Unless you know what to look out for, you might miss the Sandbox Tree at Gardens by the Bay’s World of Plants. Also known as “Monkey No-Climb Tree” because of its prickly bark, this unusual-looking tree native to the Amazon is a stop on one of the guided themed tours of the free Nature and Sustainability Tours for the public.
The Nature and Sustainability Tours leverage on Gardens by the Bay as a working model for sustainable development and conservation. The series will use real – and often little known – examples at the Gardens to illustrate sometimes complex concepts to the layman.
The Sandbox Tree is a living example of how plants in rainforests help to remove carbon from the atmosphere via photosynthesis. On the Carbon and Climate themed tour that is part of the series, the Sandbox Tree is used to explain the role of vegetated ecosystems in capturing green carbon – one of the types of carbon that form the Carbon Rainbow, a classification system that will also be covered on the tour.
Supported by Keppel Corporation, the Nature and Sustainability tours is Gardens by the Bay’s latest educational initiative that focuses on nurturing a culture of sustainability in the community. Through its philanthropic arm, Keppel Care Foundation, Keppel Corporation pledged $300,000 to run the series, which will be offered free-of-charge to all Singaporeans and local residents, including admission to the cooled conservatories for selected themed tours.
There are tours every Saturday and Sunday, with each tour being an hour long and led by a professional guide. There are two themes in January – Carbon and Climate, and Urban Wetlands. Come February, the series will be expanded to include Biodiversity and Ecosystems, and Seeds and Senses (Smell).
Slated to run until 2025, the Nature and Sustainability tours will eventually be expanded to a total of five themes with eight different routes:
The Nature and Sustainability Tours are expected to reach more than 28,000 people by the end of its three-year run.
Beyond sustainability, the series will also help participants uncover hidden gems at Gardens by the Bay that they might miss out on without a guide. One example is a spot in Flower Dome that exposes the chilled water pipes under the ground slabs, an energy-saving alternative to air conditioning that keeps the areas nearest the ground cool. Another example is a plant that smells like root beer, a property that is both anti-microbial as well as repellent to pests.
Please refer to the Annex for more details on the different themes of the Nature and Sustainability Tours.
Registration for the Carbon and Climate, and Urban Wetlands themed tours in the month of January will open on Dec 17 this year. Members of the public can sign up on a first come-first-serve basis at www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/sustainabilitytours. Registration for subsequent runs of the tours will open every first Wednesday of each month for the following month.
As a Gardens by the Bay volunteer, 52-year-old Ng Lee Siang used to conduct tours for beneficiaries of the Gardens’ Gift of Gardens community outreach programme. When the pandemic hit, she was asked if she would be willing to try being filmed conducting a modified version of such tours in order to bring nature closer to people cooped up indoors – in her case, seniors in nursing homes. Lee Siang’s virtual tours proved to be quite popular with the senior citizens.
Lee Siang’s experience is among the heartwarming stories collected in Gardens by the Bay’s 10th anniversary coffee table book “A Blossoming City Garden”, a 192-page tome published in conjunction with Straits Times Press.
Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, and Second Minister for Finance and National Development Indranee Rajah launched “A Blossoming City Garden” today at Gardens by the Bay’s community space Active Garden.
Beyond documenting the decade-long story of Gardens by the Bay – its genesis, its development through the years, the unprecedented challenges faced during the pandemic, and plans for the future, including new sustainability goals – there are also sometimes uplifting, sometimes touching stories from the community interspersed throughout the chapters, from a wedding proposal to cherished memories of visits with late parents.
A number of these stories came from a call for public contributions earlier this year, which garnered more than 1,000 entries, from photos to drawings to poetry.
More of these contributions are gathered online in an e-book, “10 Years of Growing Wonders”, which is available for viewing or download at www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/10th-anniversary-ebook. There is also an ongoing photo exhibition near Gardens by the Bay’s Floral Clock that showcases additional contributions, which will run until Jan 15 next year.
Gardens by the Bay CEO Felix Loh said, “What makes the pages of ‘A Blossoming City Garden’ come alive are the wonderful stories about the experiences of a diversity of people at Gardens by the Bay. When Gardens by the Bay was conceptualised 10 years ago, it was not only meant to be a world-class attraction that would put Singapore on the international map, but also a People’s Garden that Singaporeans would come to be proud to call their own. In the years since, with so many people in the community choosing Gardens by the Bay as the backdrop to their precious memories, it seems we have been quite successful on that front, and in our tenth year, it was opportune to archive such heartfelt stories.”
Breaking away from the conventional coffee table book format, Gardens by the Bay also worked with NCS to incorporate augmented reality elements into the book. By downloading an app and scanning a QR code on a page, readers can, for example, see a kingfisher “fly across” the pages of their book, leading them to explore the Garden’s urban wetlands Kingfisher Wetlands. In another example, they can learn how horticulturists embark on hybridising lowland and highland orchids to form a unique new hybrid that can thrive in both temperate and tropical climates – a focus of the Gardens’ orchid hybridisation programme, which began in 2015.
Senior Partner of NEXT, NCS, Wynthia Goh said, “We are proud to partner with Gardens by the Bay in creating this immersive experience that brings the pages of ‘A Blossoming City Garden’ to life. By harnessing leading technologies such as augmented reality, it gives us the opportunity to create a new way of storytelling where our community can now creatively embrace these heartfelt stories and spark new kinds of conversation and interaction with content.”
At the launch today, 28 community partners also received tokens of appreciation for their contributions and support for Gardens by the Bay through the years. These community partners have been running activities and programmes that enable Gardens by the Bay to fulfill its People’s Garden mission. One example is Cycling Without Age Singapore, a charity that runs programmes to engage and empower senior citizens, such as through their iconic e-trishaw rides for beneficiaries such as the elderly, that are driven by volunteers.
Cycling Without Age Singapore CEO Jerome Yuen said, “In a long-running collaboration with Gardens by the Bay, the route of our e-trishaw rides takes beneficiaries along the Gardens’ waterfront promenade. Being in such beautiful verdant surroundings, coupled with the stunning view of Marina Bay, is good for the mind and spirit, and our beneficiaries like senior citizens always enjoy themselves very much during their outings to Gardens by the Bay.”
The softcover of “A Blossoming City Garden” will retail at $49.50 until the end of this year, and $49.90 from next year, at Gardens by the Bay’s retail shops and shop.gardensbythebay.com.sg beginning tomorrow. It is also available at all major bookshops and the Straits Times Press online store, stbooks.sg.
The dinosaur-themed Jurassic Nest Food Hall, which opens today at Supertree Grove, is the latest addition to Gardens by the Bay’s revamped F&B offerings, a process the Gardens began during the pandemic period with an eye to offering destination dining.
Jurassic Nest Food Hall offers Michelin-rated culinary brands like Hawker Chan, Tsuta, Bismillah Biryani, and Nasi Lemak Ayam Taliwang, with the prices of main dishes starting from $7.50. Other brands include Took Lae Dee, Mama by Putien Group, and JN Café.
Animatronic dinosaurs like the T.rex, Brachiosaurus, and Oviraptor roar to life every hour amidst a landscape of 15 other life-sized dinosaurs. Beyond learning about dinosaurs, children can also embark on a specially-designed educational trail at the Outdoor Gardens of Gardens by the Bay, in search of flora and fauna that have existed since prehistoric times.
Since 2020, Gardens by the Bay has opened nine new dining outlets. This includes Hopscotch, a local restaurant and bar known for its craft cocktails that opened in October this year, following its existing outlets in Gillman Barracks and Capitol Singapore. Last year saw the one Michelin-starred Marguerite open in September, while both Shake Shack and Starbucks opened in August.
With 13 diverse dining options at Gardens by the Bay rooted in established brands and unique concepts, the dining experience itself becomes a draw for visitors. This is both complementary to and independent of, the Gardens’ core business as a horticultural attraction. Please refer to the Annex for the full list of F&B options at Gardens by the Bay.
Gardens by the Bay Board Member and Chairman of its Business Advisory Panel Ms Susan Chong said, “Gardens by the Bay’s F&B revamp began two years ago during the pandemic, and we are delighted to complete the transformation this year for the benefit of all our visitors, especially our local residents who have been such strong supporters of the Gardens, as well as the increasing number of returning overseas visitors. Beyond our strength as a horticultural show garden, we hope that people will also visit Gardens by the Bay for the culinary offerings that we have curated. With an attractive mix rooted in brand names and unique concepts across different price points, there is something delicious for everyone.”
Gardens by the Bay’s F&B strategy is based on the 4Fs:
Family Favourites includes family-friendly destinations like the Jurassic Nest Food Hall and Majestic Bay Seafood Restaurant, Familiar Names refers to well-known international brands such as Starbucks and Shake Shack, Fine Dining include the newly-minted one-star Michelin restaurant Marguerite in Flower Dome, and Fun Dining comprises concepts like Mylo’s, the rare pet café in the downtown area, and Hopscotch with its signature craft cocktails.
Among the range of dining, offerings are accessible options such as hawker centre Satay by the Bay, which offers a myriad of local fare, and McDonald’s.
Last year, Gardens by the Bay attained its highest local visitorship since it opened, with 8.3 million residents visiting. This year, the Gardens is on track to receive 9 million visitors from all over the world.
For more details on dining at Gardens by the Bay, visit www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/dining.
Thank you for joining us today on this very special occasion, as we celebrate Gardens by the Bay’s 10th anniversary.
Gardens by the Bay – a People’s Garden
When the idea to establish our second national garden was seeded more than a decade ago, it was a bold and ambitious one. We wanted to transform prime land right in the heart of our city into a lush, green space for Singaporeans to enjoy. We also envisioned that the garden would be a world-class horticultural attraction that would be a draw for visitors.
Ten years on, Gardens by the Bay has become one of the world’s top horticultural destinations, welcoming more than 89 million visitors from around the world to-date. Our Supertrees are now an iconic part of our city skyline – Instagram bears that out. The Flower Dome and Cloud Forest tell a compelling story about innovation too, where we reversed the traditional greenhouse to instead become cooled conservatories that showcase temperate and montane plants in the tropics.
Indeed, many Singaporeans and visitors visit the Gardens every year to catch the popular floral displays such as cherry blossoms, tulips, and a lot more! These efforts show how, here in Singapore, we can make the impossible possible, when we set our sights on the next frontier, and work closely together to pursue our goals.
The finale floral display of 2022, Seasons of Bloom, will be launched later this morning. It will not only celebrate the Christmas season, but also pay tribute to different seasons of flowers from around the world that Gardens by the Bay has brought to Singapore.
