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Monday, Jul 21, 2014

Travel, Singapore

Follow the Marina Bay Sands Art Path

The Straits Times | Monday, Jul 21, 2014

SINGAPORE - Walk along the lily pond at the ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands and you will see a newly installed artwork rising from the water.

Sky Mirror, consisting of a 2.9m-wide circular mirror with a concave surface, reflects the iconic lotus-shaped museum.

The 1,800kg artwork, made of stainless steel, was created by internationally acclaimed India-born British artist Anish Kapoor, and unveiled on July 7.

It is the latest addition to a collection of artworks that forms the Marina Bay Sands Art Path.

The path now comprises 11 large-scale art installations from internationally renowned artists such as British sculptor Antony Gormley, Chinese artist Chongbin Zheng and American artists Ned Kahn, James Carpenter and the late Sol LeWitt.

These artists were handpicked by Moshe Safdie, the famous Israeli-Canadian architect behind Marina Bay Sands, in consultation with the integrated resort management.

The works by Israel Hadany, Zhan Wang and Kapoor were chosen by the Marina Bay Sands management. All were selected to complement Marina Bay Sands' architecture.

The Art Path extends from the 23-storey atrium in the hotel to the exterior of the Marina Bay Sands buildings. Each artwork is accompanied by a description of the piece.

The Art Path was launched in April 2010 when the integrated resort opened with eight works: Gormley's Drift; Zheng's Rising Forest; Kahn's Tipping Wall, Rain Oculus and Wind Arbor; Carpenter's Blue Reflection Facade; as well as LeWitt's Wall Drawings.

These were specially commissioned for the Art Path, while the subsequent additions were bought from existing collections.

Said Mr George Tanasijevich, chief executive officer and president of Marina Bay Sands, on the significance of the Art Path: "These breathtaking large-scale installations are part of the integrated resort's response to the Government's call to provide and integrate art in the central area of Singapore."

Kapoor's Sky Mirror was selected as it best reflects the setting of the ArtScience Museum.

The artist has done several versions of it, which have been exhibited at New York's Rockefeller Center and London's Kensington Gardens.

The 60-year-old London-based artist said: "Sky Mirror engages with and reflects the surrounding space, giving the public a kaleidoscopic view of the changing environment of Singapore."

Marina Bay Sands declined to reveal the price of the sculpture. It has invested more than $50 million in the Art Path's artworks so far.

Mr Tanasijevich said that the Art Path is "open to future enhancements should the right opportunity present itself".

He added that it is not about the monetary value, but the artistic value that each artwork can add to the growing public art sphere in Singapore.

He said: "It has to be a thoughtful process where we engage the international artists and collaborate with them to create unique, site-specific works that inspire and excite."

This is in recognition of the increasing prominence of Singapore's art scene in the world.

Tours of the Art Path are conducted for schools by educational non-profit organisation Art Outreach Singapore.

Says Mr Tanasijevich: "Through this journey, our guests can learn more about the creative process and unique characteristics that inspired the creation of these great pieces."

cherylm@sph.com.sg

 


Here are six highlights to look out for on the Art Path.

Sky Mirror, 2010
Anish Kapoor
Location: Lily pond at ArtScience Museum

This reflective sculpture, which is crafted from stainless steel, gives the iconic lotus-shaped ArtScience Museum a fresh perspective. Tilted at 30 degrees, Sky Mirror creates an optical illusion of bringing the sky and its surroundings closer within reach, through the reflection that one can observe on the 2.9m-wide surface.

Artificial Rock #71 and #86, 2010
Zhan Wang
Location: Lions Bridge

The shiny surface and abstract shapes of these rocks reflect China's constantly growing modernisation. Artificial Rock #71 measures 1.6m long, while Artificial Rock #86 measures 2.3m long. Inspiration was drawn from The Scholar's Rock, a naturally eroded rock that has been a significant feature in gardens and courtyards in China for generations.

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