SINGAPORE- The next time you use the travellator at the new Bugis MRT station, look carefully at the frosted glass next to you and you might catch a glimpse of Patrick Chia's Ephemeral. His coloured discs at the soon-to-open Downtown line station are visible only from certain angles.
They are part of the Land Transport Authority's Art In Transit programme, which was launched in 1997 to inject vibrancy into Singapore's train network. Ephemeral is one of five new pieces scattered along the Downtown line, the first leg of which opens for service on Dec22. The other new works are at Promenade, Downtown, Telok Ayer and Chinatown stations.
While some of the installations draw inspiration from history and culture, others are focused on the station's architecture or creating an experience for commuters.
Chia, 44, says of his work: "It is about creating a concept that exploits the constraints and opportunities afforded by the architecture space, in which the experience of the work is completed by the passenger and his passage."
The designer adds that Ephemeral is "not meant to be obvious but to engage each commuter at his or her own moment... Some might get it immediately, some might realise it exists only after a few years and some will never know it is even there."
Another artist whose work can be seen on the Downtown line is Ana Prvacki, 37. The Los Angeles-based artist is the daughter of Milenko and Delia Prvacki, whose Art In Transit work Interchange resides in Dhoby Ghaut MRT station.
Ana Prvacki's contribution, Earthcake at Promenade station, is a colourful collection of local kuehs and rocky soil, presented in thin layers which look like a kueh lapis cake. She says: "I was interested in the process of the construction and I was intrigued by the core samples from the site. The visual connection to kueh was obvious and delightful."
While no one disputes that integrating art into MRT stations is a good idea, other artists Life! spoke to were divided on the quality of the works.