Curiouser and Curiouser

Janiqueel and Mr C join a strange and whimsical adventure at Vivo City.

‘But I don’t want to go among mad people,’ Alice remarked.
‘Oh, you can’t help that,’ said the Cat: ‘we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.’
‘How do you know I’m mad?’ said Alice.
‘You must be,’ said the Cat, ‘or you wouldn’t have come here.’

Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

“Go there!” Shouted Mr C a thousand times as he careened among the giant lanterns and magical visions that make up VivoCity’s Curious Adventures in Wonderland high atop the mall in the Sky Park. It’s magic! For a month (23 August – 22 September) the rooftop park is transformed into a world of imagination and adventure loosely based on Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the installation offers a cruise through another world far removed from the mundane bustle of the mall below. Mr C’s eyes were as big as saucers below the teacups of the characters at their memorable tea party. 

“Go there!” commanded the young adventurer. And so we did – through five zones of another reality – each capturing the young lad’s awe-struck fancy:

Down The Rabbit Hole (Night)

Down the Rabbit Hole

Alice: How long is forever?
White Rabbit: Sometimes, just one second.

With some justified trepidation, Mr C hesitated before going “down the rabbit hole” as the sign in the shape of a giant pocket watch outside the entrance proclaimed. Full of colourful sparkling festoons of mushrooms, playing cards, and teapots. The White Rabbit is there, lantern in hand, to welcome visitors to a journey unlike any they may have taken before. Confounding illusions complement the aura of magic and wonder in the Rabbit Hole.

The Mad Tea Party Table Close Up (Night)

A Mad Tea Party

Mad Hatter: Would you like a little more tea?
Alice: Well, I haven’t had any yet, so I can’t very well take more.
March Hare: Ah, you mean you can’t very well take less. 
Mad Hatter: Yes. You can always take more than nothing.

Floating precariously in mid-air, a stack of teacups ready to topple, caught the eye of Mr C in the Tea Party Zone. So did the desserts arrayed on a five-meter-long illuminated table. All the zones offer plenty of selfie opportunities, but the Mad Tea Party is not to be missed. Mr C and I were both ready for real desserts by the time we left the mad party.

Tunnel of Soldiers (Night)

Tunnel of Soldiers

When the procession came opposite to Alice, they all stopped and looked at her, and the Queen said severely `Who is this?’ She said it to the Knave of Hearts, who only bowed and smiled in reply.

Enter here and, like Mr C and I discovered, and you are in the Red Queen’s castle. 40 meters long, the Tunnel of Roses lit by sparkling lights and guarded by the Queen’s trusty soldiers, is, like the Queen herself, magisterial and full of wonder.

Pool of Cards (Night)

Pool of Cards

My dear, here we must run as fast as we can, just to stay in place. And if you wish to go anywhere you must run twice as fast as that.

Perhaps no image from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is as iconic as the playing card soldiers. They are here in force and Mr C was duly impressed as he watched them mount the glowing lanterns in the waters of the pool. Given the chance, he would have splashed in and joined the playing card contingent. This is another photo-op that cannot be missed.

The Queen’s Castle (Night) Portrait

The Queen’s Castle

The Queen turned crimson with fury, and, after glaring at her for a moment like a wild beast, began screaming “Off with her head! Off with—”
“Nonsense!” said Alice, very loudly and decidedly, and the Queen was silent.

Already besotted with wonder, Mr C was beguiled by the pièce de résistance of the installation – the Queen’s Castle. Capping off the 6,500 electric lamps and 5,500 meters of fairy lights of the wonderland, the ten meter-tall castle is made entirely of handcrafted lanterns. It’s a sight to behold, and Mr C beheld it with gusto. The giant Queen is there to welcome all to enter and round off their visit to her magical home. 

“Go there!” said the newly-crowned Prince of Wonderland as he left Wonderland and headed for the promised dessert with his mom who was as eager as the boy for a treat and chance to relive the marvellous experience they had just been through.

The Mad Hatter: Have I gone mad?
Alice: I’m afraid so, but let me tell you something, the best people usually are.

With writing and research help from JKJ.

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