Art What! Arts Singapore

Dale Chihuly’s Glass In Bloom launches at Gardens By The Bay

Photo courtesy of Hustle & Bustle. Artwork © Chihuly Studio.

Standing left to right: Keith Tan (Chief Executive, Singapore Tourism Board), Felix Loh (CEO, Gardens by the Bay), Alvin Tan (Minister of State for Trade & Industry and Culture, Community & Youth), Britt Cornett (Exhibition Director, Chihuly Studio), Michael Lee (CEO, Hustle & Bustle), Ching Wei Hong (Deputy President, OCBC)

Singapore has officially launched a major garden exhibition by Dale Chihuly, one of the world’s most-renowned glass artists from Seattle. A first of its kind in Asia, the Dale Chihuly: Glass in Bloom exhibition takes place amidst the verdant tropical setting of Singapore’s iconic Gardens by the Bay. The exhibition was officiated by Guest-of-Honour Alvin Tan, Minister of State for Trade & Industry and Culture, Community & Youth, at an opening ceremony on 30th April.

The exhibition offers a unique experience that takes visitors across the expanse of Gardens by the Bay’s various landscapes, including the vast greenery of its Outdoor Gardens and the cooled environment of its Conservatories. Here, visitors will be able to experience landmark installations such as Moon – which has not been exhibited since its debut in Jerusalem in 2000, and Setting Sun – an artwork designed specially for Singapore. The two installations will be presented in view of one another for the first time, allowing visitors to appreciate the spectacular artworks in one setting and against the Singapore city skyline. Together with other installations such as the nearly 10-metre tall Cloud Forest Persians set within the Cloud Forest conservatory and the delicate Ethereal White Persians at Serene Garden, Dale Chihuly: Glass in Bloom promises an inspiring encounter for all visitors.

Organised by Hustle & Bustle, supported by the Singapore Tourism Board, venue partner Gardens by the Bay, automotive sponsor Porsche, and presented by title sponsors Bank of Singapore and OCBC Premier Private Client, Dale Chihuly: Glass in Bloom is the first exhibition of its scale to be hosted at Gardens by the Bay. Expectedly, transporting and setting up more than 100 of these prized artworks, including some that weigh as much as 3,600 kg, required the collective support of many – such as engineering partner CPG Consultants Pte Ltd.

Mr Chuck Kho, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of CPG Consultants Pte Ltd, shared, “The magnificent artwork installations of Dale Chihuly have always awed the world with their beauty and wonder. As the appointed engineering partner, we incorporated innovative lightweight solutions and enabled the existing structures in Gardens by the Bay to display these breathtaking iconic masterpieces. Precise and careful engineering was required to ensure that existing structures could support these large, fragile glass sculptures.”

Chargé d’Affaires Rafik Mansour, U.S. Embassy Singapore shares from the perspective of an American in Singapore, and the embassy’s support towards The Creator’s Cove. “Dale Chihuly’s work is recognised across the world for its innovation and creativity,” he says. “It is exciting to see these American masterpieces on display in such an iconic Singaporean venue as an embodiment of our two countries’ vibrant relationship.  The U.S. Embassy is proud to support The Creator’s Cove as an opportunity for Singaporeans to experience Chihuly’s work in an interactive, hands-on way.”

Beyond the Gardens, the public can catch a glimpse of Dale Chihuly’s works which were specially shipped over to Singapore, at the outdoor spaces of The Fullerton Bay Hotel. The Paintbrush Tower is prominently displayed on the lawn outside The Fullerton Bay Hotel, against the Marina Bay skyline. It made its debut at Chihuly’s 2014 exhibition at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Coral Gables, Florida. More recently, the work was presented in Chihuly’s 2018 exhibition at Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. The name was inspired by the Indian Paintbrush flower after the form was first blown and Chihuly noticed a resemblance. Come May, one can also look forward to an artistic afternoon tea inspired by Dale Chihuly’s masterpieces at The Fullerton Bay Hotel.

Setting Sun. Artwork © Chihuly Studio.

Visitors can also expect fun and diverse experiences that incorporate an eclectic mix of art and nature. There will be programmes conducted in collaboration with community partners such as Synergraphic Design, whose local glass artists will be conducting glass fusing workshops; and Crafune, who will be holding leather crafting workshops. Supported by the U.S. Embassy Singapore, these workshops present interactive elements of the exhibition.

Selected Grab users who book a ride to the exhibition will stand to enjoy special rewards and promotions for exclusive exhibition merchandise. Grab will also be giving away Dale Chihuly: Glass in Bloom exhibition tickets to selected driver-partners in June, as a gesture of appreciation for their hard work. Driver-partners will receive more information on this soon.

The exhibition extends to a vibrant Porsche Taycan art car against the futuristic backdrop of the SG50 Lattice at the Gardens. Its design features Chihuly’s Persians series, a celebration of form, scale and colour that was first exhibited in 1986. Over the course of five decades, Dale Chihuly has explored new and old techniques of glass blowing, constantly pushing the boundaries of contemporary art. Drawing inspiration from the world around him, Chihuly creates statements using colour and form to capture the imagination, surpassing conventional ideas of function and beauty. Parallels can be drawn with Porsche, the car manufacturer that emphasises on quality and invests heavily in innovative technology. Porsche places the highest demands on its designs and their every detail and the Taycan art car, with its vibrant Persians livery designed by Chihuly, is emblematic of this common ambition between Porsche and Chihuly the artist, to innovate beyond convention.

“Featuring elements from Dale Chihuly’s award-winning exhibition Persians, the Taycan art car is a striking composition of emotion, history, and innovation. The Taycan delivers the unparalleled design and performance that typifies every Porsche for the electric age. The art car brings this passage to life beautifully by juxtaposing an iconic profile against captivatingly dynamic characteristics,” said Arthur Willmann, Chief Executive Officer of Porsche Asia Pacific.

The Porsche Taycan art car celebrates the amalgamation of art, nature and innovation and will be exhibited exclusively at the SG50 Lattice at the Bay South Garden (Gardens by the Bay) until 30th May 2021, in conjunction with the exhibition.

In addition, visitors will be able to purchase official exhibition merchandise designed by Chihuly Studio, including books, colouring pencil sets, decorative paper books, pop-up cards, sculpture kits, umbrellas, tote bags, and more, each available at the Exhibition Shop near Dragonfly Lake. In addition,  designs by local artists have been selected from winning entries in response to an open call in January. The open call was held as a nod to Singapore’s creative community, and winning entries were awarded with cash prizes and a curated tour of the exhibition.

Dale Chihuly: Glass In Bloom runs from 1st May to 1st August 2021 at Gardens By The Bay. Tickets and more information available here

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