I would like to echo Chairman Mr Niam Chiang Meng’s earlier thanks to our many friends from around the world and many missions who work closely with us to bring your flowers and plants to showcase here in the Gardens.
Since its beginning, Gardens by the Bay has sought to be a People’s Garden – a place that everyone can enjoy. I am sure many of us would be familiar with its signature events such as Christmas Wonderland, the Mid-Autumn Festival, and the Children’s Festival. Many of them do not charge entry, to ensure that the Gardens remains accessible to all Singaporeans.
The team has also worked hard to improve the Gardens and keep improving it year on year. Since its opening, the number of attractions has increased, with the opening of the Far East Organisation Children’s Garden, the Supertree Observatory, and Floral Fantasy, just to name a few.
The COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us of how important it is to have green spaces in our city, and the Gardens has been able to provide people much needed respite. Despite the challenges over the last few years, the team worked hard to keep the Gardens delightful and attractive to Singaporeans. Gardens by the Bay attracted 8.3 million local resident visitors last year, its highest local visitorship ever.
Now that international border restrictions have eased and travel has resumed, we are seeing more tourists visit Singapore, including attractions such as the Gardens. And I am happy that Gardens by the Bay has embarked on new initiatives to bring the Gardens even closer to people from all walks of life.
On this note, I am pleased to announce that Gardens by the Bay will be partnering the Ministry of Social and Family Development to offer complimentary one-year Friends of the Gardens membership to lower-income families under MSF’s Community Link, or ComLink, initiative, beginning with families living in rental flats in Kreta Ayer and Bukit Merah from January 2023. This will allow them to enjoy unlimited visits to the Flower Dome with their loved ones and be part of our Gardens’ 10th birthday celebrations.
Advancing its Environmental Sustainability Efforts
As it plans for its future, Gardens by the Bay will also be stepping up its sustainability efforts significantly. From the start, the Gardens was designed to be environmentally sustainable, with green features incorporated into its cooled conservatories, Supertrees and lake system.
To achieve its net zero aspirations, Gardens by the Bay is developing a carbon reduction roadmap, which will be ready next year. Part of the plan is to expand the mix of renewable energy options. For example, Gardens by the Bay will deploy more solar panels on existing structures. Projections show that doing so could provide the Gardens with electricity equivalent to the annual energy consumption of about 2,300 four-room HDB flats!
In addition, it is exploring the feasibility of having a second renewable energy plant on site to contribute to its carbon reduction efforts. This second plant could potentially open up to visitors, such as through an educational component on the importance of sustainability and climate action.
In the more immediate term, Gardens by the Bay has collaborated with Keppel Care Foundation to launch a series of sustainability tours. These tours will run on weekends and will be free for local residents. The tours will showcase sustainable design and biodiversity conservation efforts, such as at our Kingfisher Wetlands. If you would like to preview this tour, please sign up at the back and join in after this morning’s festivities.
Development of Bay East Garden and the Founders’ Memorial
We will continue to write our Gardens’ story in the years ahead.
As many of you already know, the Bay East Gardens is currently being developed into a waterfront garden for the community, in tandem with the construction of the Founders’ Memorial. Bay East Gardens will trace the evolution of Singapore from a Garden City to a City in a Garden to a City in Nature. It will tell Singapore's Garden City and Water Story, with ‘green’ and ‘blue’ elements embedded in its designs.
As part of the Bay East Garden development project, Gardens by the Bay is also exploring the possibility of a bridge to connect Bay South to Bay East. This will enable our visitors to enjoy what both Gardens have to offer.
Appreciating the efforts of many
Gardens by the Bay is what it is today because of the efforts of so many people, some of whom are here with us today.
As Chairman Mr Niam Chiang Meng mentioned earlier, we are delighted to have some of our MND alumni with us today: Mr Mah Bow Tan, Mr Khaw Boon Wan and DPM Lawrence Wong, who are my predecessors who helmed MND, ground-broke, worked with the team to conceptualise and oversaw Gardens’ development. Today, we carry on that stewardship responsibility.
And with Madam President as our patron of Gardens by the Bay’s community outreach programme Gift of Gardens, I believe the Gardens is in good hands to extend all that it has to offer to the less privileged in our community.
I would like to thank my colleagues at Gardens by the Bay who have worked hard over the years to ensure that the Gardens continues to grow and flourish for the enjoyment of everyone; and also Mrs Theresa Foo, our immediate past chairman who so lovingly brought this project forward along with all of us; and Dr Kiat Tan who loves plants and brings the green touch to our Gardens.
To our partners, sponsors and donors, as well as all our volunteers, I would like also to extend our deepest appreciation for your efforts and dedication.
Of course, Gardens by the Bay would not be where it is today ten years on without the strong support of Singaporeans and the wider community. My colleagues at the Gardens will tell you that the outpouring of love from Singaporeans and the community during the pandemic was what kept them going in the last two years.
In closing, I would like to extend my heartiest congratulations to everyone at Gardens by the Bay on this very important and significant milestone, and we all look forward to a bright future for the Gardens in the next decade and beyond.
Gardens by the Bay commemorated its 10th anniversary with a special event today involving Guest of Honour Madam Halimah Yacob, President of the Republic of Singapore, as well as current and former Ministers for National Development – Minister Desmond Lee, Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong, Mr Khaw Boon Wan and Mr Mah Bow Tan.
The event began in the outdoors at Serene Garden with the unveiling of Perpetual Blooms (花姿飘逸), a specially-commissioned stainless steel sculpture by Cultural Medallion recipient Ms Han Sai Por, with elements symbolic of the Gardens. The sculpture was donated to the Gardens on the occasion of its 10th anniversary by Mr Tan Aik Hock.
The commemorative planting of raintrees followed, led by President Halimah Yacob and Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong. They planted a sapling taken from a raintree planted by the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew at Marina South in November 1986 – which still stands in the Gardens today.
Four yellow raintrees were also planted by the following pairings:
Yellow raintrees are rare variants of the common raintree, and are special because only one in every thousand seeds sown will grow into a yellow raintree. Not only was a yellow raintree planted during the ground-breaking ceremony of Gardens by the Bay in 2007, they are also symbolic of how the Gardens has evolved into a unique entity in its own right. The four yellow raintrees were donated by Mr Mak Chin On.
From the outdoors, the event segued into Flower Field Hall, where awards were presented to Strategic Partners, Embassy Partners and Donors who have supported the Gardens through the last decade.
President Halimah Yacob also officiated the naming of a new orchid hybrid, Dendrobium Gardens by the Bay 10th Anniversary, bred by the Gardens’ Research and Horticulture Department. The public can view this orchid at Mediterranean Garden in Flower Dome, where there will be a showcase of orchid hybrids bred by Gardens by the Bay.
The event ended with the launch of Seasons of Bloom (四季绽放), the finale floral display of 2022 that celebrates the year-end Yuletide season, and pays tribute to the different seasons of flowers from around the world that Gardens by the Bay has brought to Singaporeans over the years. Seasons of Bloom will open to public from tomorrow, and will run until Jan 2 next year in Flower Dome. The floral display is supported by Bloomberg, who have played a significant role in helping Gardens by the Bay bring back a calendar year of full-scale floral displays on the occasion of its 10th anniversary.
Gardens by the Bay CEO Felix Loh said, “It has been an amazing 10 years and Gardens by the Bay would not be where it is today without the support of so many people, both locally and from overseas. We are deeply indebted to our leaders, government, community and embassy partners, sponsors and donors, volunteers, consultants in design, engineering, and landscaping, horticulture suppliers, as well as industry partners. Of course, no national icon can achieve international success without its local community, and Singaporeans have been so generous with their love and patronage in the past decade. My colleagues and I will continue to work hard to make Gardens by the Bay a special place in Singapore for many years to come.”
As part of celebratory events for the public, the largest Planters Market will be held over this weekend of Nov 12 and Nov 13, where plant enthusiasts will be surrounded by a diverse range of plants on sale, including orchids, ferns, hoyas, caladiums, bromeliads, philodendrons and anthuriums.
From Nov 11 to Nov 13, the public can receive complimentary flowers, on a first come first served basis, at selected locations in Gardens by the Bay.
In addition, beginning this week, Cloud Forest opening hours will be extended to 10.00pm every Friday and Saturday until the last two weeks of December, where opening hours on Friday and Saturday will be extended further to 11.00pm. This is to enable more people to enjoy the ongoing blockbuster production Avatar: The Experience.
Come December, Singaporeans and local residents can look forward to free Nature and Sustainability tours every weekend, which is made possible through a generous $300,000 contribution from Keppel Corporation through its philanthropic arm, Keppel Care Foundation. This is part of Gardens by the Bay’s objective to nurture a culture of sustainability in the community. Using the Gardens as a working model of sustainability and conservation, the tours helmed by professional guides will kick off with the themes of Urban Wetlands and Carbon and Climate in the first year. The Nature and Sustainability tours will be expanded across three years to encompass five different routes, each with its own theme. More details are available at www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/sustainabilitytours.
In line with its objective as a People’s Garden, Gardens by the Bay will also launch a new initiative for the less privileged. Working with the Ministry of Social and Family Development, the Gardens will distribute complimentary annual Friends of the Gardens family membership to needy families living in rental flats. This will allow more people to enjoy the changing floral displays in Flower Dome with their loved ones. The initiative will roll out in January next year.
Please refer to the Annex for more information.
Inspiring the next generation to develop a sustainability mindset through nature-based learning – that is what Gardens by the Bay is hoping to do more of as it moves beyond its tenth anniversary this year.
Two initiatives that will support this goal are the return of Race to Sustainability!, and an upcoming pre-school that will open at Gardens by the Bay in March next year.
The return of Race to Sustainability!
Race to Sustainability! is Gardens by the Bay’s flagship education programme. This is the first time after a two-year hiatus because of the pandemic that a physical race could take place. More than 800 secondary school students and 200 primary school students have signed up for this year’s race, which will take place across two days beginning today.
Guest of Honour, Mayor of Central Singapore District Denise Phua flagged off the first session of Race to Sustainability! at Supertree Grove today.
Race to Sustainability!, which was introduced in 2015, encourages students to learn about nature and sustainability through various challenges planted along a route that will take them around the Gardens’ attractions. This year’s race covers Flower Dome, Supertree Grove and Kingfisher Wetlands.
The race is designed to help students develop an awareness of climate change, allow them to learn about plants and their adaptations, and gain an appreciation of the need for conservation in a fun and engaging way.
