Orchid Haven, a new 280 sqm space within Gardens by the Bay’s Cloud Forest cooled conservatory, was launched by Minister for National Development Desmond Lee today. It is a dedicated space to host Cloud Forest’s changing orchid displays as well as permanent orchid exhibits, with more than 1,000 orchids on show at any one time. This is the first time since 2017 that a major area has been revamped in Cloud Forest.
With the growing popularity of Cloud Forest’s changing orchid displays, which have been bringing to Singapore a plethora of beautiful and sometimes rare orchids from Central and South America to East Asia for the past four years, horticulturists recognised the need to carve out more space to showcase orchids. The new Orchid Haven is about three times the size of the original space for changing orchid displays.
After all, Orchidaceae is one of the largest families of flowering plants, and orchids have a long history in Singapore. Gardens by the Bay also has an extensive and diverse collection of orchids, as well as its own orchid hybridisation programme.
Gardens by the Bay’s CEO Felix Loh said, “My kudos to our team of horticulturists for working painstakingly to keep Gardens by the Bay going despite the challenges thrown up by the pandemic. Our latest creation Orchid Haven is a way for our horticulturists to pay tribute to the nation on its 56th birthday, and amidst the current setback, the Flight of the Moth Orchid display expresses our confidence that Singapore will soar again in our battle against the pandemic.”
Flight of the Moth Orchid
Flight of the Moth Orchid, the first changing orchid display in the new Orchid Haven, is a tribute to the Phalaenopsis orchid, a diverse genus whose floral form resembles that of a moth in flight. In this display, more than 800 Phalaenopsis orchids of 17 taxa are showcased in a breathtaking “waterfall” of cascading blooms.
The Phalaenopsis is a popular orchid among both orchid enthusiasts, as well as breeders whose focus is on producing ever more innovative hybrids. In fact, the orchids in Flight of the Moth Orchid have been arranged to show how the morphology of the Phalaenopsis has evolved through the years, from its original look to the distinct and dramatic characteristics that breeders have coaxed out of hybrids. Phalaenopsis hybrids are known for bright colours, peculiar patterns and markings, as well as floral mutations that result in even more stunning varieties.
In the run up to National Day, the Flight of the Moth Orchid display is also a nod to the Singapore’s orchid industry’s history of producing some of the region’s earliest orchid hybridisation successes since pre-independence days. In fact, by the end of the 19th century, the emergence of novel and popular orchid hybrids had put Singapore on the world map because of the innovation and creativity of our breeders. Building on this legacy, Singapore – including horticulturists at Gardens by the Bay – continues to develop new breeding lines, as orchid hybridisation progresses in Asia and beyond.
Please refer to the Annex for more details on the Flight of the Moth Orchid display.
Join us in celebrating Singapore’s 56th birthday with the Gardens by the Bay and Mediacorp National Day Concert 2021 on 9 August, which will feature star-studded performances set against the verdant backdrop of Gardens by the Bay’s iconic attractions.
Centred on young musical talent, this collaboration between Gardens by the Bay and Mediacorp, which is into its third year, aims to bring Singaporeans together through a forward-looking showcase of rising local stars that also underscores our shared sense of belonging. The inaugural concert in 2019 saw more than 60,000 people coming together at The Meadow in the Gardens to celebrate our nation’s birthday, while last year’s virtual edition, which took place in a different climate due to the COVID-19 pandemic, garnered an even wider audience via meWATCH, Channel 5 and Mediacorp Entertainment Youtube.
This year’s concert will be graced by Guest-of-Honour President Halimah Yacob and Mr Mohamed Abdullah Alhabshee, and anchored by exhilarating performances at the Supertree Grove, Flower Dome, Cloud Forest, Floral Fantasy and outdoor gardens. The entire show will be produced with all necessary safe management measures in place, and viewers can enjoy the performances from the comfort and safety of their homes or on the go via Mediacorp's multiple platforms on 9 August at 8pm. Please refer to Annex A for viewing details.
President Halimah said: “In spite of challenges brought on by the pandemic, Gardens by the Bay and Mediacorp have sought to connect Singaporeans through engaging programmes such as the National Day Concert. I hope this year’s concert, with its forward-looking theme, will continue to rally our nation and encourage all of us to stay strong, united, and push ahead together towards a better future.”
Felix Loh, CEO, Gardens by the Bay, said: “This pandemic has re-engaged many of us with nature and enabled us to better appreciate our living environment. We are thankful that our Gardens has retained its popularity with our local community. We wish for this year’s digital edition, showcasing our Gardens’ physical beauty, brought to life by our home-grown Mediacorp talents, will unite everyone in believing that our best days are just ahead of us."
