- This event has passed.
Public Art : Outdoor Installations
April 12 - June 6
Art as a part of Singapore’s urban spaces, visible and freely accessible to all. For families and children, an opportunity to discover, discuss and engage with art as life and art as dialogue.
14 new text-based public artworks by Singapore artists – some of which inspired by local writers and literary works – contemplate the multitude of changes, the minute to the tremendous, that have taken place since the onset of COVID-19. Distributed across eight parks spanning east to west, the artworks resemble visual poetry unfurling across the island, awaiting discovery.
Jurong Lake Gardens
Both the pandemic and our recovery is linked to nature. This durational art installation tracks the development of a young tree at Jurong Lake Gardens over 11 months. One side has a textual message and the other presents a sequence of photographs of a growing tree, one to be unveiled every month. The illumination of a new light box, signifies a continuous process of growth and change.
The work celebrates the beauty and simplicity of small changes, our connection to nature and the lesson to take a slower approach.
Try viewing the work from different perspectives! You may glimpse the character “木” (wood/ tree), “林” (woods), or even “森” (forest) from an aerial view.
Composed of 195 timber structures, each stylised as the Chinese character “木”, which translates into wood or tree.
An ideogram, the character illustrates the crown (top), trunk (middle), and the spread of tree roots (bottom). Focusing on man-made interventions and natural elements, the artwork embodies the intimate inter-dependancy between Man and Nature in the age of the Anthropocene – especially crucial in light of the global pandemic.
Symbolising collective strength and unity, it also offers a gentle urging to not lose sight of the forest for the trees – ultimately, we are ‘one’ in rebuilding our future together.
Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park
THIS TIME APART / THIS DISTANCE TOGETHER
LONGING FOR THE SKY / REACHING FOR THE SEA
In the context of the pandemic, the texts direct our attention to this ‘moment’ in time where we are held apart, yet share a sense of longing together, and a reminder of life’s constant uncertainties, desires and hopes.
A site-responsive artwork, the texts are also in dialogue with the elements of the surrounding environment – the apartment blocks, the river, sky, and trees. Together, they suggest a dynamic and perpetual connection to the rest of the city, and beyond.
This installation draws reference to an extract from Fan Fiction, a poem within Singaporean writer Yong Shu Hoong’s publication Anatomy of a Wave (2021), about a generation of music lovers coming of age in the 80’s to early 90’s.
“… out of quarter- / life crisis, hurtling out of doldrums quickly / To grandly enter the dawn of the 90s …”
The line is imprinted onto a larger-than-life sculpture of an audio cassette, with key words redacted, inviting viewers to mentally fill in the blanks based on their imagination. On the B-side, the Chinese phrase “危险机会” utilises the device of code-switching and alludes to how opportunity is often embedded in crisis, speaking volumes about the myriad of possibilities and uncertainties lying ahead.
The prose speaks to the longing of our current generation, who has everything yet is always missing something. It contemplates on what one is looking for in life — could it be embedded right here within our surroundings all along? Could we all be seeking something intangible, yet authentic and real?
Luxus Hill Park & Lower Seletar Park
A typographic work that plays on a perfunctory conversation opener. What happens when we use it with a genuine intention to listen and connect?
A simple question that can lead to a deeper connection that enlightens and uplifts. Words are powerful and a force to be used constructively. They help to spell out emotional complexities, bringing about clarity and relief.
Accompanied with thematic works written by local writer Yasira Yusoff, the work hopes to serve as a reminder to reach out and embrace our shared humanity.
Ang Mo Kio Linear Park
An emphatic cross between a sculpture and a pavilion, BOND is an experential exploration of the evolving interpersonal relationships and social bonds amidst the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Has social distancing created more separations and divergences ? Though more time has been spent apart, the space afforded us during this pandemic has allowed many reconnect with our core – to feel the most genuine in the longest time.
Included in the artwork is a 4-part poem on strength and solidarity. Read as a whole, BOND reflects how we connect in daily life in light of the new normal.
Sengkang Riverside Park
When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.
Two of the most frequently mentioned words during the pandemic are/were anxiety and courage.
This installation is a visual actualisation of the need for a perspective shift in times of crisis. The artwork reveals the words anxiety and courage from different angles, a reminder that there will always be light in darkness, opportunities in setbacks.
The artwork contains networks of multi-hued threads intricately strung together by hand — alluding to shared vulnerabilities and interconnectedness, and the need to walk on together.
A visual manifestation of a poignant line in Singapore author Alvin Pang’s publication What Gives Us Our Name (2011).
It draws on the idea that seeds of hope, aspirations, dreams, power and strength within every individual has the potential to develop into something great, especially now, as the world is experiencing a major reset due to COVID-19.
As regenerative spaces nestled amidst nature, the seed pods carve out room for weary souls to recharge and the experience amplifies the notion that even if one feels tiny and helpless like a seed, one contains the potential to pursue dreams and actualise a life that counts.
Punggol Waterway Park
A site-specific installation on ‘distant closeness’ which we may have experienced with a relative, friend or loved one during recent circuit breaker measures … a rare phone call from a relative or an unexpected delivery of bubble tea from friends and colleagues, or a Zoom conversation that was more focused and memorable than a physical meet-up.
The textual mural, installed onto a 32-metre long wall, uses its length and connectedness as an appropriate metaphor to echo the message of the artwork, and the flow of human traffic becomes a part of the installation.
This ideogrammatic artwork takes its entry point from how the traditional Chinese character ‘間’(jiān) is a composite of the sub-characters ‘⾨’(door) and ‘日 ’(sun or day). As a whole, the character ‘間’ also denotes space or realm.
Symbolising a transition or passageway to a brand new world of possibilities. Be it an opportunity for a new beginning or an obstacle for what lies ahead, the ideogram of ‘日’ (sun or day) depicts the passing of time in a relentless and unceasing cycle.
An outdoor, site-specific installation comprising a poem about migration, restlessness and refuge, accompanied by flags bearing the image of a barn swallow.
This experiential work invites the viewer to pause, view, walk and meditate. Who are we, really? Where have we come from? Where are we going?
Envisioning the public space as our playground, Temporary Escapism emphasises how little doses of the human touch eases us into a new post-circuit breaker reality.
The artwork seeks to remind us of our shared human experience through simple interactions with each other and our surroundings – a helping hand, a ‘pick-me-up’ in this deeply transformative rebirth of our time.
Lorong Halus Bridge
This immersive artwork based on Robert Yeo’s poem Those in Urban Yellow (2012), is set against two different directions of the bridge. The first stanza of the poem lines the vantage point for dawn while the last stanza faces the direction of dusk.
Two sets of uni-PVC drapes, akin to ‘viewing curtains’, bathe the Punggol-Serangoon Reservoir skyline in a warm glow which intensifies and cools off at various timings of the day. Their gently undulating curvatures resemble an impression of nature silhouetted during sunrise and sunset. By nightfall, a subtle glow emanates from LED strip lights coloured with yellow lighting gels.
YELLOW poses an encouragement to people to look beyond today and anticipate a warm and positive post-pandemic future.
All photographs from the NAC Public Art Trust website.