Prizes for the fastest groups to complete the race include tickets to Gardens by the Bay’s attractions and Friends of the Gardens student memberships.
A digital edition of the race, which offers different challenges from the physical race, is being developed as a mobile app. It will be available on Google Play at the end of November this year.
The first pre-school at Gardens by the Bay
Mayor Phua also got a preview of the first pre-school to open on Gardens by the Bay’s premises. The tender for the pre-school was awarded to EtonHouse International Education Group, and the EtonHouse Garden School by the Bay will open in March 2023 at Bayfront Pavilion just next to Bayfront MRT.
The pre-school will offer a programme from infant care to six years of age, with a curriculum designed around the three pillars of nature education, sustainability and community.
Leveraging on the verdant environment of Gardens by the Bay to provide enriching hands-on learning opportunities, children will spend half of their learning time in the outdoors. There will also be sessions where the children get to interact with Gardens by the Bay’s horticulturists.
The pre-school will have a strong sustainability focus, not only to impart to young children the importance of sustainable living, but also to develop in them an appreciation for nature, for example its ecosystems.
This approach is in line with Gardens by the Bay’s strong sustainability thrust. After all, the Gardens was designed with sustainable features incorporated into its iconic attractions such as the cooled conservatories and Supertrees, as well as its lake system. Gardens by the Bay is also a home to a thriving diversity of wildlife, for example at its urban wetlands Kingfisher Wetlands, which opened last year.
Beyond being a pre-school, the premises can also be transformed into a learning hub for the wider community on weekends, where there are plans to offer nature and sustainability-based workshops and programmes for the public.
Gardens by the Bay Deputy CEO Lee Kok Fatt said, “Gardens by the Bay has always presented plants in novel and creative ways to draw a broad audience, and with our expertise, we are in a good position to develop nature-based initiatives that are engaging for children and youths. We are excited to finally be able to bring back our flagship Race to Sustainablity!, which has seen the participation of many enthusiastic students through the years. A pre-school at Gardens by the Bay is another opportunity to nurture in the very young, who are the next generation after all, a deep appreciation for the natural environment and the value of sustainable practices.”
EtonHouse International Education Group CEO Ng Yi Xian said, “I am very excited about the many ways in which this school will make a difference in the lives of children. Not just the children in the school but also the wider community. The experience in the heart of the most iconic, dynamic, and innovative garden space, which is the pride of Singapore, will provide families and staff with an unparalleled early years experience, one that will be woven intricately with nature and sustainable practices. Beyond school hours, it will extend its space and programme to reach out to the wider community of families in Singapore. With innovation at the heart of this school’s programme and environment, we are sure it will set a new standard for early childhood education in Singapore.”
For more details on Race to Sustainability!, visit www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/race.
For more details on EtonHouse Garden School by the Bay, visit www.etonhouse.edu.sg/gardenschoolbythebay.
Please refer to the Annex for more information on the first pre-school in Gardens by the Bay.
Seeing the Invisible, an open-air art exhibition of 12 works by international artists conducted entirely through the medium of augmented reality, opens across 10 gardens around the world in October. Gardens by the Bay is the only Asian garden to host this unusual exhibition, which opens at the Gardens today and will run for a year.
The exhibition at Gardens by the Bay features augmented reality works by artists including Ai Weiwei, Refik Anadol, El Anatsui, Isaac Julien CBE RA, Mohammed Kazem, Sigalit Landau, Sarah Meyohas, Pamela Rosenkranz and Timur Si-Qin.
Highlight artworks created for Seeing the Invisible include:
Seeing the Invisible is the first exhibition of its kind to be developed as a joint venture among botanical gardens around the world and is initiated by Hannah Rendell, Executive Director at the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens and Candida Gertler, co-founder of Outset Contemporary Art Fund, with the support of The Jerusalem Foundations Innovation Fund. The exhibition is co-curated by Hadas Maor and Tal Michael Haring.
The exhibition at Gardens by the Bay is supported by OUE and Mr Matthew Teng. Admission is free.
Visitors engage with Seeing the Invisible through an app that can be downloaded on smartphones and tablets via the App store or Google Play. With the app, they will be able to view artworks through their devices and even interact with some of the pieces.
With each artwork nestled within nature without disturbing the landscape and keeping carbon footprint to a minimum, this “phygital” exhibition addresses themes of nature, environment and sustainability, and explores the boundaries and connections between art, technology and nature. Each artwork offers a different perspective that creates thought-provoking, experiential and contemplative spaces for visitors to immerse in.
Forging new links between gardens located in diverse locations around the globe, Seeing the Invisible fosters collaboration between institutions, artists and audiences, highlighting the power of art to connect people around the world.
Gardens by the Bay CEO Felix Loh said, “At Gardens by the Bay, we are always looking to bring in new and novel experiences that redefine how people experience nature. Seeing the Invisible is a contemporary art exhibition like no other that we have hosted before, as through the medium of augmented reality, visitors are able to interact with the verdant surroundings in unexpected ways. On the occasion of Gardens by the Bay’s 10th anniversary, we hope this unique experience will be yet another opportunity to surprise and delight our visitors.”
Jerusalem Botanical Gardens Executive Director and Seeing the invisible co-initiator Hannah Rendell said, “Today we have an exceptional potential for global collaboration. Augmented reality allows us to share costs and experiences in a way that has never been possible before. We are deeply gratified for the opportunity to forge new connections with partner gardens and art institutions across the globe, for a second year.”
The first season of Seeing the Invisible took place in 2021 in 12 botanical gardens across six countries, and reached out to more than a million visitors. Aside from Gardens by the Bay, the other gardens participating in the second season of Seeing the Invisible this year are:
Please refer to Annex for more information about The Artworks of Seeing the Invisible at Gardens by the Bay.
The renowned Patio de las Doncellas (Courtyard of the Maidens) of Spain’s Real Alcázar of Seville – one of the oldest royal palaces in Europe and a UNESCO world heritage site – is a Spanish cultural asset that will be recreated at Gardens by the Bay’s newest floral display A Spanish Serenade with Sunflowers (西班牙葵花小夜曲).
The floral display draws inspiration from the unique landmarks and cultural highlights of the Andalusian cities of Seville, Granada, Malaga, Jaén and Córdoba. After all, Andalusia, a region in the south of Spain, was once at the crossroads of many civilisations, and is known for its rich architecture styles, culture and history that bear influences of the ancient Romans, Visigoths and Muslims among others.
Sunflowers and other popular Spanish garden blooms like pelargoniums, petunias, roses and camellias colour the landscape with vibrant hues.
This is the first time Gardens by the Bay is collaborating with the Embassy of Spain in Singapore and the Spain Tourism Board to present a Spanish-themed floral display. Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister for Education and Foreign Affairs Dr Maliki Osman launched the floral display in Flower Dome today. A Spanish Serenade with Sunflowers runs until Oct 30.
Gardens by the Bay CEO Felix Loh said, “We are honoured to partner the Spanish Embassy to introduce a well-known UNESCO destination to our local community. By combining distinctive elements of Spain with our horticultural expertise, we hope our visitors will learn more about the rich history, culture and heritage of Andalusia amid the lush landscape of Flower Dome.”
The Ambassador of the Kingdom of Spain to Singapore Her Excellency Mercedes Alonso Frayle said, “Just as the centuries-old olive trees brought from Spain have taken root in Flower Dome and bear fruit, the collaboration in this ‘little great project’ will crystallize helping us get to know each other better, to discover our history, culture, traditions, art, heritage, in all, our way of life. This exhibition brings to Singapore a small corner of Spain, Andalucía, a nook I invite you to discover and to explore; a friendly, cheerful and hospitable region that has its doors open to Singapore and Singaporeans.”
Minister, Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister for Education and Foreign Affairs Dr Maliki Osman said, “Today’s event speaks to our multifaceted cooperation - the collaboration between Gardens by the Bay and the Spanish Embassy reflects the excellent cultural ties we share with Spain.”
Aside from the Patio de las Doncellas, another highlight of the floral display is an interpretation of the iconic patio houses of the Andalusian city of Córdoba, which is known for its unique Fiesta de los Patios (Fiesta of the Patios), a cultural festival inscribed in the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. At this annual 12-day festival held in the beginning of May, Córdoba residents decorate the patios of their houses with a visual spectacle of flowers, fountains and ceramic pieces, to compete for the title of the most beautiful courtyard.
With Spain being one of the largest producers of olive oil in the world, the olive grove in Flower Dome has been transformed into an “olive museum”, where visitors can learn all about olive oil such as the various uses in Spanish cuisine and how the plant shaped the development of the Mediterranean region.
Pockets of Flower Dome will also showcase the arts and culture of Spain. A recreation of the Pablo Picasso statue in the Plaza de la Merced in the artist’s hometown of Malaga sits at the Mediterranean Garden. Here, visitors can learn more about one of the most influential artists of the 20th century and discover how Malaga inspired his artworks.
Displayed alongside Picasso’s works are ceramic pieces made by Cerámica Los Arrayanes, one of the oldest pottery workshops in Granada. Over five centuries, ceramic from Granada has evolved to include Christian, Muslim and Arabic design influences, speaking volumes of the city’s rich history. Motifs commonly used are flowers, birds, and plants, and most notably the pomegranate, the symbol and namesake of Granada.
At the South American Garden, learn more about Flamenco, a renowned art form of more than two centuries of history and a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage that has roots in Andalusia. There will also be live performances on Oct 23.
In conjunction with A Spanish Serenade with Sunflowers, visitors can participate in a social media contest where the prizes are a LOEWE luxury pouch from El Corte Ingles and Spanish dining vouchers from the Spain Tourism Board.
Visit www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/sunflower for more details.
Please refer to the Annex for more information on:
M1 Limited (M1), one of Singapore’s leading Mobile Network Operators (MNO), today announced that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Gardens by the Bay and Electronic Sports Pte Ltd (ESPL) to provide fast-speed 5G connectivity and immersive metaverse experiences in Gardens by the Bay’s indoor venues.
The enhanced connectivity and cloud infrastructure provided by M1 will open up new opportunities for phygital events to be held at the Gardens and in its Digital Twin – a re-creation of the Gardens in the metaverse, developed by ESPL.
M1 and ESPL will work with Gardens by the Bay to enable metaverse experiences that complement the Gardens’ physical offerings. An example of a metaverse concert in Gardens by the Bay’s Digital Twin, featuring an avatar of Singapore-based artiste DJ Red interacting with the audience against a virtual backdrop of Supertree Grove, was showcased today.