Tham Loke Kheng, CEO, Mediacorp said: “Mediacorp is delighted to celebrate Singapore’s birthday for the third time with Gardens by the Bay. This collaborative effort showcasing our local creative talent and the beauty of Gardens by the Bay is our homage to Singapore, and to fellow Singaporeans. Despite the current circumstances, we hope audiences will join us to mark our National Day, keep our spirits up and look forward to brighter days ahead.”
Hosted by Class 95 DJ Jean Danker, the one-hour programme promises a spectacular showcase of local talents in the creative industry, with a focus on next-generation hotshots such as up-and-coming R&B musician Keyana; and the latest real-life ‘IT’ couple, heartthrob singer-actor Gavin Teo and second-generation rising star Chen Yixin, who will be performing Crowd Lu’s ‘幾分之幾 You Complete Me’ together at the scenic Dragonfly Lake.
Not to be missed is a key segment featuring popular Mediacorp actress Rebecca Lim, who will perform a rousing rendition of Corrine May’s uplifting National Day Song, ‘Song for Singapore’. This segment will also include a special National Day greeting by President Halimah Yacob.
Meanwhile, Kollywood music producer Shabir will deliver his catchy tune, ‘Singai Naadu Redux’, and exuberant dance moves amidst the Dale Chihuly: Glass in Bloom exhibition glass sculptures in the Gardens. Joining these next-generation stars will be the legendary pop icon Rahimah Rahim, who will be belting out signature hits like ‘Pesanan Buat Gadis’ and ‘Gadis Bunga’ amongst the stunning blooms within Flower Dome. Please refer to Annex B for a list of key programme performers.
Interspersed among the performances will be inspiring stories of individuals and organisations who are making a positive impact in the community and contributing to a green and sustainable living environment. Set in the lush surroundings of the Gardens, the stories will feature the team from social enterprise, The Social Kitchen, seniors from social service agency, Brahm Centre, horticulturists and staff from Gardens by the Bay, and even a special cameo appearance by a family of otters at Marina Bay.
That’s not all. To amplify audience engagement, viewers can also look forward to immersing themselves in the Gardens by the Bay and Mediacorp National Day Concert Virtual Experience from their homes. Viewers can explore the whimsical, futuristic digital twin of Gardens by the Bay, where they can learn more about the National Day Concert performers and enjoy a special performance of ‘再度起航’ (‘Take Flight’) by local artiste Jake (吴家慷). The Gardens by the Bay and Mediacorp National Day Concert Virtual Experience will be available via meWATCH on Windows desktop devices from 9 August.
For more information, please visit mewatch.sg/ndc2021, or refer to the Annexes:
In a unique collaboration between art and nature, 13 seniors visited Gardens by the Bay for a watercolour painting session and tour organised by Fei Yue Community Services. The seniors painted the glass sculptures in Flower Dome that are part of the Dale Chihuly: Glass in Bloom exhibition, then toured the exhibition. Such an activity provides a respite for seniors, and helps them maintain an active and healthy mind during a stressful time like the pandemic.
The visit was made possible by Gardens by the Bay’s Gift of Gardens community outreach initiative, which provides free access to Flower Dome, Cloud Forest and Floral Fantasy for beneficiaries of social service agencies, and Singapore residents who may not have the resources to visit or are individuals with disabilities.
President Halimah Yacob, the patron of Gift of Gardens, interacted with the seniors during the painting session, and even contributed a brushstroke or two to one of the paintings. Later, she joined them on a tour of the glass sculptures in Flower Dome as well as the outdoor gardens.
Gardens by the Bay Senior Director of Programming and Events Chua Yen Ling said, “As the community works together to weather the pandemic, it feels particularly meaningful for Gardens by the Bay to be able to do its small part by hosting these seniors through our Gift of Gardens community outreach programme. We hope that the green spaces at Gardens by the Bay serve as a source of respite and resilience for people during these challenging times.”
The Dale Chihuly: Glass in Bloom exhibition is ongoing at Gardens by the Bay until August 1.
An outstanding specimen of Grammatophyllum multiflorum var. tigrinum at Gardens by the Bay will become the first of its species to be awarded the First Class Certificate, the highest accolade among the Orchid Society of South East Asia’s prized certificates.
The recognition, which will be formally registered next month, is all the more significant as the First Class Certificate has only been presented to seven orchids in 93 years. For an orchid species to be awarded the mark of distinction is not only a rare honour, but also a testament to the well-honed skills of the grower.
