Friday, 16 March 2012

The Da Vinci Genius - 12 Mar 2012

The Leonardo Da Vinci Machines Exhibition: 3 Feb 2012 to 15 April 2012 at Mines Exhibition Centre, Kuala Lumpur.
We must give credits to the organiser for bringing more than 70 of Leonardo exhibits to Malaysia. We always know Leonardo as the painter of Mona Lisa and The Last Supper, but little was heard of his "technical" drawings. The interactive and working machines of Leonardo were created by the Artisans of Florence from these technical drawings.  However, we have heard that the response of the exhibition was not encouraging, and when we were there, the place was quite deserted. There was not enough publicity to more appropriate target groups like college and university students especially those pursuing technical fields. Those who have understanding of the technologies or history will better appreciate the exhibits, and the younger ones will not appreciate the genius behind the ideas. We could leisurely cover the exhibits in an hour, making it quite expensive for a family visit (Adult: RM28 and Child: RM18).
Leonardo was dedicated with passion not just in painting, but in scientific studies in anatomy, biology, mathematics and physics.
"Vitruvian Man"
From his exhibits, he was devoted to the study of nature and produced ideas and inventions to solve practical problems of his time and future possibilities such as flying machines and automation.
Theme 1: War Machines
The Tank

Trench Excavating Machine

We saw many exhibits related to machines for warfare. In the 15th century, the Italian Peninsula was caught up in a continual struggle for power, glory and wealth. The city-states were competing with one another in warfare, and Italy city-states were also battlegrounds in the French and Spain conflicts. This could explain why Leonardo has so many ideas and inventions for war machines.
Theme 2: Flying Machines
Leonardo devoted his attention to the study of nature, like the study of flight of birds and bats, he would buy caged birds just to release them and watch the way they moved. He also studied the flow of tides, the nature of waves, movement of rivers, fall of rain etc to find his ideas for his inventions.

Theme 3: Nautical & Hydraulic
Assembling the Arched Bridge

A method to build a lightweight, portable bridge without ropes or iron.

Theme 4: Principles of Mechanics

Crossbow car, a self-moving vehicle, with 3 wheels, a handbrake and a tiller.

Room of Mirrors
If you are standing in the centre, you can see every part of yourself...

The exhibits also included Leonardo's reproduced masterpieces, which made Leonardo so famous even though there's a growing awareness and admiration of him as a scientist and inventor. 

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