Audiences with a 5G-enabled mobile device can access the metaverse and catch their favourite music artistes perform in a real-time immersive environment. This metaverse technology is also applicable to the MICE industry as it adds a new dimension to physical exhibitions and conferences and allows participants from around the world to interact with the content and with one another in the metaverse. The high-speed and low-latency connectivity of 5G also supports educational technology to bring curricula to life and capture the imagination of students through extended reality and gamification.
“Offering metaverse experiences is an exciting milestone in our True 5G rollout roadmap. M1 is constantly pushing the bar with our 5G capabilities, and we’re proud to roll out 5G within the Gardens by the Bay as well as power its digital recreation made by our partner ESPL. The ability to give audiences a live and immersive experience both physically and virtually has immense potential to deliver rich content on-the-go. We are excited to unlock new metaverse opportunities for the entertainment, MICE and tourism industries and help Gardens by the Bay become the garden of the future,” says Willis Sim, Chief Corporate Sales and Solutions Officer, M1.
“With the enhanced 5G connectivity, we look forward to working with M1 and ESPL to create even more interactive and immersive experiences in Gardens by the Bay, offering a phygital option for event organisers to expand their reach beyond the physical confines of the venues here, to engage people from around the world,” says Lee Kok Fatt, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Gardens by the Bay.
About 130 students from 13 primary schools were the first to experience learning about sustainability through an augmented reality trail in Cloud Forest and Flower Dome today.
The event was held in collaboration with Canberra Primary School’s Global Sustainability Development Programme, which started in 2019 as a way to engage students on sustainability issues. The theme of today’s event at Gardens by the Bay is Sustainable Singapore – Our Pride, Hope & Will to Act.
The augmented reality trail, which students participated in via a mobile app, was developed by Gardens by the Bay. Beyond its use in Canberra Primary School’s Global Sustainability Development Programme, the Gardens has plans to expand the augmented reality trail in the near future to be more comprehensive. It will be added to the tools in Gardens by the Bay’s educational outreach efforts to nurture interest and a culture of sustainability among the young.
Guest of Honour, Minister of State, Ministry of Education & Ministry of Manpower Gan Siow Huang, joined the students on the trail, where one of the stops was to learn about prehistoric and vulnerable plants like the cycads of Cloud Forest – with the appearance of an augmented reality dinosaur.
MOS Gan also sat on a panel where the students were engaged to discuss issues relating to youth and sustainability. The programme ended with MOS Gan joining the students in a pledge to become sustainability advocates.
Gardens by the Bay Deputy CEO Lee Kok Fatt said, “One of Gardens by the Bay’s objectives as we move beyond our 10th anniversary this year, is to nurture a culture of sustainability in the next generation. This involves rolling out nature-based activities and events with a sustainability focus, such as leveraging on the potential of the digital realm with an augmented reality learning trail, to pique the interest of the young and instil in them the importance of conserving earth’s precious resources.”
Canberra Primary School Principal Sam Wong said, “The Global Sustainability Development Programme (GSDP) is envisioned for learners to take a more active role in balancing environmental and social needs, allowing prosperity for now and future generations. Learners also leveraged on technology for a virtual collaboration with others around the world. In relation to a National Pride such as Gardens by the Bay, GSDP’s focus is on Global and Sustainable Solutions whereby we build Singapore for our future to work, live and play together, and for learners to be connected to the world.”
This is the second collaboration between Gardens by the Bay and Canberra Primary School’s Global Sustainability Development Programme. Last year, 400 students from four local primary schools and nine schools in China, South Africa, Indonesia and Malaysia experienced a pilot initiative where Gardens by the Bay’s Digital Twin – a virtual recreation of the Gardens – was used for learning. Unhindered by location, these students embarked on a virtual expedition to navigate key locations within Gardens by the Bay to understand sustainability concepts such as waste management, electricity conservation and rainwater recycling.
The second season of the Seeing the Invisible augmented reality art exhibition will come to Gardens by the Bay on October 12 this year. Gardens by the Bay is the only garden in Asia among the 10 gardens around the world where this unique showcase will take place.
Seeing the Invisible features augmented reality works by 12 international artists including Ai Weiwei, Refik Anadol, El Anatsui, Isaac Julien CBE RA, Mohammed Kazem, Sigalit Landau, Sarah Meyohas, Pamela Rosenkranz and Timur Si-Qin.
Visitors will engage with Seeing the Invisible via an app designed for the exhibition that can be downloaded on smartphones and tablets. With the app, they will be able to view artworks through their devices and even interact with some of the pieces. There will be no admission charge to the exhibition at Gardens by the Bay.
Forging new links between gardens located in diverse locations around the globe, Seeing the Invisible fosters collaboration between institutions, artists and audiences, highlighting the power of art to connect people around the world.
The augmented reality nature of the exhibition allows for the creation of expansive, immersive works that engage with existing features of the natural landscape beyond the limitations of what is possible with physical artworks. Many of the works created for the exhibition will address themes revolving around nature, the environment and sustainability, as well as explore the interplay of the physical world with the digital one.
Highlight artworks created for Seeing the Invisible include:
Seeing the Invisible is the first exhibition of its kind to be developed as a joint venture among botanical gardens around the world and is initiated by Hannah Rendell, Executive Director at the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens and Candida Gertler, co-founder of Outset Contemporary Art Fund with the support of The Jerusalem Foundations Innovation Fund. The exhibition is co-curated by Hadas Maor and Tal Michael Haring.
Gardens by the Bay CEO Felix Loh said, “The Seeing the Invisible exhibition of 12 unique works by renowned international artists, adds a new and novel dimension to the existing collection of physical sculptures in Gardens by the Bay, and we are excited to be able to share this special experience with our visitors, especially on the occasion of our tenth anniversary.”
Seeing the Invisible Co-Curator Tal Michael Haring said, “Coming out of the pandemic when outdoor experiences and nature have taken on a new meaning and gravity in our lives, this exhibition represents a fresh way for people to engage with art and nature simultaneously. The interplay of these augmented reality works in vibrant natural settings breaks down the binary between what is often considered ‘natural’ versus ‘digital,’ and in this way provides an exhibition experience that is much more connected to the way we live today.”
Other gardens around the world participating in the second season of Seeing the Invisible are:
The first season of Seeing the Invisible took place in 2021 in 12 botanical gardens across six countries, and reached out to more than a million visitors.
More details of Seeing the Invisible at Gardens by the Bay will be revealed closer to date.
Minister of State, Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth & Ministry of Trade and Industry Low Yen Ling officially opened Garden Pod (恬园居) at Gardens by the Bay, the latest concept by Shipping Container Hotel.
Shipping Container Hotel piloted the container hotel concept at LaunchPad@One North under the Ministry of Trade & Industry’s First Mover Framework in 2020. The concept received overwhelming response, and since then, Shipping Container Hotel has gone on to replicate the idea at Haw Par Villa.
With strong support from Singapore Tourism Board, Shipping Container Hotel’s newest project at Gardens by the Bay, Garden Pod, is a flagship hotel concept designed by President’s Design Award winner LAUD Architects. Garden Pod is located within Serene Garden, which is steps away from The Meadow and Bayfront MRT station. LAUD Architects’ distinct pinwheel design turns the hotel into a sculptural installation that enhances the tranquil surroundings of Serene Garden.
Garden Pod provides a unique offering for both overseas visitors and local residents looking for a retreat from the hustle and bustle of urban living. Nestled within the unique foliage of Serene Garden such as Podocarpus, Junipers, and silver Bismarckia palms, the accommodation is set against a panoramic view of the city skyline of downtown Marina Bay.
Garden Pod also features a room fragrance from Maison de L'Asie, a luxury niche fragrance house in Asia and a proudly Singaporean company. Within the bedroom of each suite, the elegant scent of their Chapter 01 parfum d'interieur from Maison de L’Asie pays homage to old Singapore with its delicate floral and tea scent notes that evoke a richness of culture and tranquillity.
Shipping Container Hotel Founder Seah Liang Chiang said, “Shipping Container Hotel is Singapore’s first movable and sustainable hotel. Our objective is to re-purpose shipping containers, trains, etc into sustainable hotels and co-living spaces in unique locations in Singapore and abroad. We are proud to collaborate with Gardens by the Bay to showcase our high-end pop-up hotel.”
Gardens by the Bay Deputy CEO Lee Kok Fatt said, "Since the establishment of Gardens by the Bay 10 years ago, we have received more than 85 million visitors, who come to see our Supertrees and the cooled conservatories. In the past few years, Gardens by the Bay has added new attractions such as Floral Fantasy, Serene Garden and most recently, Kingfisher Wetlands. With so many places of interest, Garden Pod offers an option for our visitors to fully experience these attractions in the day, then staying overnight in style and comfort amidst the tranquillity of Serene Garden. For Singaporeans who are familiar with Gardens by the Bay, Garden Pod is also an interesting new option for a staycation.”
LAUD Architects Director Matthew Yeo said, “LAUD Architects designed Garden Pod as a sculptural form to complement the plant displays and add a new dimension to the landscape. The distinctive pinwheel layout of the hotel allows bedrooms to enjoy elevated views of the surrounding gardens through the wide expanse of glass. Nature is welcomed into the indoor spaces on the lower floor through large panels of sliding glass doors and generous semi-sheltered outdoor decks for guests' activities. The use of containers and lightweight steel structures stems from the idea of 'touching the ground lightly' to minimise disruptions to the Gardens and the surroundings. In line with this principle, we incorporated various sustainability solutions in our design such as the use of double glazed glass and solar photovoltaic panels to reduce energy consumption.”
The Garden Pod is designed in line with sustainable principles, and features the following sustainable elements:
Each duplex suite of Garden Pod comprises 70 sqm of space over two levels, connected by a sculptural spiral staircase. The suites come with the following amenities:
To book a suite, visit www.shippingcontainerhotel.com.
For more details, visit www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/gardenpod.
As the pandemic situation stabilises, Gardens by the Bay is bringing back more original elements of its signature Mid-Autumn Festival (滨海花园庆中秋) event. For the first time since the pandemic, this year's Mid-Autumn Festival will see the return of two significant crowd favourites to Supertree Grove: the outdoor marketplace where people can eat and drink, as well as outdoor cultural performances. With a fuller line-up of activities, there will be more opportunities for friends and families to bond – the reason why this year's theme is Reunion (聚).
Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information & National Development Tan Kiat How launched the festival today by lighting up the Flight to the Phoenix (百鸟群聚、百鸟朝凤), an 11m-tall lantern set that is set against a Supertree at the main entrance of the Gardens. This lantern set depicts the phoenix soaring up a Supertree, as different species of birds pay homage to it. It is inspired by the Chinese mythological tale “Flight to the Phoenix” (百鸟朝凤), which tells of how the phoenix generously shared its food with other birds during a drought, saving them from starvation.