The winning specimen Grammatophyllum multiflorum var. tigrinum 'Gardens by the Bay' is being recognised for its exceptional quality due to its symmetrical shape with flowers of intense colouration and contrast. Its five long arching inflorescences – the longest measuring almost 2 metres – are elegant with well-arranged flowers. Three inflorescences have bloomed just in time for Mother’s Day, while the remaining two are expected to bloom in the next two to three weeks. By the time the plant reaches full bloom, it will carry over 500 flowers. It is now on display in Flower Dome for visitors to enjoy.
A relative of the Tiger Orchid, Grammatophyllum multiflorum var. tigrinum is an orchid species endemic to the Philippines. In its natural habitat, the epiphyte grows on tree trunks or branches in forests at elevations up to 300 metres. “Multiflorum” means multi-flowered in Latin.
Singapore has officially launched a major garden exhibition by Dale Chihuly, one of the world’s most-renowned glass artists from Seattle. A first of its kind in Asia, the Dale Chihuly: Glass in Bloom exhibition takes place amidst the verdant tropical setting of Singapore’s iconic Gardens by the Bay. The exhibition was officiated by Guest-of-Honour Mr Alvin Tan, Minister of State for Trade & Industry and Culture, Community & Youth, at an opening ceremony this evening.
The exhibition offers a unique experience that takes visitors across the expanse of Gardens by the Bay’s various landscapes, including the vast greenery of its Outdoor Gardens and the cooled environment of its Conservatories. Here, visitors will be able to experience landmark installations such as Moon - which has not been exhibited since its debut in Jerusalem in 2000, and Setting Sun - an artwork designed specially for Singapore. The two installations will be presented in view of one another for the first time, allowing visitors to appreciate the spectacular artworks in one setting and against the Singapore city skyline. Together with other installations such as the nearly 10-metre tall Cloud Forest Persians set within the Cloud Forest conservatory and the delicate Ethereal White Persians at Serene Garden, Dale Chihuly: Glass in Bloom promises an inspiring encounter for all visitors. More information on the artworks can be found in the Fact Sheet.
Organised by Hustle & Bustle, supported by the Singapore Tourism Board, venue partner Gardens by the Bay, automotive sponsor Porsche, and presented by title sponsors Bank of Singapore and OCBC Premier Private Client, Dale Chihuly: Glass in Bloom is the first exhibition of its scale to be hosted at Gardens by the Bay. Expectedly, transporting and setting up more than 100 of these prized artworks, including some that weigh as much as 3,600 kg, required the collective support of many - such as engineering partner CPG Consultants Pte Ltd.
Mr Chuck Kho, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of CPG Consultants Pte Ltd, shared, “The magnificent artwork installations of Dale Chihuly have always awed the world with their beauty and wonder. As the appointed engineering partner, we incorporated innovative lightweight solutions and enabled the existing structures in Gardens by the Bay to display these breathtaking iconic masterpieces. Precise and careful engineering was required to ensure that existing structures could support these large, fragile glass sculptures.”
Chargé d’Affaires Rafik Mansour, U.S. Embassy Singapore shares from the perspective of an American in Singapore, and the embassy’s support towards The Creator’s Cove, “Dale Chihuly’s work is recognised across the world for its innovation and creativity. It is exciting to see these American masterpieces on display in such an iconic Singaporean venue as an embodiment of our two countries’ vibrant relationship. The U.S. Embassy is proud to support The Creator’s Cove as an opportunity for Singaporeans to experience Chihuly’s work in an interactive, hands-on way.”
An exciting line-up of programmes and other offerings
Beyond the Gardens, the public can catch a glimpse of Dale Chihuly’s works which were specially shipped over to Singapore, at the outdoor spaces of The Fullerton Bay Hotel. The Paintbrush Tower is prominently displayed on the lawn outside The Fullerton Bay Hotel, against the Marina Bay skyline. It made its debut at Chihuly’s 2014 exhibition at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Coral Gables, Florida. More recently, the work was presented in Chihuly’s 2018 exhibition at Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. The name was inspired by the Indian Paintbrush flower after the form was first blown and Chihuly noticed a resemblance. Come May, one can also look forward to an artistic afternoon tea inspired by Dale Chihuly’s masterpieces at The Fullerton Bay Hotel.
Visitors can also expect fun and diverse experiences that incorporate an eclectic mix of art and nature. There will be programmes conducted in collaboration with community partners such as Synergraphic Design, whose local glass artists will be conducting glass fusing workshops; and Crafune, who will be holding leather crafting workshops. Supported by the U.S. Embassy Singapore, these workshops present interactive elements of the exhibition. For more information on the programmes, please visit https://chihulyinbloom.com/programmes.
Selected Grab users who book a ride to the exhibition will stand to enjoy special rewards and promotions for exclusive exhibition merchandise. Grab will also be giving away Dale Chihuly: Glass in Bloom exhibition tickets to selected driver-partners in June, as a gesture of appreciation for their hard work. Driver-partners will receive more information on this soon.
