Golden chance to be green

An unlikely resident has moved to Bras Basah.

On the Lazada One office building, a 14m-tall golden monkey perches five storeys above the ground. The inflatable sculpture by Australian artist and ecologist Lisa Roet is on display till Aug 21.

The work is inspired by the snub-nosed monkey, known for its upturned nose and long tail.

Roet's sculptures are mainly centred on primates as she has studied them in zoos and research centres across the world.

"Humans are actually apes in the scientific world. And I think that's something people often forget - that we are part of the animal world," says the 54-year-old.

Her other Golden Monkey sculptures have previously been displayed on buildings around the world, including Australia's Melbourne Town Hall in 2016 and Scotland's Inverleith House in 2020.

After this exhibition, the Golden Monkey will be donated to Lasalle College of the Arts so its material can be upcycled.

Roet aims to use her art to provoke discourse among viewers on the impact of urbanisation, particularly on the environment and ecosystem. "I think art has the power to evoke discussion and debate," she says.

She will be giving a talk today at 2.30pm at private art space The Culture Story in Thye Hong Centre.

Lazada One has achieved the Green Mark Platinum Award, given out by the Building and Construction Authority of Singapore to developers that have exemplified sustainable building practices and green features.

Through the concept of a wild animal in an urban space, Roet hopes to convey wonder and the importance of protecting wildlife.

She says: "The idea is that people will look at the monkey and be surprised at why it's there. Then the conversation happens, especially through the media, about this increasing need to be aware of a sustainable environment. It's Earth Day. It's a great time to talk about it."

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