Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Orchard Road Art Trail 2: Orchard Central Shopping Mall

Orchard Gateway, Orchard Central and 313@Somerset all connected as one shopping malls with free flows of people traffic.

Especially with Orchard Gateway and Orchard Central, one you're inside either mall, you really have no idea which mall you're in, unless you're deliberately seeking out the info. There're small signs up the top of a very high ceiling that tell you which shopping mall you're in (the signs are probably big. Just look small from down on the ground level). Even then, it's not an simple task.

The Runway in OG is trying to direct the shoppers around the OG mall so as not to move to disappear into another mall.

While it's far from the largest shopping mall on Orchard Road, it's the tallest, and it has a couple of thing to hint or emphasize that fact.

Most malls tend to design with central atriums that give shoppers a 360° view of their shopfronts. If there's such a thing in Orchard Central, it would be called the rear atrium.

Here in the rear atrium is where the Tall Girl (2009) stands at a whopping 20m tall. She draws your attention to this unique spatial architecture of this mall. Her head nearly touches the roof. This is because Tall Girl is especially commissioned by OC to place it here for the purpose that I mentioned above.

Tall Girl (2009), Orchard Central, Singapore
This red boot is slightly larger than the one in Orchard Gateway.
Tall Girl (2009), Orchard Central, Singapore
Showing the effect on a body when it goes through a black hole.
Tall Girl (2009), Orchard Central, Singapore
Make good ad for weight loss centres or community message about anorexia.

This sculpture is created by Inges Idee, an artist collective based in Berlin. The slightly larger-than-life figurine is made of polyurethane and glass fibre reinforced gypsum on steel frame.

The perception of height is enhanced further by distorting the different proportion of Tall Girl. Her feet is made very large compare to her head. As this is designed to view from the ground level, the disproportionally small head accentuates the vanishing point and makes her looking even taller than she really is. (Next time when I visit, I'll get some photos of her boots and head along with some people in it so that one can make comparison of sizes). This is the opposite of the Parthenon where the ancient Greek architect designed it to be top heavy to correct this vanishing perspective distortion that when viewed from ground level.

Another structure that's reinforcing this idea of height is the Via Ferreta Wall. This is supposedly the tallest indoor rock-face wall for abseiling (for now until China decides to beat that record).

Via Ferreta Wall, Orchard Central, Singapore Via Ferreta Wall, Orchard Central, Singapore

Orchard Central, Singapore
Shop window cantilevers out like a drawer in a wardrobe
Orchard Central, Singapore
As seen from a skywalk with Via Ferreta in the back
Orchard Central, Singapore
Floats like a Kongming or sky lantern

I won't cover every little hidden gems of arts and sculptures around the mall. I leave you to discover them yourself. According to OC, their permanent arts display worth over S$9 million.

I'll cover their most well known roof garden. Take their glass walled elevator to get to level 10, and then take the stairs to the roof. That's where I took my brother and his wife when they visited me.

On level 11, you'll find a colourful diorama of Yayoi Kasama's works, showing her 2 favourite elements of polka dots and tulips.

"Let's Go to a Paradise of Tulips" (2009), Orchard Central, Singapore
"Let's Go to a Paradise of Tulips" (2009) by Yayoi Kasama.
Ya, Yayoi, let's go !

"Let's Go to a Paradise of Tulips" (2009), Orchard Central, Singapore
Barking up the wrong tulip?

My sis-in-law showed me her mobile phone's wallpaper. which is another work by Yayoi Kasama, showing the similar child-like playfulness, somewhat psychedelic bright colour, and circles galore.

On level 12, you'll find a rooftop garden.

"Let's Go to a Paradise of Tulips" (2009), Orchard Central, Singapore
From level 12, not only you can see the diorama, you can also get a good aerial view of
Emerald Hill with low-rise brown roofed buildings. OG@Emerald Hill is the blue tower on the left.

These several sculptures in this rooftop garden are works by Victor Tan. A well known local artist, Visually-impaired, who chooses to create sculpture out of the difficult medium of metal wires.

"The Stair, the Clouds and the Sky" (2009), Orchard Central, Singapore
"The Stair, the Clouds and the Sky" (2009), Orchard Central, Singapore
"The Stair, the Clouds and the Sky" (2009) by Victor Tan

There's only one slinky sculpture being suspended above the stairs. The 2 figures on either side, like the 2 men in yellow jacket are reflections from the wall, producing the optical illusion that there're 3 sculptures.

"The Stair, the Clouds and the Sky" (2009), Orchard Central, Singapore
View on the top of stair, we can see that there's only 1 figure, and it's climbing up the stairs.
"The Stair, the Clouds and the Sky" (2009), Orchard Central, Singapore

"The Stair, the Clouds and the Sky" (2009), Orchard Central, Singapore
"The Stair, the Clouds and the Sky" (2009), Orchard Central, Singapore
Shake like a leaf in the wind...

Because the loose and springy metal wires that form these human figures, they're designed so that they can spring to life by breezes.

Ginger flower, Alpinia purpurata, red ginger
Flower of Alpinia purpurata, red ginger
Ginger flower bud, Alpinia purpurata, red ginger

"Nutmeg Grove" (2009) by Michelle Righetti, Orchard Central, Singapore
"Nutmeg Grove" (2009) by Michelle Righetti

This large sculpture sits on the sidewalk of Orchard Road near OC's main entrance. This bicycle helmet looking sculpture is in fact a nutmeg seed, which is one of the 3 major spices that grew in orchards in the 1840s that lined either side of this road, giving rise to its name.

Go to Orchard Road Art Trail 3: ION Orchard  

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