The exhibition extends to a vibrant Porsche Taycan art car against the futuristic backdrop of the SG50 Lattice at the Gardens. Its design features Chihuly’s Persians series, a celebration of form, scale and colour that was first exhibited in 1986. Over the course of five decades, Dale Chihuly has explored new and old techniques of glass blowing, constantly pushing the boundaries of contemporary art. Drawing inspiration from the world around him, Chihuly creates statements using colour and form to capture the imagination, surpassing conventional ideas of function and beauty. Parallels can be drawn with Porsche, the car manufacturer that emphasises on quality and invests heavily in innovative technology. Porsche places the highest demands on its designs and their every detail and the Taycan art car, with its vibrant Persians livery designed by Chihuly, is emblematic of this common ambition between Porsche and Chihuly the artist, to innovate beyond convention.
“Featuring elements from Dale Chihuly’s award-winning exhibition Persians, the Taycan art car is a striking composition of emotion, history, and innovation. The Taycan delivers the unparalleled design and performance that typifies every Porsche for the electric age. The art car brings this passage to life beautifully by juxtaposing an iconic profile against captivatingly dynamic characteristics,” said Arthur Willmann, Chief Executive Officer of Porsche Asia Pacific.
The Porsche Taycan art car celebrates the amalgamation of art, nature and innovation and will be exhibited exclusively at the SG50 Lattice at the Bay South Garden (Gardens by the Bay) until 30 May 2021, in conjunction with the exhibition.
In addition, visitors will be able to purchase official exhibition merchandise designed by Chihuly Studio, including books, colouring pencil sets, decorative paper books, pop-up cards, sculpture kits, umbrellas, tote bags, and more, each available at the Exhibition Shop near Dragonfly Lake. In addition, designs by local artists have been selected from winning entries in response to an open call in January. The open call was held as a nod to Singapore’s creative community, and winning entries were awarded with cash prizes and a curated tour of the exhibition. Please refer to Annex A for more information on this.
Tickets are available via the following options:
For more information and ticket purchase, please visit www.chihulyinbloom.com.
For more details, please refer to the following:
From 23 April 2021, the public will be treated to a visual spectacle of vibrant, large-scale glass installations by world-renowned American artist Dale Chihuly, when the sculptures in Gardens by the Bay’s Cloud Forest and Flower Dome open first to welcome visitors. These eight installations are part of the Dale Chihuly: Glass in Bloom exhibition that will officially open to the public from 1 May 2021.
Dale Chihuly: Glass in Bloom marks the artist’s inaugural major garden exhibition in Asia, and is the first exhibition of its scale to be hosted at Gardens by the Bay. Featuring 25 of the artist’s large-scale installations, as well as over 80 pedestal sculptures and two-dimensional works such as Glass-on-Glass paintings, the works are curated and set within the verdant tropical setting of Singapore’s iconic horticultural attraction. The exhibition is organised by Hustle & Bustle, supported by the Singapore Tourism Board, venue partner Gardens by the Bay, automotive sponsor Porsche and presented by title sponsors Bank of Singapore and OCBC Premier Private Client.
Gardens by the Bay’s Director of Horticultural Operations Gary Chua said, “There’s a strong tradition of Chihuly sculptures being exhibited in famous gardens around the world, so our horticulturists were thrilled to have the opportunity to exercise their creativity to put together beautiful landscapes and floral displays that would complement these stunning sculptures. Visitors will be glad to know that the floral display in Flower Dome will change throughout the duration of the exhibition, so there will be new flowers to look forward to and people can come again and again."
A list of installations within the cooled conservatories can be found in Annex A.
Other installations that will open to the public from 1 May 2021, situated in the Outdoor Gardens and Gallery at Bayfront Pavilion, include the striking Setting Sun, Moon, and Ethereal White Persians – some of which weigh as much as 3,600 kg.
Tickets are available via the following options:
For more information and ticket purchase, please visit http://www.chihulyinbloom.com.
Visitor safety remains a priority for Gardens by the Bay. Safe management measures for ticketed attractions include:
All visitors must comply with prevailing Covid-19 guidelines, including the wearing of masks even during photo-taking, not gathering in groups of more than eight people, and observing a safe distance of 1m from other visitors.
American artist Dale Chihuly, a trailblazer in his work with blown glass, will bring his large-scale installations and sculptures to Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay from 1 May – 1 August, 2021. Dale Chihuly: Glass in Bloom marks the artist’s first major garden exhibition in Asia, presenting visitors with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience an extensive collection of the celebrated artist’s works. The exhibition is organised by Hustle & Bustle, supported by the Singapore Tourism Board, venue partner Gardens by the Bay and presented by title sponsors Bank of Singapore and OCBC Premier Private Client.
