Giant biscuit among 5 new artworks in Singapore's public parks

Located in Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, artist Daniel Chong hopes visitors can laugh at the biscuit. PHOTO: ISAIAH CHENG
Artist Ang Song Nian with his work titled Afloat, located at Punggol Waterway Park. PHOTO: NATIONAL ARTS COUNCIL
Titled Our Dreams Must Continue, this piece by artist Teo Huey Ling is located at Jurong Lake Gardens. PHOTO: ISAIAH CHENG

SINGAPORE - Head to Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park in the next few months and you will see a giant Marie biscuit sitting on the grass.

This is, in fact, a 3m-high artwork titled Small Moments. It appears to have a chunk bitten out of it, so there is presumably a large perpetrator on the loose to consider as well.

Artist Daniel Chong, 26, says of his sculpture: "The work is meant to be light-hearted and I hope it will brighten up the mood of regulars at the park. I hope that they can just laugh."

Small Moments is part of a public art exhibition, As You Were, commissioned by the Public Art Trust, a National Arts Council (NAC) initiative.

It features five artworks by seven Singaporean artists, located at Jurong Lake Gardens, Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park and Punggol Waterway Park.

NAC director of sector development for visual arts Tay Tong says: "The public art installations stem from two main motivations - one of self-rediscovery sparked from challenges presented by the pandemic; the other, of future aspirations beyond the pandemic."

While humour is a big part of Chong's sculpture, the artwork also references the simple pleasures in life - like snacking on a biscuit in a park - that the artist feels were taken for granted, especially in the wake of Covid-19 restrictions.

He adds that it "in some ways reflects how we are all trying to look back while moving forward".

Another work, noon (at play) by Hazel Lim and Adeline Kueh, comprises two see-saws that the public can physically engage with. Lim, 47, also describes it as "somewhat nostalgic", adding: "See-saws have been disappearing from our playgrounds."

Artists Hazel Lim (left) & Adeline Kueh engaging their artwork called noon (at play), located at Punggol Waterway Point. PHOTO: NATIONAL ARTS COUNCIL

Can You Hear Me? by Quek Jia Qi and Aaron Lim is a giant, functioning paper cup phone. Lim, 27, says the interactive sculpture was created in response to the screen time spent on digital devices during the Covid-19 pandemic and "a yearning for nature and finding solace".

There are also sculptures by Ang Song Nian (Afloat) and Teo Huey Leng (Our Dreams Must Continue).

The seven artists were selected through an open-call process, which drew a total of 44 proposals from 50 artists.

When the exhibition ends, the trust has a six-month window to resite the artworks to reach wider audiences, following which the works will be decommissioned. Their ownership will remain with the artists, who can decide to exhibit them again or put them up for acquisition.

Artists Quek Jia Qi (right) & Aaron Lim with their artwork titled Can You Hear Me? at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park. PHOTO: NATIONAL ARTS COUNCIL

Where: Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, 1384 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1; Jurong Lake Gardens, Yuan Ching Road; and Punggol Waterway Park, Sentul Crescent
When: Now till Oct 30
Admission: Free
Info: National Arts Council website

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