He also completed the painting of a tiger’s eye for the Five Blessings (五虎临门) lantern set at Supertree Grove.
Mid-Autumn Festival at Gardens by the Bay will run until September 11.
Gardens by the Bay’s Director of Programming Dinesh Naidu said, “The theme of this year’s Mid-Autumn Festival at Gardens by the Bay is ‘Reunion’, because with the stabilisation of the pandemic situation, it is also an opportune time for visitors to be able to fully enjoy the festivities with friends and family. Eating and drinking is a communal activity, and now people can enjoy that once again with the return of the outdoor marketplace. Furthermore, they can sit together under the Supertrees and watch an array of cultural performances that blend the traditional with the modern, where there is something for everyone. We are also heartened to receive continuous support from our community partners and various social services agencies to make this festival a heart-warming and inclusive one.”
The return of original Mid-Autumn Festival crowd favourites
Feast on delectable street food and revel in cultural performances as outdoor activities make a return for the first time since the pandemic.
The marketplace, which will be open every day throughout the festival, comprises more than 10 stalls selling popular Asian fare. There will also be a seating area nearby for people to enjoy their food.
The cultural performances at Supertree Grove, which take place every weekend for the duration of the festival, are a diverse line-up put together with the support of the National Arts Council. Among the performers are award-winning Chinese percussion ensemble Drum Feng and Singapore Chinese Dance Theatre. Tok Tok Chiang, a platform founded by actor Nick Shen to reposition Chinese opera and renew interest in this traditional art form, will also perform.
Adding to the diversity are a K-Pop dance crew, as well as the A Date Under the Stars Concert, which will feature homegrown talents belting out a medley of Mandarin pop songs, Xin Yao and Ming Yao.
There will also be fringe performances featuring an LED diabolo (Chinese yo-yo) and LED twirlers.
Lantern sets that embody the spirit of reunion
Displayed prominently at Supertree Grove is Five Blessings (五虎临门), which is based on the auspicious saying of five blessings descending upon the home (五福临门). This lantern set comprises five different lantern tigers designed to look like the traditional Chinese cloth tiger. In collaboration with the Yellow Ribbon Project, 19 female inmates conceptualised and painted the design of the tigers. This collaboration aims to provide the inmates a platform to showcase their artistic talents and give back to society through art.
Also at Supertree Grove is The Colours of Daily Life (缤纷日常), a lantern set that debuted at the Seoul Lantern Festival 2021, and is presented by the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Singapore and Seoul Tourism Organization. Mid-Autumn Festival is of great significance to the Korean community too. Known as Chuseok, it is a harvest festival where Koreans pay respect to their ancestors and reunite with family members back in their hometowns. This lantern set depicts animals gathering to fly kites and play yut-nori (a Korean board game), as life returns to normal after the pandemic. The set is made with hanji, a traditional Korean paper that is derived from mulberry tree and has waterproof properties.
Joyous Reunion (欢聚一堂) is a lantern set that features the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac engaging in Mid-Autumn Festival activities together. Colourful Blossoms (花攒锦聚), a floral lantern arch made from over 20 lantern peonies – the “King of Flowers” in Chinese culture – was created as a photogenic backdrop for people to document time spent together with their friends and family.
Near the Supertree Grove, Colonnade of Lights (灯廊), which is sponsored by Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple, showcases 1,000 unique lanterns hand-painted by the public, including beneficiaries of Gardens by the Bay’s Gift of Gardens community outreach programme, which provides complimentary entry to the cooled conservatories to the less privileged.
Complementing the lanterns at Supertree Grove is the popular free Garden Rhapsody light and sound show at Supertree Grove, where lights on the Supertrees “dance” to a Mid-Autumn themed musical soundtrack, Tales of the Moon.
Mid-Autumn Festival promotions
To bring families together, the Kids Go Free to Flower Dome promotion is back this Mid-Autumn Festival. Children aged 12 and below who are local residents enjoy free admission to Flower Dome from today until the end of the festival on Sep 11, from 6pm to 9pm. There will also be lantern giveaways at the Supertree Grove on the opening night of the festival (Aug 27) and the actual day of this year’s Mid-Autumn (Sep 10), while stocks last.
Mid-Autumn Festival 2022 is organised by Gardens by the Bay, in collaboration with National Arts Council, The Embassy of Republic of Korea, Korea Tourism Organization, Seoul Tourism Organization and Chinese Media Group of Singapore Press Holdings Media Trust. The event is supported by our community partner Tote Board, and sponsor Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple.
For more information, visit www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/midautumn.
Mid-Autumn Festival at Gardens by the Bay
Date: Saturday, 27 August to Sunday, 11 September
Time: Various timings
Location: Gardens by the Bay
Please refer to:
An 18m-long double-headed serpent – one of the most famous symbols of the Aztecs – composed of 3,000 tillandsias, and a 4.5m-tall reproduction of the iconic Chichén Itzá pyramid of the Mayans are some of the aspects of Mexican culture visitors will get to see in the Hanging Gardens – Mexican Roots floral display.
Gardens by the Bay’s newest floral display, which also brings forth the multicolours synonymous with Mexico, is a collaboration with the Embassy of Mexico in Singapore and supported by Bloomberg. Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of National Development Sim Ann launched the floral display today, which opens to the public on Aug 20.
Paying tribute to the contributions of Mexico’s ancient civilisations
Food plants native to Mexico like tomatoes, chillies and corn – some varieties which are rarely seen in this part of the world – are showcased in the floral display. In fact, heirloom varieties of Mexican corn are one of the highlights. Multicoloured and bearing little resemblance to the yellow version most of us are familiar with, these heirloom varieties have been specially brought in from Mexico, and their ancestry can be traced back to thousands of years ago. After all, the ancient civilisations of Mexico were responsible for domesticating corn across thousands of years into a food plant.
Gardens by the Bay CEO Felix Loh said, “As much as the Hanging Gardens – Mexican Roots floral display is a showcase of the richness and vibrancy of Mexican culture, it is also a tribute to one of the most important contributions to agronomy in history, made by the ancient civilisations of Mexico. The ancestors of the Mexicans were truly ingenious, because even without modern technology, they invented cross-breeding techniques that resulted in the domestication of modern corn that feeds the world today. We hope to share this knowledge with our visitors through a display focusing on plant heritage and culture.”
The Ambassador of Mexico to Singapore, His Excellency Agustin García-López Loaeza said, “The botanical and cultural exhibition Hanging Gardens – Mexican Roots is an enormous cooperation effort between Gardens by the Bay and the Embassy of Mexico, and the Mexican community led by La Jacaranda, coordinated extraordinarily by Mrs Lidia Riveros, showcasing Mexican cultural and botanical heritage and long-standing historical and cultural linkages among our countries and regions. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s official visit to Mexico in 2019 gave a major boost to bilateral relations on all fronts, especially in the economic, educational, scientific and cultural fields. The exhibition showcases keystone elements of Mexican culture, tracing back to our roots in the ancient Mesoamerican world, one of the six cradle civilisations in humanity’s history. The legacy of the Mesoamerican world not only entails their magnificent architecture and cities, art, languages, scientific and astronomic advances, among others, but also their great agricultural knowledge, and techniques and products, which the entire world continues to benefit from in the present.”
Plants commonly seen in Mexico, such as orchids, dahlias and bromeliads will also be part of the landscape.
A glimpse into the long and rich history of Mexico
Hanging Gardens – Mexican Roots will also be an eye-opening peek into the long and rich history of Mexico, through a showcase of some of the most well-known icons of Mesoamerican civilisations, or the indigenous cultures of the region before the arrival of the Spanish.
There will be reproductions of:
Celebrating Mexican folk art and culture
Mexican folk art is also a highlight of the floral display, for example the seven seed mosaic art medallions handmade by the Mexican community in Singapore. Seed mosaic art is a folk art where seeds, beans and pulses are used to create images. Occasionally, feathers are also used.
Another example of Mexican folk art is a festive floral arch measuring 8m across and 5m in height that greets visitors when they enter Flower Dome. The floral arch is handcrafted by Mario Arturo Aguilar Gutierrez, a third-generation master of this traditional artform. Together with two assistants, he was brought to Singapore by the Mexican Embassy to work on the floral arch on site at Gardens by the Bay.
The public can also look forward to a Mexican film festival, culinary demonstrations by Latin chefs, as well as Mexican cultural performances at Gardens by the Bay, which are curated by the Mexican Embassy. There will also be craft activities held in collaboration with the Mexican Association in Singapore.
Please refer to the Annex for more information on:
- Cultural elements of the Hanging Gardens: Mexican Roots floral display
- Mexican cultural programmes
- Hanging Gardens: Mexican Roots Get Crafty! activities
- New Flower Dome only membership
From Vanda Miss Joaquim to Papilionanda (Vanda) Tan Chay Yan, from Aranda Noorah Alsagoff to Aranda Bertha Braga, these orchid hybrids that were the brainchild of local breeders were of such superb quality, that Singapore was catapulted to international prominence in the orchid world. In fact, Singapore was once one of the largest exporters of orchids, and by the late 1990s, the local orchid industry had grown to become a multi-million dollar one.
This aspect of our country’s rich orchid history is brought to life in the new Orchid Stories of Singapore (狮城兰花缘) display in Gardens by the Bay’s Cloud Forest. Opening today – just in time for National Day – the display hopes to share with both locals and the increasing number of returning tourists alike, Singapore’s long love affair with orchids.
The orchid display showcases more than 40 local hybrids and regional hybrids whose lineages come from Singapore hybrids. There are also detailed storyboards that document how orchids became intertwined with the Singapore’s history, culture and economy, beginning in the late 1800s.
Orchid Stories of Singapore was launched by Minister for National Development and Minister-in-charge of Social Services Integration Desmond Lee today.
Gardens by the Bay CEO Felix Loh said, “The Orchid Stories of Singapore display is a celebration of Singapore’s innovative spirit in our horticultural history. Through our pioneers’ creativity and resilience, a small nation like ours was able to stun the international community with beautiful orchid hybrids of a world-class standard. This is a part of Singapore’s heritage that we feel all Singaporeans should be proud of, and as a local icon, Gardens by the Bay would like to share this with the rest of the world.”
At the launch event, there was also a showcase of the virtual tour of Cloud Forest, which is now available on Gardens by the Bay’s website. Gardens by the Bay tops the list of things to do in Singapore on TripAdvisor, with Cloud Forest ranked at number five.
