7m-tall tiger made of trash at Gardens by the Bay underscores global wastage crisis

The sculpture will be displayed at the SG50 lattice of Gardens by The Bay for the next three years. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO
Portuguese artist Artur Bordalo said the feline marks his largest upcycled artwork in Asia. ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

SINGAPORE - Standing tall at Gardens by the Bay is a 7m critically endangered Sumatran tiger made entirely of waste materials such as portable loos and road dividers.

Portuguese artist Artur Bordalo, who is renowned for turning trash into giant animal sculptures, said the feline marks his largest upcycled artwork in Asia and aims to highlight the global wastage of scarce resources and the need to reduce, reuse and recycle.

The world is estimated to generate 2.01 billion tonnes of waste annually.

"The inspiration behind my works is not to create beautiful art but to give a voice to endangered animals," said the street artist known as Bordalo II, who is behind more than 240 art pieces in over 20 countries.

Numbering fewer than 400 in the wild, the Sumatran tiger - the smallest subspecies of tigers - is an ideal muse for the artist's craft.

Habitat loss and poaching are the two main threats facing the Sumatran tiger, which mostly lives in protected areas on the Indonesian island.

On Monday, the artwork was unveiled by Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean, the guest of honour at the launch of a nationwide campaign by UBS and real estate company Ho Bee Land to use art to narrate sustainability.

The sculpture will be displayed at the SG50 lattice of Gardens by the Bay's Bayfront Plaza for the next three years.

Much like Bordalo II's trademark works, it is made from an eclectic range of waste materials, including plastic hoses, trolleys and parts of children's playgrounds, collected by the Ad Planet Group, UBS employees and Ho Bee Land's construction partner.

In the later part of this year, there will also be an art competition titled Art Of Trash. Students in Singapore can take part by upcycling waste materials to create sculptures, UBS said.

Said Mr Edmund Koh, president of UBS Asia-Pacific: "Aligned to our UBS purpose to connect people for a better world, we hope that this iconic art piece inspires impactful conversations around sustainability."

"This nationwide campaign is in line with the Singapore Green Plan 2030, which is a strong road map that charts our way towards a more sustainable future.

"At UBS, we work closely with our clients globally on this sustainability agenda and have seen a rise in our sustainability focus and impact investments by 78 per cent, reaching US$251 billion (S$346 billion) at the end of last year."

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.