1. The River Merchants, 2003
Artist: Aw Tee Hong
Location: Singapore River, in front of Maybank Tower
This bronze sculpture depicts a quintessential scene from the early days of entrepôt trade in Singapore. Here, prominent Scottish merchant Alexander Laurie Johnston mediates between a Chinese trader and a Malay chief, while coolies load sacks onto a bullock cart (not pictured).
2. Progress & Advancement, 1988
Artist: Yang Ying Feng
Location: Raffles Place
This 8.5m-tall behemoth (which tips the scales at a whopping nine metric tonnes) is a stylised representation of Singapore’s Central Business District, celebrating the advancement of the city’s financial sector.
3. First Generation, 2000
Artist: Chong Fah Cheong
Location: Near Cavanagh Bridge
Created as part of a series, this playful installation depicts five boys jumping into the Singapore River. It represents Singapore’s first-generation immigrants and the role that the river played in their lives as a source of fun and entertainment.
4. Jelly Baby Family, 2012
Artist: Mauro Perucchetti
Location: Plaza Singapura
Reminiscent of oversized gummy bears, these quirky, colourful characters embody family unity and the multiculturalism of modern society.
5. From Chettiars to Financiers, 2002
Artist: Chern Lian Shan
Location: Singapore River, near the Asian Civilisations Museum
This sculpture embodies the various financial institutions of olden-day Singapore. For instance, the figure seated at the low desk represents a South Indian chettiar (moneylender), while the second figure in the middle portrays a Chinese clerk. The figure on the right, in the tailored jacket, depicts a trader.
6. Bird, 1990
Artist: Fernando Botero
Location: UOB Plaza
Undoubtedly one of the most renowned public art installations in Singapore, the rotund, oversized Bird represents peace, serenity, growth and (quite fittingly) prosperity.
7. The Rising Moon, 2015
Artists: Han Sai Por and Kum Chee Kiong
Location: Esplanade Park
This granite and steel edifice is an abstract representation of Singapore’s national symbols – the five stars and the crescent moon – as well as a meditation on nationhood.
8. 24 Hours in Singapore, 2015
Artist: Baet Yeok Kuan
Location: Asian Civilisations Museum
At first glance, these appear to be random stainless-steel spheres. Upon closer inspection however, you’ll find that they emit audio recordings of everyday life in Singapore – from blaring traffic in the heartlands to spirited chatter in wet markets.
9. Homage to Newton, 1985
Artist: Salvador Dali
Location: UOB Plaza
This abstract bronze sculpture by the world-renowned Spanish Surrealist is, as its name suggests, a tribute to Sir Isaac Newton. The ball in the middle of the figure’s torso purportedly represents a falling apple, alluding to Newton’s discovery of gravity.
10. Dual Universe, 1994
Artist: Charles Perry
Location: Singapore Land Tower
Resembling two intertwined figure eights, this abstract sculpture doesn’t have any literal meaning; rather, it is an organic result of Perry’s interpretation of mathematics and art.
– PHOTOGRAPHY BY KAMAL TUNG