Art takes off

Published on 16 August 2016

Early check-in? Flight delays? Use this spare time to appreciate some of the art Changi Airport has to offer.

BY MELANIE LEE

Many airports around the world have started to display impressive pieces of art and Singapore’s Changi Airport is no exception. Besides enhancing the aesthetic appeal of what often can be a rather intense space (think security checks), airport art also plays an ambassadorial role by highlighting aspects of Singapore culture and society to passing travellers.

 

“In deciding what art to display in the airport, we have two considerations. Firstly, we want a good mix of international and local artists. Secondly, we want to reflect the themes of Singapore as a city in the garden, as well as the beauty of travel,” says Dennis Yim, assistant vice president, corporate & marketing communications of Changi Airport Group.

 

Sprucing up the airport with stunning artworks also serves as a form of respite from the buzz of fast-paced modern travel. According to Yim, the art installations that travellers seem to respond to best are the ones that are interactive. “Passengers love posing in front of Wings of Mexico and posting these photos on social media. The Daisy installation gets them curious because the installation’s built-in sensors respond to the movements of nearby travellers,” he elaborates.

Pre-Flight Art Picks

An art guide to suit different travel personalities.

FOR THE CAM-CRAZED TRAVELLER

Wings of Mexico (2015) by Jorge Marín

Terminal 3 Transit Area

This interactive sculpture by celebrated Mexican artist Jorge Marín was loaned to Singapore Changi Airport last year to celebrate SG50, as well as 40 years of diplomatic relations between Singapore and Mexico. When people stand in front of these golden bronze wings, they are momentarily ‘transformed’ into angels. Check out #wingsofmexicochangi on Instagram to view all the entertaining angelic poses submitted by travellers from all over the world.

FOR THE HARRIED TRAVELLER

Kinetic Rain (2012) by ART+COM

Terminal 1 Public Area

The most well-known art installation at Changi Airport is probably this soothing kinetic sculpture of 1,216 bronze rain droplets by German design collective ART+COM. Inspired by tropical rain, these sculptures, which integrate industrial technology, celebrate the joy of flight as the droplets appear to gracefully float up and down to create forms such as an airplane, a dragon and a hot air balloon.

FOR THE NATURE-LOVING TRAVELLER

Floral Inspirations (2007) by Han Sai Por

Terminal 3 Public Area

This intricate pair of seed pod sculptures catches your eye with its naturalistic texture of sprouting botanical organisms. Paying tribute to Singapore’s city in a garden identity, Han Sai Por, a 1995 Cultural Medallion recipient, created this installation using a special Han Bai Yu marble from Yunnan, China, which resembles white jade. During the day, the light streaming through the airport’s large plate windows gives these artworks a shimmery, ephemeral quality.

FOR THE TECHIE TRAVLLER

Daisy (2008) by Christian Moeller

Terminal 3 Public Area

This 13m installation features a cheery fibre-glass propeller attached to a robotic arm mounted on a pedestal. The propeller takes reference from Singapore’s reputation as a leading seaport while capturing the tropical richness of the country’s flora. Cool tech feature: its in-built sensor system detects the presence of moving visitors by the handrail and this triggers the Daisy to move towards them. Moeller, an American artist, is a pioneer in interactive architectural and media installations.

FOR THE HOMESICK TRAVELLER

Going Home (2008) by Han Meilin

Terminal 3 Immigration Area

Another sculpture by Han, but this one is on a much larger scale. The evocative 7.5m piece features a family of three and captures the universal importance of family and home. In total, this installation weighs 900kg, with the father made of steel, the mother of bronze, and the child of gold. It is the perfect art piece to greet homeward bound travellers.

FOR THE JADED TRAVELLER

Mother and Child (2008) by Han Meilin

Terminal 3 Transit Area

At a glance, these five bronze sculptures blend in easily with the airport crowd scurrying towards their departure gates. However, these modern minimalistic pieces depicting the loving bond between mother and child offer just that bit of intimate humanity amidst the hustle and bustle of a major international airport. Han is a Chinese artist best known for his design of the Beijing Olympic mascots, the Fuwa, as well as the Beijing Olympics logo.

FOR THE NOSTALGIC TRAVELLER

Saga Seed (2007) by Kumari Nahappan

Terminal 3 Transit Area

Nestled within palms and ferns, this eye-catching giant red saga seed made of bronze by Malaysian artist Kumari Nahappan honours the ubiquitous saga seed that features strongly in almost every local kid’s childhood. There are over 2,000 saga trees in Singapore.

FOR THE DREAMY TRAVELLER

Birds in Flight (2007) by Baet Yeok Kuan

Terminal 3 Transit Area

Singapore sculptor Baet Yeok Kuan created a mural of stainless steel birds to evoke the notions of travel, exploration and freedom. He used a plasma cutter to articulate each metal piece in this flock to give the impression of planes of birds in dynamic motion. The artwork aptly captures the migratory routes of the Arctic tern, a species of seabirds, and illustrates the interconnectedness between countries.

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