The roots of orchid hybridisation in Singapore
There are more than 200 species of orchids native to Singapore, and over 10,000 species in Southeast Asia. With such a rich diversity in our own backyard and beyond, Singapore has a natural environment conducive to orchid hybridisation.
Orchid Stories of Singapore traces the evolution of the role of the orchid in Singapore, beginning from the early days when the first orchid collection was established in 1875 and became a hobby of the privileged in society – eventually leading to the creation of the iconic Vanda Miss Joaquim in 1893. The orchid display also explores the maturation of orchid hybridisation efforts in the 1950s as local breeders honed and refined their techniques, and the exceptional hybrids that were produced between the 1950s and 1980s - the peak of Singapore’s orchid hybridisation efforts.
Interspersed in the display are interesting anecdotes of local orchid history. For example, in 1954, John Laycock, a founding member of the Malayan Orchid Society, sent 300 orchids he had grown in Mandai Orchid Gardens to Colombo, Sri Lanka, as a gift to Queen Elizabeth II. In the same year, Papilionanda (Vanda) Tan Chay Yan, a golden pink-apricot hybrid orchid hybridised by Robert Tan Hoon Siang, a descendent of philanthropist and businessman Tan Tock Seng, was awarded a prestigious First Class Certificate (FCC) from the Royal Horticultural Society at the Chelsea Flower Show, and made Singapore internationally famous. Then in 1981, the Vanda Miss Joaquim was named the national flower, triggering a revival in interest in Singapore’s orchid heritage.
In the present day and beyond
Singapore’s orchid industry is now focused on maintaining its position as a world-renowned orchid cultivation and hybridisation centre. Further improvements and breakthroughs, to create new colours and longer lasting and showy hybrids, are planned. New breeding lines leading to plants with better genetics that will result in better flower texture, bigger flowers and more intense colouration – qualities long sought by orchid breeders and growers, are also being developed.
In view of this, Gardens by the Bay started its own orchid hybridisation programme in 2015. Possessing both a cooled conservatory housing cool-growing highland orchids and a nursery housing warm-growing tropical lowland orchids, Gardens by the Bay is able to focus on novel lowland-highland orchid crosses, which bring together the best qualities of either parent from two distinct climatic regions, and enable horticulturists to develop hybrids that are able to grow and flower in a broad range of temperatures.
One such unique hybrid, Dendrobium Kiat Tan, will be on show at Orchid Stories of Singapore. Tropical hybrid orchids bred by the Gardens’ horticulturists, such as Dendrobium Moses Lee and Papilionanthe Wong Siew Hoong will also be on show.
Please refer to the Annex for information on interesting local hybrids and the people who played significant roles in the history of orchid hybridisation in Singapore.
Trash-Sure, a nationwide campaign that uses art to narrate sustainability launches today, unveiling world-renowned street artist Bordalo II’s largest upcycled art sculpture in Asia. The 10x7 meter sculpture of the critically endangered Sumatran Tiger is made entirely out of trash gathered in Singapore. It was unveiled today by Guest-of-Honor Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean.
Presented by UBS and enterprise partner Ho Bee Land, this launch was supported by venue partner Gardens by the Bay, the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment, the Singapore Tourism Board, the Adplanet Group, and NGOs such as the World Wide Fund for Nature Singapore.
Today, two billion tons of trash are being discarded every year, contributing rapidly to carbon emissions. Trash-Sure underscores the urgency of the climate crisis we are facing. Bordalo II has more than 240 art pieces in over 20 countries, some of which he uses to highlight the global wastage of scarce resources and the need to reduce, reuse and recycle. The sculpture takes prime position at the SG50 lattice of Gardens by the Bay and will remain a key attraction there for the next three years as a reminder of conservation and biodiversity.
The campaign which is in line with the Singapore Green Plan 2030, supports Singapore’s transformation into a greener city so that we can leave behind a more sustainable world for our future generations. In the later part of this year, there will also be an art competition titled ‘Art of Trash’, where students in Singapore can enter by upcycling waste materials to create sculptures.
The trash collected by the Adplanet Group, UBS employees, and Ho Bee Land’s construction partner, includes end-of-life materials such as plastic hoses, car fenders, roofs, doors, tires, aircon vents, road dividers, traffic cones, huge water containers, trash bins, portable loos, plastic trays, luggage, trolleys, toys and parts of children’s playgrounds.
Edmund Koh, President UBS Asia Pacific, said “Together with our partners, UBS is proud to bring the Trash-Sure campaign to Singapore with one of the largest upcycled art installations in Asia by world-renowned street artist Bordalo II. Aligned to our UBS purpose to connect people for a better world, we hope that this iconic art piece inspires impactful conversations around sustainability.
This nationwide campaign is in line with the Singapore Green Plan 2030, which is a strong roadmap that charts our way towards a more sustainable future. At UBS, we work closely with our clients globally on this sustainability agenda and have seen a rise in our sustainability focus and impact investments by 78%, reaching USD 251 billion at the end of last year. Collectively, we can achieve so much more. Let’s ride on this strong momentum and position Singapore as a bright green spark to the world.”
Nicholas Chua, Chief Executive Officer of Ho Bee Land, said “Ho Bee Land strives to enrich and engage our communities through showcasing art installations at our properties. We are pleased to be part of the Trash-Sure campaign as it underscores our commitment to a sustainable environment, and our passion in making the arts accessible to all. We hope that this masterpiece by Bordalo II will be a timely reminder for us to act on climate change.”
Felix Loh, CEO, Gardens by the Bay, said "Bordalo II's sculpture of the critically-endangered Sumatran Tiger beautifully melds two elements of Gardens by the Bay - our focus on sustainability and art in nature. Gardens by the Bay was designed with environmental sustainability in mind, and we have been developing outreach programs with a sustainability thrust to raise awareness among the public. We also believe in the power of art and have more than 200 sculptures from all over the world interspersed amidst our greenery. With more than eight million visitors a year, we hope this latest artwork will spark conversations about climate change and the need to reduce waste, so as to create a more sustainable future for the world”.
Adrian Tan, Founder of The Adplanet Group, said “Heading the call to support the branding of Singapore as the bright green spark to the world, we are thrilled to conceptualize Trash-Sure. Using art to narrate sustainability by a world-renowned artist, Bordalo II, we are grateful for UBS and Ho Bee Land for making this possible.”
About Artist Bordalo II
Bordalo II is a world renowned artivist from Portugal.
Bordalo II creates stunning three-dimensional sculptures out of the debris of our over-consumeristic and materialistic society. Larger than life, his masterpieces serve to remind us that there is too much wastage because of our excessive and inconsiderate economic and social behaviors. His art form has a purpose – to powerfully communicate that trash can be reused and recycled. Tires, fan covers, fishing nets, tennis balls, syringes – there are just a few of the many discarded materials repurposed on his installations. As street art, the installations of Bordalo II also raise the alarm on our wasteful habits out in public to tackle issues on pollution and its effects on wildlife.
Join us in celebrating Singapore’s 57th birthday with the Gardens by the Bay and Mediacorp National Day Concert 2022, as it makes its highly anticipated return to the Gardens’ grounds on 6 August!
After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the upcoming National Day special is back this year to bring communities together in an exciting event at the Gardens, in the fourth collaboration between Gardens by the Bay and Mediacorp. Audiences can look forward to an electrifying ensemble of musical performances and laugh-out-loud comedy segments starring beloved multicultural local talents.
Hosted by CLASS 95 DJ Jean Danker and 987 DJ Joakim Gomez, the concert will feature various performances including a duet of the familiar National Day song Reach Out For The Skies by actress Rui En and Singapore Idol Taufik Batisah. Taufik will also present two other numbers – the National Day Parade (NDP) 2022 theme song Stronger Together, and his catchy hit single Awak Kat Mane. Audiences can also expect a rousing segment starring rapper Yung Raja, who will get the crowd going with Spice Boy and his biggest hit Mad Blessings. The line-up also includes Singapore’s acclaimed singer-songwriter Shabir who will debut his new song Rubaiyat Kavithai and another original composition Vettai S5 Title Track, which serves as Vasantham Tamil thriller Vettai S5’s theme song. Also debuting their new song Love is Real along with two other tracks Everyday Heroes and We Will Get There will be Dick Lee and his band Omnitones. Another duo taking the stage will be the multi-faceted artiste Annette Lee and popular homegrown artiste Benjamin Kheng who will be performing The Cai Fan Song and Where I Belong. Audiences will get a taste of The Ann & Ben Show as their characters, Chantelle, Asian Mum and Hawker Uncle, make hilarious special appearances.
Fans can also laugh along to light-hearted skits featuring Alaric Tay and Chua Enlai who will perform as their iconic The Noose characters Nicholas Le Fong and Pornsak Sukhumvit. Meanwhile, Sebastian Tan will take to the stage with his Hokkien-spouting character Broadway Beng, and popular SGAG persona Xiao Ming will amuse audiences with his unique brand of humour. Please refer to Annex A for the full list of participating artistes.
To conclude on a high note, 500 drones by local drone innovation company MIRS Innovate will light up the night sky in the formation of our Singapore flag, as audiences stand united to recite The Pledge and sing our National Anthem.
This year’s concert will be graced by Guest-of-Honour President Halimah Yacob and Mr Mohamed Abdullah Alhabshee, as well as Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Ministry of National Development Ms Sim Ann.
President Halimah said: “Despite the challenges brought on by the pandemic, Gardens by the Bay and Mediacorp’s successful partnership allowed everyone to enjoy the virtual National Day Concert for the past two years. I am glad that we are able to come together this year for a physical concert and to celebrate National Day as a nation.”
Felix Loh, CEO, Gardens by the Bay, said: “We are happy to collaborate with Mediacorp to bring the National Day Concert back to Gardens by the Bay. This year is all the more meaningful as we celebrate the Gardens’ 10th anniversary. Over the last two challenging years, we have worked hard to continue with many of our key public events. Nothing gives us more pleasure than to be able to thank our fellow Singaporeans for their wonderful support by hosting this year's concert on-site after two online editions.”
Tham Loke Kheng, CEO, Mediacorp said: “We are thrilled to be partnering Gardens by the Bay for the fourth time in a joint concert to commemorate Singapore’s 57th birthday. This year’s celebration is especially significant given that it is also the Gardens’ 10th anniversary, and the first time in two years we are returning back to the Gardens’ grounds for a live event. This is our gift to our nation, and a celebratory affirmation of the resilience and achievements of our communities. We hope concertgoers and audiences viewing the special on Mediacorp platforms will enjoy the dazzling display of talent from our homegrown artistes, right in the heart of the Gardens’ Supertree Grove.”
