Has your profile been looking dry lately? Do you have fantastic ‘fits in your closet, just waiting to be donned for your next Instagram post? I’ve got you covered. I’ve got a tip about a new location that is nothing less than perfect for the ‘gram, and I would like to share it with you.
What: An exhibition of nature re-imagined as mesmerising giant glass sculptures. Where: Gardens by the Bay. Who: The works are done by world-renowned, extraordinarily talented and iconic, Dale Chihuly! When: It will be up from now to 1 August 2021.
This exhibition is titled ‘Dale Chihuly: Glass in Bloom’ and is now available for admiring!
Dale Chihuly is known to have revolutionised this field of art. He has never failed to drop jaws with his breathtaking art pieces. I don’t know about you, but I break at least two pieces of glass kitchenware every week, and very soon, I may be banned from my own kitchen. But Dale has redefined art with his talent to make sculptures from the very glass we’re afraid to break!
This ‘Dale Chihuly: Glass in Bloom’ exhibition is extra special and unique, as it marks the first major garden exhibition in Asia! It is proudly organised in collaboration with Hustle & Bustle, supported by the Singapore Tourism Board, and presented by title sponsors Bank of Singapore and OCBC Premier Private Client. You hear these big, reputable names, and you just know what a big deal this is!
Visiting the ‘Dale Chihuly: Glass in Bloom’ exhibition myself, I went in admiring the aesthetics and the beauty of these sculptures. I thought a lot about the kind of processes Dale had undergone to make his visions come to life. But when I returned home, I realised how this installation was beyond exclaiming “Wow!” and “Oh my God!”. Every sculpture is made of glass – with glass portraying a sense of vulnerability and fragility.
Somehow, isn’t that nature? Nature in the 21st century has reached a state of vulnerability. The most mighty force of existence is now at our mercy. Isn’t that twisted? Mother Nature may embody power, but she is still gentle and fragile – it is precisely why we need to be extra caring for her. But we have done nothing but the opposite. The fragility of nature has been so poetically exhibited in this installation, and I hope that when you make your visit, rather than focusing on getting the best shots, be sure to think about the underlying message beneath it all.
Hence, I hope you would keep this in mind as I do a little run-through of some of my favourite exhibits at ‘Dale Chihuly: Glass in Bloom’! This installation combines ticketed entries and free-for-all viewing.
The first piece is in the magnificent Flower Dome. As soon as you enter, you are greeted by this colossal glass tower, the Electric Yellow & Deep Coral Tower! The exuberant hues of yellow and red somehow stand out from their surroundings, mainly in greens and browns.
The warm colours are so welcoming, yet they strangely resemble a burning flame. I get reminded of the scorching fires that engulf and murder the millions of biodiverse species in forests. Deforestation is a real issue, but one we have never witnessed ourselves. Treat this as a reminder of the vast biodiversity we have lost to the flames we have caused. As the tower sits in the beautiful flora, imagine a fire swallowing those innocent flowers and plants. That’s what’s going on in the real world – only worse. Our biodiversity is suffering, dying, and getting wiped out.
I loved the shape of the tower, the colours that it embodied, and the location it assumed. Everything had a hand to play in the message it carried. It’s a stunning art piece. Be sure to bring it justice by capturing the entirety of the landscape when you pose for the ‘gram!
The following piece was right by the grand entrance of the Cloud Forest – the iconic waterfall! I know you might be gushing (I tried) at the beauty of the waterfall, but if you look a little further, you would be able to see the Cloud Forest Persians!
Remember as kids, we would colour water blue, even though we knew it was transparent? This piece reminded me of the falling rain as it dangled alongside the waterfall. And I love rain, which justifies why I enjoyed this piece so much! Blue is often a colour associated with the oceans, the skies, and the idea of serenity. As you focus your eyes on the art piece and let your ears listen to the loud yet calming whispers of the waterfall falling, you find yourself immersed.
As you gradually close your eyes, the brilliant blue colour lingers and eventually transports you to a state of utmost tranquillity. At night, this spot is a wonder. In stark contrast to the entrance of the Flower Dome, the opening here was cooling and serene. I thoroughly enjoyed this piece, especially given the location it was at. Maybe for your photos, you could wear blue to twin with the vivid blue art piece! Be sure to also capture a boomerang with the waterfall and a cute pose to capture the moment!
The final artwork I would like to share with you is the Setting Sun in The Meadow. (Let’s take a moment to appreciate how perfect the names go together!) While the Sun has been an iconic creation of Dale Chihuly, this particular piece was created specially for the environment at Gardens by the Bay.
The Meadow would require a ticket for you to enter, but just as the names suggest, this exhibit is unlike anything you would ever see! The strange sense of peace I felt as I walked closer and closer, is simply inexplicable. For the record, it is huge. I assure you it’s bigger than you think! Whether you admire it from afar or you sit around it, I’m sure you will feel like all your burdens are lifting off your shoulders. I was the most gravitated to this artwork.
I felt so at peace as I stood there for five whole minutes, just taking it all in. The lights are of warm hues like yellow, red, and orange. Since the exhibit itself is so big, the bright lights radiate a slight warmth. That and the warmth of the colours hug you, as the evening breeze blows your hair gently. If I could, I would lie there all night. That being said, this exhibit is best enjoyed and appreciated under the night sky.
You might want to enjoy it before you jump into your photoshoot because a sense of peace like this is hard to get anywhere nowadays. It just reminds you to take a break from the demanding routines of life and take a moment to yourself, even if it’s something simple like watching the sunset; watching as day transforms into night, remembering as another day passes, as you’re reminded that nature is still in control, as it should always be.
These were my favourite exhibits at ‘Dale Chihuly: Glass in Bloom’, but that’s not even all! There are so many more in so many different locations for you to explore! While I am aware that the artworks as mentioned earlier would require a ticket, Dale Chihuly opened many other projects to the public, scattered around Gardens by the Bay for you to explore!
Closest to the entrance, you will find Dragonfly Lake. In this Lake, you will see the Float Boat & Boats and blown-glass floats, the Walla Wallas! Interestingly, the Walla Wallas are named after Eastern Washington’s famous Walla Walla Onions! They greatly resemble the large spherical shape with the long tips. They had been developed for a 1996 exhibition! There are also more glass towers in different variations all around Gardens by the Bay for you to hunt!
There are so many more art pieces that will enchant you into their story and the message they hope to be for their admirers. I believe that each of them tells a chilling tale about our earth, and it reminds us of the fragility that is Mother Nature. I feel that this installation invoked an epiphany in me about the state of our planet today.
So, book your tickets right now if you would like some food for the soul, and some photos for the feed (pun not intended; it comes naturally at this point!). For adults aged 13 to 59, The Complete Experience (including the Outdoor Gardens, the Gallery, and the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest Conservatories) is priced at $27 on weekdays, while $30 on weekends and public holidays. All other ticketing details are provided on the website!
For more information about the programmes, you can also visit their site for more details!
I would recommend you visiting the ‘Dale Chihuly: Glass in Bloom’ exhibition in the early evening so that you can catch and admire every piece both in the bright of day and in the moonlit night as well!
So, what are you looking forward to the most: the photoshoots that you know will know no end once you see the breathtaking pieces, or the “Oh”s and “Ah”s that you know will follow as you unveil the message hidden beneath each artwork? Glass is indeed in full bloom. Go check it out today!
Photos by Darren Chiong of the DANAMIC Team.