Gar­dens by the Bay: na­ture and de­sign

Avion Luxury International Airport Magazine - - ART -

In Sin­ga­pore, where the sea once stood, to­day lies a botan­i­cal Gar­den that amazes the world: the land it oc­cu­pies is, as they say, ‘re­claimed from the sea’. On this land, abun­dant with wa­ter from the bay, an ex­panse of rare trop­i­cal and non-trop­i­cal plants from ev­ery part of the world can be found - a mul­ti­tude of colours from mil­lions of flow­ers of ev­ery ex­ist­ing va­ri­ety, wide av­enues care­fully de­signed to in­spire re­lax­ing walks and a pro­fu­sion of lush green­ery… Within this park, high-tech cre­ations sur­pris­ingly ap­pear out of the blue: tall me­tal palm trees, the so-called Su­pertrees. There are eight of th­ese ar­ti­fi­cial trees, which have heights of up to 50 me­tres and a bold de­sign that makes good use of the nat­u­ral con­text, with mul­ti­coloured plants and flow­ers that ‘cling’ to the trunks. Th­ese unique trees, which are lit up at night, an­i­mat­ing with delightful, fairy­tale-like colours, are pow­ered by a re­new­able en­ergy source, a source of pride for the gar­dens, who have fo­cused on this par­tic­u­lar form of re­spect for na­ture. The Su­pertrees are con­nected by walk­ways that al­low vis­i­tors to ad­mire the gar­den as well as the su­perb sur­round­ing ur­ban land­scape from above. In ad­di­tion, curvy pavil­ions of steel and glass are set among the stretches of flow­ers and plants in this hun­dred hectare park (con­sid­ered one of the largest parks in the world). Th­ese ‘con­ser­va­tory domes’ are so­phis­ti­cated green­houses where cer­tain plants are kept in their own nat­u­ral mi­cro­cli­mates. As part of the events to mark the first an­niver­sary of the in­au­gu­ra­tion of the Gar­dens, one of th­ese domes, at July, host the world pre­mier of an un­usual art ex­hi­bi­tion from the young cu­ra­tor Francesca Nan­nini, who present the work of the Bres­cian Roberto Visani, an artist who has won many awards in Ital­ian and in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tions. As a trib­ute to the Gar­dens, the artist present his bronze and ter­ra­cotta sculp­tures, which orig­i­nate from his favourite source of in­spi­ra­tion: na­ture. His art­work de­picts the seeds of var­i­ous plants, many found in the park, on a large scale; seeds of 4,000 va­ri­eties that he has searched for and gath­ered on his trav­els around the world. This unique, sym­bolic ex­pe­ri­ence re­veals a mi­cro­scopic sub­ter­ranean world, un­known to most of us, that evokes the source of life which, in the gar­dens, ex­plodes into phan­tas­magor­i­cal shapes and colours. The seed of the “Dragon’s Blood” plant is truly unique: it was per­son­ally gath­ered by the artist from the Im­pe­rial Gar­den of the For­bid­den City in Bei­jing. Among all th­ese sculp­tures, the place of hon­our goes to the orchid seed, the national flower of Sin­ga­pore, found in hun­dreds of va­ri­eties in the Gar­dens by the Bay.

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