The Gardens by the Bay and Mediacorp National Day Concert will take place on 6 August, 7.30pm to 9.30pm, at the lawn in Supertree Grove. Admission is free but ticketed. Tickets to the concert will be released from today on a first-come-first-served basis, while stocks last, via mediacorp.sg/ndc2022 and gardensbythebay.com.sg/nationaldayconcert.
Members of the public without tickets can join in the celebrations with the livestream of the concert at Supertree Grove as well as meet-and-greet opportunities with the cast of local shows like Sunny Side Up, When Duty Calls 2, Anak Metropolitan 4.0, and Berani Nyanyi?.
In a first event of its kind in Southeast Asia, Gardens by the Bay has partnered world-renowned breeder companies to host a flower trial for the horticultural industry.
The aim of such trials, which are highly-anticipated events within the horticultural industry in USA and Europe, is to allow the industry to preview new cultivars by breeder companies, before they are introduced to the market. For example, the two biggest flower trial events are the annual California Spring Trials and the European FlowerTrials. However, there is no equivalent in this part of the world. Gardens by the Bay hopes to step into this gap, with an event that focuses on showcasing flowering plant cultivars that perform well in the sunny tropics.
A total of 150 flowering plant cultivars were showcased at Gardens by the Bay’s inaugural flower trial today. About five per cent of the cultivars are being introduced, and will eventually be commercially available internationally, for the first time.
The “patents” of these cultivars belong to five major breeder companies from all over the world - Syngenta from Switzerland, Pan-American Seed from the USA, Dümmen Orange from the Netherlands, and Sakata and Takii from Japan. In addition to providing their seeds, these five companies are also funding Gardens by the Bay’s flower trial. Leading substrate company Klasmann-Deilmann from Germany is also a sponsor in the flower trial.
Most flower trials are carried out in temperate countries, hence a flower trial event here would mean the results are more relevant to the tropical climate. These plants were grown in Singapore by Gardens by the Bay’s’ horticulturists, and the results of the flower trial are relatable to regional growers, and have the potential to increase the range and quality of the potted plant industry. Gardens by the Bay’s event garnered sign-ups not only from local nurseries, but also those from Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and Pakistan.
Gardens by the Bay’s Deputy CEO Lee Kok Fatt said, “Gardens by the Bay not only has the facilities, but the expertise to grow many types of plants. We also have experience with the international industry, especially having attended flower trials overseas over the years, and seeing what such events can do for industry players. With this understanding, we initiated working with major international breeder companies to hold the first flower trial in Southeast Asia. Beyond giving our horticulturists opportunities to learn and grow by working with these breeder companies, such an event is also a potential platform for industry players to cultivate new relationships and develop business opportunities.”
Flower trials bring wider benefits to the horticultural industry as a whole. Spearheading a flower trial for the region allows Gardens by the Bay’s horticulturists to build up their expertise in floriculture with hands-on experience growing new plants, as well as acquiring knowledge on the latest horticultural techniques and methods from international breeder companies. It is also a way for the Gardens’ horticulturists to get new ideas for landscape displays and build relationships with suppliers in order to diversify its sources of plants, which was an important lesson learnt during the pandemic.
Meanwhile, the breeder companies get an opportunity for product development as well as a foot in the regional horticultural industry. As for players both locally and in the region, such events let them preview new cultivars they could potentially procure, as well as to network with other industry stakeholders for business opportunities. Even the ordinary plant enthusiast in the region benefits, when new cultivars become commercially available for them to add to their personal collection.
Gardens by the Bay will evaluate the results and feedback from key stakeholders of this first flower trial in assessing its potential for a larger scale mainstay event in the future. As the event grows, there is even the potential to have a public day, where anyone among the plant-loving public can visit to experience for themselves the excitement of previewing the latest cultivars before they hit the market, or even make it to a floral display at Gardens by the Bay.
For a limited period of two weeks, Gardens by the Bay’s Cloud Forest will showcase over 30 interesting Costa Rican orchid species in its first orchid display themed around the country’s orchids.
Orchids of Costa Rica – Resilient Beauty (哥斯达黎加之幽兰美人) is presented in collaboration with the Embassy of Costa Rica in Singapore and the country’s prestigious Lankester Botanical Garden, whose mission includes studying orchids and other epiphytes for their conservation.
The orchid display also commemorates 35 years of diplomatic relations between Costa Rica and Singapore.
Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Ministry of National Development Sim Ann officially opened Orchids of Costa Rica – Resilient Beauty today. It will run till Jul 11.
Among the orchids of note in the display are Acianthera decipiens, which has flowers that gradually change colour over time, from dark purple in the initial days of blooming, to red, and finally orangey-yellow, and Ornithocephalus inflexus, which produces spikes of dainty, crystalline green to white flowers that resemble birds in flight. Lankester Botanical Garden has also donated orchids for the display, such as Specklinia pfavii, an endangered orchid bearing striking yellow flowers covered in nectar-secreting warts, which feed the fruit flies that pollinate them, and Scaphyglottis micrantha, which is commonly called Small Flowered Scaphyglottis because of the tiny white flowers that measure just 4mm in size.
Costa Rica boasts about 6 per cent of the world’s biodiversity and such richness is reflected in their orchid diversity, with over 1,600 orchid species found in the country. It is also among the countries in the world with the largest orchid density.
Gardens by the Bay CEO Felix Loh said, “This year is Gardens by the Bay’s 10th anniversary, and our goal to bring the world of plants to Singapore, and present Singapore to the world, has not changed. Orchids of Costa Rica – Resilient Beauty is one example of how we can do this. In cloud forests around the world, including in Costa Rica, orchids are among the endemic plants vulnerable to the threat of climate change. This display of Costa Rican orchids is a valuable opportunity to amplify this message, especially when Gardens by the Bay’s Cloud Forest cooled conservatory has a purpose to educate the public on the beauty and diversity found in cloud forests of the world, and in turn, why conservation efforts are so crucial.”
Ambassador of the Republic of Costa Rica to Singapore His Excellency Victor Hugo Rojas Gonzalez said, “Both Singapore and Costa Rica share the orchid as the national flower, perhaps because we find beauty and resilience in them. They are so resilient that when the Spanish settled in Costa Rica 500 years ago, they crossed with species of orchids that are found today in our forests. And today, that same resilience can be found in the profound relations between Costa Rica and Singapore.”
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was also signed today between Gardens by the Bay and Lankester Botanical Garden, to deepen research efforts and contribute to the global conservation efforts of Costa Rican orchids by covering the following areas:
Orchids of Costa Rica – Resilient Beauty
Date: Tuesday, 28 June to Monday, 11 July
Time: 9.00am - 9.00pm
Location: Cloud Forest
Please refer to the Annex for information on some of the interesting orchids in the Orchids of Costa Rica – Resilient Beauty display.
The new Hydrangea Holidays (绣球花假期) floral display in Gardens by the Bay’s Flower Dome, which opens today, features 50 artworks by 27 intellectually disabled artists from JOURNEY by TOUCH Community Services woven into the landscape. It is the first time the Gardens is collaborating with special needs artists for the design of a floral display.
Hydrangea Holidays is also the first time Gardens by the Bay is making hydrangeas the theme of a floral display. There are over 20 varieties of hydrangeas in shades that are close to the colours of the Dutch flag – red, white and blue – planted against a backdrop inspired by the traditional Dutch countryside in summer. There are Dutch icons like a windmill, canal, Amsterdam townhouses, and a lighthouse inspired by the red-and-white West Schouwen, which is one of the largest and tallest lighthouses in the Netherlands.
The artworks feature hydrangeas and other blooms, and are also inspired by both the Dutch landscape and Gardens by the Bay.
Assoc Prof Dr Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, Minister of State, Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of National Development launched the floral display today, together with Ambassador of the Netherlands to Singapore and Brunei Her Excellency Margriet Vonno, and Chief Executive Officer of TOUCH Community Services James Tan.
Hydrangea Holidays will run until August 14.
Artworks available for sale via silent auction
TOUCH Community Services is one of the beneficiaries of Gardens by the Bay’s Gift of Gardens community outreach initiative, which provides the underprivileged community complimentary access to Flower Dome and Cloud Forest.
In April this year, Her Excellency Margriet Vonno and the Gardens by the Bay team visited the TOUCH Centre of Independent Living (TCIL), where Her Excellency conducted a sharing session with the special needs artists. The artists learnt about hydrangeas and other cultural icons of the Netherlands, and these newfound inspirations were channelled into their artworks.
One of these artists is Chen Zhiyu. To him, hydrangeas flowers are colourful, and the petals are exquisite. He loved the purple hydrangeas that were shown to him during the sharing session at TCIL so much that he featured them in his painting along with Dutch icons like the lighthouse.
All 50 artworks are available for sale in a silent auction. Visitors who are keen to purchase the artworks can scan the corresponding QR codes next to each artwork to place a bid. Proceeds from the silent auction will go to TOUCH and the artists, enabling them to be more self-reliant and to live in dignity. Bidding closes on 14 August and successful bidders will be contacted by TOUCH Community Services.
Senior Director of Horticultural Operations at Gardens by the Bay Gary Chua said, “Gardens by the Bay is honoured to provide a platform for these special needs artists to showcase their talent. Their colourful artworks are a unique depiction of hydrangeas and the Netherlands, and complement Hydrangea Holidays beautifully. We hope to leverage on the popularity of Flower Dome’s floral displays to garner more visibility for these artists, and in turn generate more income for them via the silent auction. This is also a good opportunity to bring together the special needs community and the general public.”
Chief Executive Officer of TOUCH Community Services James Tan said, “At TOUCH, we believe in empowerment – to provide every client with opportunities to contribute based on their individual abilities and to build their independence. We are honoured to be partnering with Gardens by the Bay to showcase the talents of people with intellectual disabilities alongside the beautiful floral display. We hope the exhibition will allow more to see the potential of every individual to contribute to society and understand the importance of support as a community.”
Hydrangea Holidays is supported by Bloomberg, and held in partnership with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Singapore and JOURNEY by TOUCH Community Services. It is the fifth of eight full-scale floral displays that Gardens by the Bay is bringing back to Flower Dome in the year of its tenth anniversary.
For more details on Hydrangea Holidays as well as the silent auction, visit https://www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/hydrangea.
