|Art path at Marina Bay Sands
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WHEN a world renowned architect handpicks art pieces to be placed in his building, be sure to be wowed by the seamless integration of both stunning architecture and public art.
The new Marina Bay Sands integrated resorts, which opened its doors to the public on April 27, also launched its new art path on Wednesday.
This 'path' is in fact a display of seven large-scale art insallations by five internationally renowned artists, carefully handpicked by world famous architect Mr Moshe Safdie, the designer of the iconic Marina Bay Sands.
These pieces are one of the few art works situated within the property. The total worth of public art situated in Marina Bay Sands is around S$40 million to $50 million and is part of the government's plan to integrate art in the central area of Singapore.
Having looked at 25 to 30 artists over a period of six months, Mr Safdie settled with the works of the five artists "as each of the works resonates in a particular way with the architecture".
The 71-year-old worked very closely with the artists from the conceptualisation and design stage, right through to the final output of the artwork.
The art pieces are not only a visual feast for the eyes, but also play on environmental influences such as water, wind and light to create a dynamic integration between art and architecture.
AsiaOne brings to you our own virtual art path of Marina Bay Sands:
» Space - "Drift" by Antony Gormley
» Fire - "Raining Forest" by Zheng Chongbin
» Water - Ned Kahn's "Oculus" and "Tipping Wall"
» Wind - Ned Kahn's "Wind Arbor"
» Light - James Carpenter's Blue Reflection Facade
» Colour - Sol LeWitt's "Arcs and Circles"
Space - "Drift" by Antony Gormley
One of the most impressive pieces can be found hovering over the atrium of Hotel Tower 1. It is possibly the first thing you see when you step into the hotel lobby.
Titled "Drift", this massive three-dimensional geometry piece was created by Briton master sculptor Antony Gormley, who also worked on the bronze statue installation in New York, titled Event Horizon.
This piece is so huge, it had to be fabricated off-site, broken down into eight "slices" and transported by special container to Marina Bay Sands. "Drift is a symbolic presence in the way humans actually use the space," said Mr Gormley.
Over 100 people worked on "Drift" over a period of one and a half years.
Fire - "Raining Forest" by Zheng Chongbin
Zheng Chongbin's "Raining Forest" is an impressive sight of 83 massive glazed stoneware ceramic vessels occupying approximately 4,000 square meters in the Hotel Atrium.
Weighing in at 1,200kg and measuring 3m tall each, the ceramic vessels of such sizes are rarely made and fired in one pieced.
As such, the artist had to build a customised kiln - the largest in China and the size of a small building - just to create these vessels. He also had to ensure that the fire in the kiln rotated in a certain way in order to create the glaze on the ceramics.
Every vessel holds a tree, and the installation transforms into a canopy of tree seeking to direct the visual tone of the space with an exploration of elemental rhythms.
Water - Ned Kahn's "Oculus" and "Tipping Wall"
The element of water plays a fundamental role in two of the installations in Marina Bay Sand's art path.
The first - Ned Kahn's Oculus - is a large acrylic and stainless steel structure located at the interaction of the retail mall and the waterfront promenade.
Rainwater that finds its way into this 22-meter diameter acrylic bowl will be channeled in a spiral pattern, effectively creating a swirling vortex.
To quote Kahn: "The proposed vortex will create a place where people can reflect on our current relationship with water and its vital connection to our lives."
A field of complex interactions characterises Ned Kahn's "Tipping Wall". It is composed of thousands of tilting channels capturing water streaming down a black, concrete wall.
As a channel fills with water, it tips either to the left or to the right into the channel below it.
Wind - Ned Kahn's "Wind Arbor"
Ned Kahn's "Wind Arbor" was born out of his interest in visualising air currents and experimenting with ways to make the wind visible.
It is cleverly weaved into the imposing architecture - the entire western facade of the hotel atrium - by providing it wind-animated surface which could provide a certain degree of shading without the ongoing maintenance of living plants.
The "Wind Arbor" is comprised approximately 260,000 aluminum flappers mounted on hinges and hanging from a stainless steel cable net structure so that they are free to move in the window.
When the wind slices through these panels, and with a touch of the sun, the result is a shimmering, ripple effect which would reveal an undulating pattern of light and shadows - and in turn the visibility of the wind.
Light - James Carpenter's Blue Reflection Facade
James Carpenter's Blue Reflection Facade seeks not just to transform what is otherwise a plain, monotonous facade, but more importantly the experience for the average viewer.
With its uniquely composed vertical glass and metal fin-like elements suspended in front of a reflective metal panel facade, it effectively creates multiple surfaces of reflectivity and a mysterious sky-like luminosity, hence accentuating the serpentine quality of the building.
Throughout the day, Carpenter's installation shares an amicable interaction with light - both daylight and artificial - to greet the arriving guests and mark their arrival along a serpentine boundary of phenomenal light.
Colour - Sol LeWitt's "Arcs and Circles"
"Wall Drawing #917, Arcs and Circles", conceived by late American artist Sol LeWitt (1928-2007), redefined traditional concepts of discreet works of art - that wall drawings are to be considered ideas rather than objects.
And don't let its vibrant, playful forms fool you, too.
Each wall drawing is to conform painstakingly to Mr LeWitt's directions. They are handmade and require the execution and supervision of LeWitt trained artists as they are elaborate.
The work at the reception of Hotel Tower 1 was recreated by American master artist Gabriel Hurier and Japanese master artist Takeshi Arita, who were assisted by a select group of four local artists handpicked by the Singapore Tyler Print Institute.