“I’m thrilled to show my work in such a dynamic location in Singapore,” said Chihuly. “The natural world is an endless source for creativity, and it has been so inspiring to bring my work to life in this urban garden oasis.”
Dale Chihuly is an award-winning, multi-media artist known for his installations in museums, gardens, and public spaces around the world. For more than 50 years, he has pushed the boundaries of glass, reinventing natural and man-made environments with his experiments in light, space, and form.
Dale Chihuly: Glass in Bloom is the latest manifestation of the artist’s practice as he reimagines the landscapes of Singapore’s iconic Gardens by the Bay with 25 of his magnificent large-scale installations, as well as more than 80 pedestal sculptures and two-dimensional works. The works, which have been shipped directly from Seattle and installed on site, marks the first exhibition of its scale to be hosted at Gardens by the Bay, and makes it the first garden in Asia to provide the verdant tropical setting for people in Singapore to experience the stunning works of Chihuly for themselves.
Among the exhibition highlights are Chihuly’s majestic Setting Sun, and Moon, a large spherical installation which was last presented in the artist’s landmark exhibition, Chihuly in the Light of Jerusalem 2000. Visitors will see Ethereal White Persians at the Serene Garden, and Cloud Forest Persians, a study in scale and translucency which debuted in 2019 at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, in London. These large-scale works, which measure up to 10 metres in height and weigh as much as 3600 kg, were curated and designed to complement the spaces within Gardens by the Bay’s Flower Dome, Cloud Forest and outdoor gardens. The full list of artworks will be announced at a later date.
While this is the artist’s first formal garden exhibition in Asia, Chihuly has an existing legacy in Singapore with large-scale permanent installations at Resorts World Sentosa and at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel.
“Chihuly is a symbol of resilience, as portrayed in his mastery of the beautiful and delicate art of glassblowing. We are captivated by his life story, and view this momentous exhibition as an opportunity to share his inspirational story with the rest of Singapore, despite the challenges of putting together a show of this scale in the midst of a pandemic. When the world has come to a standstill during this pandemic period, Chihuly’s works bring our focus back to nature. By presenting the works of this celebrated contemporary glass artist in Singapore, we hope to bring joy to visitors, and to make art accessible to the general public, especially for our locals and Singapore residents,” said Michael Lee, CEO of Hustle & Bustle, on the partnership with Chihuly Studio.
Felix Loh, CEO, Gardens by the Bay added: “Mr Dale Chihuly’s colourful glass sculptures first gained popularity in America in the 70s and have since remained highly sought after by destinations all over. We are honoured to be the first Asian national garden to play host to these stunning masterpieces, following the footsteps of other successful exhibitions in Kew Gardens, London and the New York Botanical Garden. With overseas travel still some time away, we hope locals will come experience these magical creations by one of the world’s most celebrated glass artist in the modern era.”
Mr Ching Wei Hong, Deputy President, Head of Global Wealth Management and Consumer Banking, OCBC Bank said, “With borders closed and travel restricted due to the Covid-19 outbreak, many of us have not been able to access world-class art and performances overseas. OCBC and Bank of Singapore are therefore very happy to be able to support the debut exhibition of world-renowned glass sculptor, Dale Chihuly, in Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay. Members of the public can view the exhibition spanning the entire Garden. For our clients from Bank of Singapore and OCBC Premier Private Client, we have specially curated a set of activities. While we have been able to meet the wealth management needs of our clients effectively over the past year or so, whether virtually or in small groups, this exhibition gives us the opportunity to engage our clients in person, beyond banking. We hope the beautiful and gravity-defying glass expressions of human creativity and imagination of Dale Chihuly’s masterpieces will bring joy to everyone during this challenging time.”
“We are very pleased that Singapore is hosting Dale Chihuly’s debut at Gardens by the Bay. This world-class exhibition is a strong testament to Singapore’s standing as an ideal location to showcase the work of leading global artists. We hope Singapore residents will enjoy this spectacular, ‘first-in-Asia’ visual art experience, and in time to come, we hope our international visitors can experience it too,” said Keith Tan, Chief Executive, Singapore Tourism Board.
Tickets are available via the following options:
For more information and ticket purchase, please visit www.chihulyinbloom.com.
To ensure the safety of all visitors, the exhibition will be adhering strictly with recommended health guidelines, safety best practices, distancing measures and government regulations. Visitors are encouraged to purchase their tickets in advance to secure slots.
For more details, please refer to the Annexes:
Visitors to Flower Dome at Gardens by the Bay can now enjoy an extended sakura season as the ongoing Sakura Featuring Hello Kitty floral display, which opened on March 1, will run till April 11.
