illustration by Shaun Tan

7 December 2013 - 6 October 2014
Free with museum entry

The Oopsatoreum: a fiction by Shaun Tan and friends is an unpredictable and charming exhibition for families where inventors arise from their inventions and creative makings abound.

Oops has the quirkiest selection of museum objects, made up stories for each and everyone, a fictional inventor, a magic lantern show, a working printing press and three spaces where you can draw, write, make or build.

Oops is deemed as Suitable For Anyone Who Has Ever Made A Mistake and has particular appeal for DIY dads, inspired mums and their long suffering offspring

the Exhibition
Behind every enduring innovation lies a vast cemetery of achievement: the world of failed inventions. Award-winning author and illustrator Shaun Tan explores this forgotten world in The Oopsatoreum, a fictional tale of a strikingly original but spectacularly unsuccessful inventor called Henry Archibald Mintox.

The ‘inventions’ you will see are from the Powerhouse Museum collection, but the stories that accompany them were made up by Shaun and some bright young minds from the Sydney Children’s Choir. The exhibition is a reminder that all inventions, no matter how successful, begin as a daring act of imagination.

The Oopsatoreum exhibition brings to life the world of Henry Mintox. A mechanical dog and a prototype laptop messenger are some of the strange devices featured in the exhibition. Also on show are Henry’s personal items, including the 1927 Austin Tourer that he planned to drive to Tasmania and the fat suit he wore to impress his audience at a lecture in the midst of the Great Depression.

Inspired by Shaun’s imaginative approach to Museum objects? Then you can write your own stories and display them in the gallery.

Shaun Tan  grew up in Perth, Western Australia, and now works as an artist, author and filmmaker in Melbourne. Books such as The RabbitsThe Red Tree, Tales From Outer Suburbia and the acclaimed wordless novel The Arrival have been widely translated and enjoyed by readers of all ages. Shaun has also worked as a theatre designer and feature film concept artist. He wrote and directed the 2011 Academy Award winning animated short film, The Lost Thing. In 2011 he received the prestigious Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award in Sweden for his body of work.