her hair with flowers and wore long skirts to cover up her wounded body, including her shorter right leg – a result of her childhood polio. Her style was so distinctive that she become a fashion icon, appearing on the cover of Vogue in 1937. Her unique approach to fashion is explored in this section through the presentation of six traditional dresses from Mexico developed by women artisans from the state of Oaxaca, who draw upon the Tehuantepec embroidery tradition. These garments are a contemporary counterpoint to the vibrant clothing Kahlo became well known for.


Tickets and Reservations

All offerings under the season Frida Forever will run from 4 May to 1 September 2024. To enjoy exclusive perks and discounts, Sands LifeStyle members can purchase tickets to the various offerings under Frida Forever at all Marina Bay Sands box offices and website. Meanwhile, non- members can also purchase tickets via Fever. Guests are strongly encouraged to pre-purchase tickets online prior to their visit.


For more information on Frida Forever, please visit

Comments


bottom of page