This is the first time the annual cherry blossom display at Gardens by the Bay will be held over an extended period, as previous editions typically ran for three weeks due to the ephemeral nature of the blooms. This fortunate stroke of serendipity came about because of a delay in a shipment of cherry blossom trees from Europe due to disruptions in the shipping industry. As a result, the Sakura display opened in March with specialty sakura from Japan that arrived as scheduled. Following the arrival of trees from Europe two weeks later, Gardens by the Bay is incorporating them into the floral display to extend the cherry blossom show by another three weeks.
Visitors can check Gardens by the Bay’s Facebook and Telegram channel for updates on the state of blooming.
Sakura Featuring Hello Kitty floral display
Date: From Monday, 1 March to Sunday, 11 April
Time: 9.00am – 9.00pm
Details: Admission charge to Flower Dome applies. Visitors are required to pre-book their timed-entry tickets online from the Gardens by the Bay website or mobile app.
Visit www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/sakura for details.
With the March school holidays around the corner and overseas travel on hold due to the pandemic, Gardens by the Bay is bringing a bit of Japan to Singapore.
In spite of disruptions in the shipping industry affecting the supply of cherry blossom trees from Europe, Gardens by the Bay will be bringing back the popular Sakura display with specialty sakura trees from Japan – and a little help from Hello Kitty.
Gardens by the Bay is pleased to present the Sakura Featuring Hello Kitty floral display from 1 March 2021.
Hello Kitty, the endearing Japanese international icon, will make her debut at Gardens by the Bay in this year’s Sakura Featuring Hello Kitty floral display. She will appear in various picturesque settings including a hanami (flower viewing) picnic amidst spring blossoms, a nodate (an outdoor tea ceremony), and a Japanese-style landscaped garden. Quintessential Japanese elements like torii gates and red-crowned cranes will also be featured in the floral display.
Safety continues to be a priority and thus in planning the Sakura floral display, Gardens by the Bay took into consideration safe distancing measures to spread out scenic spots and blossoms, allowing visitors space to maintain a distance from one another.
Cultural programmes such as traditional folk music and dance, taiko drum performances, Japanese tea demonstrations and ikebana workshops, organised in partnership with the Embassy of Japan in Singapore’s Japan Creative Centre, will be scaled down in accordance with prevailing safety guidelines, which cap the number of attendees who will need to pre-register for the programmes.
Gardens by the Bay CEO Felix Loh said, “Many of us can’t wait to travel again and cherry blossoms in Japan would rank highly as one of the must-go destinations for everyone. Hence, despite logistics issues, the Gardens team insisted on reaching out to our overseas partners to bring this much-loved display to Singaporeans. While cherry tree supplies may be limited this year, we hope these rare beauties will continue to bring our families and loved ones together in a time of Covid-19. We are also thankful to the Embassy of Japan in Singapore for their continued support and partnership.”
Ms Marziah Omar, Senior Assistant Director of Conservatory Operations overseeing the display in Flower Dome added, “Our annual Sakura floral display has brought much joy and delight to Singaporeans over the past five years. Despite the supply challenges this year, we are doing our best to make sure that we continue to present this popular floral display to our visitors. We are still hopeful that the larger cherry blossom trees from Europe will arrive later. When that happens, we will incorporate them into the display and our visitors will get the bonus opportunity to enjoy an extended sakura season this year.”
Sakura Featuring Hello Kitty floral display was launched by Ambassador of Japan to Singapore His Excellency Jun Yamazaki and Ambassador-at-Large at Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Professor Tommy Koh. They also graced the unveiling of a sculpture by renowned Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama titled “Kei-Chan”, which was donated to Gardens by the Bay by private individual Ms Lee Tuan.
Ambassador of Japan to Singapore His Excellency Jun Yamazaki said, “I am once again delighted to welcome the Sakura floral display at Gardens by the Bay, which is in its sixth year. It is an event that brings Japan closer to Singapore. I am personally excited to see the beautiful sakura blossoms. Please also enjoy the tastes and sounds of Japan while taking in the sense of spring on display right here in Singapore.”
Sakura Featuring Hello Kitty floral display
Date: From Monday, 1 March
Time: 9.00am – 9.00pm
Details: Admission charge to Flower Dome applies.
Visit www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/sakura for details. Visitors can check Gardens by the Bay’s Facebook and Telegram channel for updates on the state of blooming.
The life-sized lanterns, giant God of Fortune installation and exhibition which have made River Hongbao (RHB) one of Singapore’s most beloved and exciting Chinese New Year celebration events will return this year at a new venue at Gardens by the Bay. It will run for seven days from 10 February to 16 February 2021.
