As more and more people around the world get vaccinated, and we start to regain more normalcy in our lives, it’s safe to say that we are all on track towards a post-pandemic world.
In an effort to continue building hope and resilience towards this future, the Public Art Trust (PAT) under the National Arts Council (NAC) have come together to commission Rewritten: The World Ahead of Us, a first-ever public art showcase installed across eight nature parks from Punggol to Jurong.
Conceptualised during Singapore’s circuit breaker last year, this multi-sensory project gives Singaporeans the opportunity to discover larger-than-life art installations that represents a rethinking of language, narratives, and expression from homegrown artists such as Sam Lo, Dawn Ng, and Robert Zhao.
Located along the 36km long coast-to-coast trail, you can expect to see a full suite of 14 artwork installations that were inspired by published works from known Singaporean poets, the natural environment that surrounds us, as well as the artist’s hope to encourage reflection and conversations during this challenging time.
Here’s a closer look at some of the artworks that you can find along the trail, grouped according to location.
ANG MO KIO LINEAR PARK
BOND, by Jerome Ng & Zed Haan
A cross between a sculpture and a pavilion, BOND is an experiential exploration of the evolving interpersonal relationships and social bonds during the ongoing pandemic. Included in the artwork is a 4-part poem titled ’SILENCE, TRANSITION, YEARNING, REKINDLE’ that reflects upon strength and solidarity. When read as a whole, it reveals fresh nuances of how we connect in daily life in the light of the new normal.
Directions: At Ang Mo Kio Linear Park, opposite the restroom.
BISHAN-ANG MO KIO PARK
This Time, by Perception3
This Time features two sets of texts on both sides of the bridge: THIS TIME APART / THIS DISTANCE TOGETHER, and LONGING FOR THE SKY / REACHING FOR THE SEA. These direct our attention to the moment during the pandemic where we were held apart and still sharing a sense of longing together, while also reminding us of life’s constant uncertainties, desires, and hopes.
Directions: From the main carpark A, keep left and take a 5-minute walk to the bridge at McDonald’s.
Hello Stranger, by Dawn Ng
Featuring lenticular billboards with poetry, juxtaposed against a serene expanse of gradient hues that unfolds across a domino of accordion panels, Hello Stranger stages a tender, surreal peek-a-boo encounter with words that seek to connect with its audience and inspire reflection in our post-COVID world.
Directions: From the bridge at McDonald’s, continue on left for 10 to 15 minutes before you see a white pavilion.
[ ] With Dual Possibilities, by Vertical Submarine
With redacted keywords from local poet Yong Shu Hoong’s poem, [ ] With Dual Possibilities invites you to mentally fill in the blanks using your own imagination. On the other side of the artwork, you’ll find the Chinese phrase ‘危险机会’, which suggests that opportunity is often embedded in crisis.
Directions: Follow the forking path near ‘Hello Stranger’ northwards for 3 minutes.
JURONG LAKE GARDENS
It Takes Time, by Robert Zhao
Inspired by the importance of noticing subtle changes in nature, It Takes Time is a durational artwork that follows and depicts the growth of a single tree across 11 light boxes that light up to signify the continuous process of growth and change.
Directions: From Jurong Lake Gardens South carpark, take an 8-minute walk past the Garden House on the right; the artwork will be on the left.
When A Tree Becomes A Forest, by Ang Song Nian
This site-specific installation comprises 195 timber structures, each stylised as the Chinese character ‘木’ (which means wood or tree) that eventually comes together to form the character ‘林’ (which means woods) or ‘森’ (for forest) when viewed from different angles. When A Tree Becomes A Forest embodies the intimate interdependency between mankind and nature with a message for us to not lose sight of our natural environment as we rebuild our future.
Directions: From Jurong Lake Gardens South carpark, take an 8-minute walk past the Garden House on the right; the artwork will be on the left, next to It Takes Time.
LORONG HALUS BRIDGE
YELLOW, by James Tan and Petrina Dawn Tan
Found on one side of the Lorong Halus Bridge, YELLOW uses yellow drapes to resemble an impression of the Punggol-Serangoon Reservoir skyline during sunrise and sunset; drawing to attention the idea of beginning and endings with dawn and dusk.
Directions: Follow the park connector from Punggol Promenade Riverside Park.
LUXUS HILL PARK & LOWER SELETAR RESERVOIR PARK
Hey, How Are You?, by Lai Weimin
Using the visual metaphor of a flag to symbolise collective identity and solidarity, the typographic Hey, How Are You? plays on the fundamental greeting of asking well while featuring accompanying thematic works written by local writer Yasira Yusoff. Aside from aiming to create a deeper connection that enlightens and uplifts, the work hopes to serve as a reminder for us to reach out and embrace our shared humanity.
Directions: Along Luxus Hill Park and Lower Seletar Reservoir Park.
PUNGGOL WATERWAY PARK
Distance Will Bring Me Closer to You, by Hanson Ho
Distance Will Bring Me Closer to You is a wall mural that aims to remind us of the ‘distant closeness’ which we may have experienced with a relative, friend, or a loved one during the Circuit Breaker.
Directions: Walk down the steps next to Toastbox at Waterway Point where you’ll find the artwork on the promenade wall.
Still Travelling, by Laniakea Culture Collective
Comprising a poem about migration, restlessness and refuge, Still Travelling is an outdoor art installation, accompanied by flags bearing the image of a barn swallow.
Directions: From the promenade wall at Waterway Point, continue right for 10 minutes until you get to Sentul Cresent Bridge.
間 Jian, by Cheryl Chiw
間 Jian represents an ideogrammatic artwork which breaks down the traditional Chinese character ‘間’ for space or realm into sub-characters ‘門’ (which means door) and ‘日’ (for sun / day). The concept symbolises a transition or passageway to a brand new world of possibilities, in addition to the short interval that the pandemic has given us to reflect on our fast-paced lives.
Directions: About 5 minutes away from Still Travelling, on top of a hill.
Temporary Escapism, by Sam Lo
Around the Punggol Waterway is where you’ll find a dose of humour and aspiration through 10 colourful visual signages and a mural from Sam Lo’s Temporary Escapism. The little pick-me-ups are aimed at reminding us of our shared human experience that we encounter through simple interactions with one another and our surroundings.
Directions: From the hill, continue on towards the Lorong Halus Bridge where you’ll find the signages along the way.
SENGKANG RIVERSIDE PARK
Anamorphic Vibes, by Adeline Loo and Cheong Yew Mun
At the height of the global pandemic, we are probably no stranger to the frequently mentioned ‘anxiety’ and ‘courage’. Drawing reference from the test of the global emotional landscape, Anamorphic Vibes is a visual installation that lets you walk around and view the words from different angles; offering a timely reminder of how there will always be light in darkness and opportunities in setbacks.
Directions: Located near My Kampong in Sengkang Riverside Park.
Every Seed Carries Within It The Dream & Blueprint of the Whole, by Hunny & Lummy
Drawing on inspiration from Singaporean author Alvin Pang’s What Gives Us Our Name, Every Seed Carries Within It The Dream & Blueprint of the Whole is a visual manifestation of the published work that features seed pods with a seat in the centre for you to recharge and remind yourself that you have the potential to grow into something great.
Directions: In the open fields near the Sengkang Floating Wetlands within Sengkang Riverside Park.
For more information or to find out more about the other artwork installations, click here.
All images courtesy of National Arts Council.