Esplanade Presents 13 Steps

13 Steps is located at the Esplanade’s main entrance, named after the 13 steps at the concourse, it is the centre’s most prominent site-specific arts exhibition space. It so happened that after the Bibap Beatbox Action Comedy dancial while thinking where to head off next before i Light Marina Bay started, we were asked to view the proposed installations at Esplanade's Lower Concourse. The overall favorite artwork will be showcased at the Concourse from Oct-Dec 2012.

1. Ling Ting
This installation by multidisciplinary artist Sai Hua Kuan is a gigantic speaker placed at the Concourse steps. Through theatrical arrangement, Ling Ting《聆听》puts together a physical piece of work that requires public interaction—an immaterial element that is crucial to the installation.

2. Black Rain
taken from 13 steps
The Black Rain is an extension of Han Sai Por's The Black Forest—an exhibition last held at Esplanade's Jendela (Visual Arts Space) in 2011. Through contrasting natural materials such as wood and charcoal, Han further explores the theme of man's continuous ambivalence, habits and actions that lead towards the inevitable degradation of the environment. This installation resonates strongly with her immense love for nature, while at the same time, quietly relates her concerns on environmental issues to viewers.

3. Step On!!
Tang Ling Nah's site-specific and interactive installation, Step On!! invites viewers to be a part of the Concourse stairway. Besides a space that frequently showcases sprawling pieces of art, the prominent flight of stairs is also a thoroughfare leading viewers and patrons from the front entrance to the mall.

Accessing both stairway and installation simultaneously, viewers are encouraged to think about the presence and functions of the space in relation to their own identities and how they interpret things.

Tang's works are frequently inspired by transitory city spaces, and are often reflections on the conditions of urbanization, especially in its speed, and the lack of intimacy and depth in interpersonal relationships

4. In the Affair of Cats & Dogs, the Government's Involved and So Shall We
In a light-hearted anecdote to encourage Singaporeans to be more proactive, the Prime Minister in his National Day Rally speech last year—said that ministers should not be doing everything, including culling cats and saving dogs.

Chua playfully recalls this notion by initiating a movement, via an installation, which targets to promote the proactive spirit in the community. Working around the theme of animal welfare, the artist hopes to create awareness of pet abandonment and the growing stray population.

Presenting a series of life-sized cast resins of dogs and cats painted in white and red, these animal sculptures are open for public adoption. Via email and upon review of caretaker's suitability, a signed adoption agreement will attest to and encourage commitment and responsibility of pet owners while reinforcing the public's proactive spirit.

The one I really liked was In the Affair of Cats & Dogs, the Government's Involved and So Shall We mainly due to my love of animals and the intricacy of the miniature cats and dogs (which the photo above not really doing justice to the details). The message this piece brings is more heart-warming and would cause people (at least me) to pause and think about the feelings of other living beings. They may just be animals, but how we treat them reflects what and how we regard not only life, but humans as well. The stray population, is unfortunately a by-product of our fast paced lifestyle being able to afford the things we like, getting things on an impulse and quickly changing our minds; where something as precious as the live of animals and sometimes even humans are regarded just commodities that can be easily replaced or discarded.

Which is your favorite art piece?
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  1. These pieces are all really modern and cool, but my favorite is 'Black Rain'. It's very subtle, thought provoking and insightful, and on one of the most important topics of the 21st century.

  2. Black Rain looks very serene. Does it move or flow? By the description, I doubt that is the feeling the artist was attempting portray. Still, it is beautiful!

    1. Hi Mel, Black Rain doesn't move or flow. It is just made up of black stones that represent raindrops hung on a string.

  3. I find the 'Step On' installation to be the most thought-provoking. To me, it invokes a lonely feeling. The figures seem shadowy and insubstantial. I think we often feel that way when we are in a large city.