RHB, which has been held annually since 1987, is organised by the Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations, Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Singapore Press Holdings’ Chinese Media Group, Singapore Tourism Board and People’s Association.
Mr Tan Aik Hock, Chairman of the River Hongbao 2021 Organising Committee, said: “This year’s RHB will be a different experience from previous years. In deciding whether to proceed with RHB, the first question we asked ourselves was whether we can ensure the safety and wellbeing of all our visitors. It was also important that we did our level best to try and adjust to the new normal, while continuing the RHB tradition.
After extensive deliberation, planning and consultation, and together with our venue partner Gardens by the Bay, we have adapted the event and we are confident that we have put in place robust safety protocols that will allow our visitors to imbibe in some festive flavour as we launch into new beginnings in the Chinese year of the Ox."
Ensuring Safety and Wellbeing
This year, safe management and crowd control measures will take priority at the RHB event. Baseline safety protocols include SafeEntry check-ins, thermal screening, and the provision of hand sanitisers. High-touch points will be cleaned several times a day.
In addition, in order to prevent over-crowding, visitors are required to pre-register by booking slots online at www.riverhongbao.sg to avoid disappointment. Daytime slots are 90 minutes in duration, while night-time slots are 120 minutes in duration. Visitorship is capped at 2,000 visitors per time slot.
More than 100 volunteers, safe distancing ambassadors and uniformed auxiliary police officers will be deployed at any one time to prevent crowding, and also to ensure all visitors follow proper safe management measures.
New Venue: Gardens by the Bay
Even though there will be restrictions placed due to COVID-19, visitors can still expect to see some perennial RHB favourites at the new Gardens by the Bay event site.
Mr Felix Loh, CEO of Gardens by the Bay said: “We are honoured to be entrusted by the River Hongbao 2021 Organising Committee as their venue partner. At the same time, we are conscious of the need to work doubly hard to ensure that the popular event is carried out in a safe way and seek visitors' understanding of the need for enhanced safety measures. While this year's edition has been scaled back in line with the muted celebrations, we hope that the occasion will still bring some cheer and joy to our community as we welcome a new spring of hope together."
A “Different” RHB Experience
Due to concerns over COVID-19, there will be restrictions on crowd numbers and several of RHB’s key features such as the fireworks, the amusement park and live stage performances have been cancelled.
What RHB visitors can still enjoy and take photographs of this year on-site are 24 giant lanterns featuring icons like a peacock, a pair of butterflies, the 12 animal zodiacs, and the crowd-pleasing God of Fortune. These lanterns will be scattered throughout GB’s outdoor gardens.
Cultural elements can also be found at RHB whereby visitors can boost their knowledge of Chinese culture at the River Hongbao exhibition, which will feature the Lion Dance. The exhibition includes a curated selection of lion dance artefacts from private collectors and organisations, with some dating back to as far as 1950s. It also shows the significance of the lion dance in different cultures and countries, as well as the history of the lion dance and its development in Singapore.
In place of student-led guided tours which have been cancelled due to COVID-19, pre-recorded videos of the students introducing the exhibition contents will be available for viewing at the exhibition venue and online at the RHB website.
Main stage live performances have also been cancelled this year. Instead, nightly screenings of performances will be held at the Main Stage with local talents featured on different themed nights including Getai Night and Xinyao Night.
RHB is continuing its collaboration with Mediacorp, with support from the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre this year, to produce a specially curated show which will be broadcast on Channel 8 on 26 February 2021. RHB will also be collaborating for the first time with Singapore Press Holdings’ Chinese Media Group for one night of performance – Joys of Spring - on 16 February 2021.
As visitor numbers are limited, many elements of RHB will be posted online at the RHB website (www.riverhongbao.sg) for public to enjoy from home. This includes the Lion Dance exhibition, lantern displays and videos of performances.
There will be plenty of opportunities for visitors to engage with River Hongbao virtually, such as through games and other interactive elements. RHB will be launching a TikTok contest for the first time with attractive prizes to be won. This year’s collaboration with POSB for their #HuntYourZodiac game will also feature a new gameplay with an Islandwide Hunt.
With safety protocols and a new venue, RHB 2021 will certainly be different from previous years. As one of the most familiar and well-loved events in the Singapore calendar, through its adaptation, RHB hopes that everyone can still usher in the Chinese New Year in a joyful manner and enjoy festivities in a responsible way.
Gardens by the Bay’s Gift of Gardens community outreach programme benefitted from its largest donation since it started in 2012, receiving $250,000 from Bloomberg and private individual Mrs Lucy Yeo. President Halimah Yacob, who is also the Patron of Gift of Gardens, received the cheque on behalf of Gardens by the Bay today. Together with beneficiaries from Concern & Care Society, TOUCH Community Services, and HOME (Humanitarian Organization for Migration Economics), President Halimah also toured the Dahlia Dreams floral display in Flower Dome.
