“As an actress, I love the fact that the snake kind of represents a shape-shifting symbol, which is something that I very much can relate to—trying to reinvent, rebirth, and create different versions of yourself,” said Alicia Vikander. Of course, the Academy Award winner knows of what she speaks, as she has portrayed everything from a scheming robot in the 2015 film Ex Machina to The Danish Girl’s beleaguered, long-suffering wife.
The ballerina-turned-actress was in Singapore for the very first time to attend the opening of Bulgari: SerpentiForm, an art, jewelry, and design exhibit that gathers various iterations of the snake throughout history, concluding with heritage Serpenti items (some of which date back to the ’50s and ’60s) celebrating the brand’s most iconic piece. All of these were assembled under one roof: the Art Science Museum of Marina Bay Sands. “In Rome, it was only, I think the square meters were 400. Here, it’s more than one thousand—bigger, taller, and more modern,” says Bulgari Brand and Heritage Curator Lucia Boscaini. Items include movie costumes, opera gowns, sculptures, mixed media, paintings, and photographs, many of which were added upon the exhibit’s Asian debut.
The original exhibition was unveiled at Museo de Roma’s Palazzo Braschi in March 2016, and Boscaini had the gargantuan task of transporting the pieces outside of Italy before it goes on to its next stop, Tokyo. “After working on the exhibition in Rome, we realized that the material, the possible content of an exhibition with this topic, is really much bigger than the one we were able to put together. We wanted to enlarge it, as much as possible, especially adding the Eastern culture and artists that were completely missing in Rome.” As a result, 150 pieces are now currently on display, featuring work from the likes of Keith Haring, Joan Miró, Niki de Saint Phalle, Wu Jian’an, Marc Chagall, and Motohiko Odani. Vikander herself seemed to truly appreciate it, as she took her time leisurely wandering around the exhibit hall, a necklace and earrings set from Bulgari’s “Eyes on Me” collection glittering against her tanned skin.