Gift of Gardens provides complimentary access to Gardens by the Bay’s ticketed attractions to local residents who may otherwise not have the opportunity to visit, such as those who lack the resources or individuals with disabilities.
The amount donated today will be further matched dollar-for-dollar by Tote Board under its Enhanced Fund-Raising Programme. In addition, with the growing popularity of online donations, Gardens by the Bay has set up a public fundraising platform on www.giving.sg to provide a more streamlined platform for the public to contribute to Gift of Gardens.
Since Gift of Gardens started in 2012, donations from individual donors and corporate sponsors have enabled more than 100,000 beneficiaries from over 200 charities to enjoy popular ticketed attractions such as Flower Dome, Cloud Forest and Floral Fantasy.
CEO of Gardens by the Bay Felix Loh said, “As a People’s Garden, we are heartened that despite being in the middle of such a challenging climate as the pandemic, we have received strong support from Bloomberg and Mrs Lucy Yeo in our efforts make Gardens by the Bay a place for all to enjoy. Gift of Gardens provides the less fortunate opportunities to enjoy the beauty of nature at Gardens by the Bay, and we hope to continue to receive support for this worthy initiative from the community at large, especially with a more streamlined platform for donating via giving.sg.”
This new year will see the return of Gardens by the Bay’s signature thematic floral displays in Flower Dome, beginning with Dahlia Dreams, which opens today. The public can also look forward to perennial favourites such as Sakura Matsuri and Tulipmania returning later this year to delight local Singaporeans who are still unable to travel extensively.
This year's display of 2,000 dahlias are all entirely grown in-house by the Gardens’ own horticulturists for the very first time given the prevailing logistics disruptions, and are showcased alongside a host of Chinese New Year floral classics like azaleas, chrysanthemums and cymbidiums.
With safety in mind, a slew of safe distancing measures has also been incorporated into the design of Dahlia Dreams. Instead of a singular photo spot, scenic spots for the display have been spaced out to allow visitors to maintain a safe distance from each other. Key photo spots have been designed to be multi-faceted with minimum visual obstruction, allowing visitors many different angles to take photos.
As safety remains a priority at Gardens by the Bay, visitors are required to pre-book their timed-entry tickets online from the Gardens by the Bay website or mobile app.
Other safety measures include:
Visitors also have to comply with prevailing Covid-19 guidelines including the wearing of masks even during photo-taking, not gathering in groups of more than eight, and observing a safe distance of 1m.
Dahlia Dreams Date: Friday, 15 January – Sunday, 21 February
Time: 9am – 9pm
Details: Admission charge to Flower Dome applies.
Visit www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/dahlia for details.
With Singapore having moved into Phase 3, Gardens by the Bay will be bringing back the full version of its Garden Rhapsody light and sound show from January 8.
The popular light and sound show at Supertree Grove sees the lights of 12 Supertrees “dance” to a musical soundtrack. The 15-minute show will return to its original 7.45pm and 8.45pm timing every evening, and is free.
The musical soundtrack and choreography of lights changes often, and there are 10 shows planned for 2021. For the month of January, visitors will get to experience Garden Waltz, an uplifting compilation of waltz music from great composers, such as Frédéric Chopin's Grande Valse Brilliante, Johann Strauss Junior's On the Beautiful Blue Danube and Emile Waldteufel's Skaters' Waltz.
Garden Rhapsody went on hiatus during last year’s circuit breaker period, and returned in a different form in September to ensure safe distancing management and crowd control. Instead of two full-scale shows every evening, soothing background music and soft lighting took place from 7pm to 10pm daily.
When the full Garden Rhapsody returns, Safe Distancing Ambassadors and security officers will be on site to enforce safe management measures such as ensuring people keeping an adequate distance from each other, not congregating in large groups and wearing their face masks at all times.
Gardens by the Bay Senior Director of Programming and Events Chua Yen Ling said, “Singapore has come through a difficult 2020, and we hope this new year will be a better one for everyone. For the first full version of Gardens Rhapsody at Gardens by the Bay, we chose a particularly rousing soundtrack which we hope will uplift the spirit. Garden Rhapsody is free for all, and with safety measures in place, we hope our visitors will not only enjoy the show, but also receive a boost to morale as they immerse themselves in the magical atmosphere of our magnificent Supertrees.”
For the list of Garden Rhapsody shows lined up for 2021, visit www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/whatson.
Please refer to the Annex for events happening in January at Gardens by the Bay.