On its tenth anniversary, Gardens by the Bay is expanding its sustainability focus by broadening its partnerships and outreach efforts to tertiary institutions. This includes the new Wonderful Wetlands series of community engagement activities, and an MOU signing with the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) and Republic Polytechnic (RP) to give both students and educators learning and development opportunities with sustainability as a theme.
A ‘Wonderful Wetlands’ to learn about nature-based climate solutions
Gardens by the Bay’s new Wonderful Wetlands series of community engagement activities was launched today by Minister for National Development and Minister-in-Charge of Social Services Integration Desmond Lee. Through Wonderful Wetlands, the community can gain a deeper understanding on nature-based solutions to combat climate change, for example through public lectures or citizen science activities leveraging on the mangroves planted at the Gardens’ nature sanctuary Kingfisher Wetlands.
As part of the launch, Minister Desmond Lee, together with students from NUS, ITE and RP, as well as representatives from SG Eco Fund and Temasek, planted mangroves at Kingfisher Wetlands.
Wonderful Wetlands is sponsored by Temasek and SG Eco Fund.
Since last year, Gardens by the Bay has been working with NUS Centre for Nature-based Climate Solutions and DHI Water and Environment to use Kingfisher Wetlands as a living laboratory to support blue carbon science research. Mangroves take in carbon, and are regarded as a natural way of reducing the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. They can sequester more carbon than rainforests, with most of this carbon stored in their sediments. This is what is known as “blue” carbon – the carbon captured by coastal and marine ecosystems.
There are more than 200 mangroves and mangrove associates at the 15,000 sq m Kingfisher Wetlands, urban wetlands and hotspot for wildlife watching that opened in November last year.
As part of Wonderful Wetlands, members of the community will get to be involved in:
Mangrove monitoring sessions are planned for the rest of the year, and the next session will be in July. There will also be upcoming lectures. Visit www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/wonderfulwetlands for more details.
Nurturing a culture of sustainability in the next generation
Gardens by the Bay also signed MOUs with ITE and RP today, where students can learn by playing an active role in contributing towards sustainability efforts at the Gardens, and both students and staff will have more opportunities for professional attachments in areas such as biodiversity conservation, sustainable development and landscape management. Key areas of collaboration include the adoption of the Kingfisher Wetlands in horticultural maintenance by ITE, and mangrove monitoring with RP.
In addition, the Gardens will be offering six book prizes annually to ITE students pursuing their Nitec studies in Urban Greenery and Landscape, and Higher Nitec in Landscape Management and Design.
Gardens by the Bay will offer RP students hands-on opportunities to participate in citizen science monitoring sessions, such as measuring the height and girth of mangroves to determine their health. With part of the collaboration being multidisciplinary, the Gardens will work with RP’s School of Management and Communication to co-develop digital marketing platforms to promote and cultivate a sustainability mindset among youth.
Gardens by the Bay CEO Felix Loh said, “As the world bounces back from the pandemic and looks toward a brighter future, it is more important than ever to bring the community together to focus on sustainable solutions. This year is Gardens by the Bay’s tenth anniversary, and education is a key platform for us to achieve this aim, by expanding our partnerships and outreach efforts with tertiary institutions. We hope to achieve this objective in two ways: curate interesting ground-up activities leveraging on the rich environment of Gardens by the Bay, and encourage a culture of sustainability among the younger generation.”
In February this year, Gardens by the Bay launched its flagship education outreach programme Green Guardians, which focuses on biodiversity, conservation, and sustainability for pre-schools, primary and secondary schools. Green Guardians is a unique hybrid programme with both online and on-site elements, such that educators can customise the learning journey for their students.
With this being the first June school holidays since the lifting of pandemic restrictions, there is plenty that families with children can look forward to doing at Gardens by the Bay. The Gardens’ flagship Children’s Festival opens today at Supertree Grove with an expanded line-up of activities ranging from sports, to arts and crafts, to reading and storytelling. In addition, the Far East Organization Children’s Garden, which is well-loved for its water play area, reopened yesterday after being closed since May last year.
Ms Sim Ann, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Ministry of National Development officially opened Children’s Festival – Around the World with Kiztopia today, together with beneficiaries from Fei Yue Community Services, by completing a giant jigsaw puzzle to “launch” a balloon up into the air. She also joined members of the public and over 300 beneficiaries from Campus Impact, Care Corner Singapore, Fei Yue Community Services, and The Salvation Army, to participate in some of the activities.
The highlight of Children’s Festival – Around the World with Kiztopia is eight brightly-coloured giant inflatables – the largest measures 12.5m tall – featuring the animal characters of Kiztopia Friends. Each inflatable represents an iconic landmark of a country, such as Mount Fuji in Japan, the Sydney Opera House in Australia and Gardens by the Bay in Singapore. Kids can “board” two of the inflatables to take photos. They can also pick up an activity booklet and complete activities centring on the eight inflatables to redeem an exclusive sticker sheet – all at no cost.
Now that restrictions have eased, there are two interactive zones, Happy’s Craft World and Tiger’s Sports Arena, for kids to participate in either craft or sports activities respectively. Kids can take up clay art painting, scratch painting and 3D puzzle assembling of animals and iconic landmarks, or have fun in the sun with basketball, ring toss, football and more. The crafts are priced at $8 per activity, while admission into Tiger’s Sports Arena is at $18 per pax.
Held since 2014, Gardens by the Bay’s Children’s Festival has come to be a regular feature on the events calendar that many Singaporean families look forward to during the school holidays. Leveraging on the high footfall to the Gardens, the festival has become an additional platform for key public partners to reach out to families. This year, the Gardens has partnered with National Gallery Singapore and National Library Board to bring their pop-up museums and mobile library to the Gardens. Making their first public appearance beyond the museum and schools are National Gallery Singapore’s Roving Art Truck and Travelling Art Carts, to foster a deeper appreciation for Singapore and Southeast Asian art among the young. The National Library Board’s MOLLY the Mobile Library is also making a pit stop in the Gardens for the first time, with a wide range of children’s books and storytelling sessions for the little ones.
Gardens by the Bay Director of Programming Dinesh Naidu said, “Gardens by the Bay is excited to pack the June school holidays with a variety of fun-filled activities for children now that restrictions have eased. The giant, colourful inflatables of Children’s Festival are back, along with a richer line-up of things to do, including sports carnival games and craft activities, as well as new collaborations with National Library Board to encourage reading and National Gallery Singapore to foster art appreciation. The Far East Organization Children’s Garden has also reopened, and we think parents will be spoilt for choice at Gardens by the Bay when it comes to opportunities to bond with their children over play.”
Kiztopia Founder and CEO Heidi Tian said, “Kiztopia is excited to be a part of this year’s Children’s Festival, for the first time, and bring our well-loved Kiztopia Friends, in the form of eight colourful, giant inflatables, to Gardens by the Bay. Besides being a delightful sight to behold, due to their sheer enormous size, each inflatable aims to bring smiles to faces and joy to the hearts. With the school holidays in full swing, we welcome all kids and their families to join us to ‘travel the world’; embark on an exciting activity-filled adventure and create lasting photo memories, right here at the Gardens by the Bay.”
Children’s Festival – Around the World with Kiztopia is presented by Gardens by the Bay in collaboration with Kiztopia, supported by Tote Board, and in partnership with National Library Board and National Gallery Singapore.
For more information, visit www.gardensbythebay.com/childrensfestival.
Gardens by the Bay presents Children’s Festival - Around the World with Kiztopia
Date: Saturday, 28 May to Sunday, 19 June
Time: 10.00am - 7.00pm
Location: Supertree Grove
Details: Free access. Fees apply for “Happy’s Craft World” and “Tiger’s Sports Arena”.
Please refer to the Annex for more information on the giant inflatables and the line-up of activities at Gardens by the Bay’s Children’s Festival.
More than 70 varieties of roses – some of which are uncommon in Singapore – are showcased in Gardens by the Bay’s Rose Romance (玫瑰之恋) floral display, which opens today. Some of the varieties brought in for first time include Rosa ‘Friedenslicht’, which translates into ‘Light of Peace’ – a rose named for 70 years of peace after World War II, and Rosa 'Broceliande', a two-tone rose with flowers that are cherry red and ivory or yellow, inspired by the Arthurian legend of how the wizard Merlin fell for the fairy Viviane.
Rose Romance was launched in Flower Dome by Minister, Prime Minister's Office, Second Minister for Finance and Second Minister for National Development Indranee Rajah and Ambassador of Italy to Singapore His Excellency Mario Andrea Vattani. This is the first time that Gardens by the Bay is collaborating with the Embassy of Italy in Singapore to bring a touch of Italy to a floral display. Italy is a country known for beauty and romance, and the rose, which symbolises love and passion, is much-adored by Italians.
In the floral display, roses in delicate hues of pink, red, orange and yellow grow amidst an Italian-inspired landscape, such as the narrow, winding alleyways of its towns, and the rustic, arcadian feel of its countryside. A dreamy representation of Verona's famous Juliet balcony beckons, for couples to recreate the famous scene between lovers Romeo and Juliet right here in Singapore – after all, the origins of the story is Italian. Adding to the Italian flavour are Vespa scooters that bring to mind the romantic comedy Roman Holiday, and an exhibit of miniaturised paintings by craftsmen from the Italian art studio Bottega Tifernate.
Visitors can admire roses of myriad colours, shapes, and sizes growing in shrubs, trellises, and on rose arches that took three years to cultivate. To complement the display, the Gardens is also collaborating with local florists to present a special rose-themed floral installation each week.
Ambassador of Italy to Singapore His Excellency Mario Andrea Vattani said, “We are delighted to partner with Gardens by the Bay to bring Italian culture to a beautiful setting which is so significant for all Singaporeans, and iconic to the rest of the world. For the first time, the notes of Italian opera will fill Flower Dome, together with the striking natural colours and scents of the Rose Romance floral display. We share the vision of the Gardens as a place to connect with nature and each other, to develop an even stronger relationship between our countries and our people. This is why we look forward to more of such fruitful collaborations in future years, with participation from Italian cities and regions.”
Gardens by the Bay Senior Director of Horticultural Operations Gary Chua said, “Rose Romance is the fourth of eight floral displays that Gardens by the Bay is bringing back to Flower Dome for our 10th anniversary. In one of the most charming of our floral displays, not only do we bring the idyllic Italian landscape to the tropics, but many of the roses on the show are not commonly seen in Singapore too. We hope this will be pleasing to both the local community, as well as to overseas visitors whom we have been welcoming back.”
The Italian theme carries on with free opera performances by Italian soprano Marcella di Garbo and baritone Lorenzo Barbieri, who will be specially flying in from Italy in June, as well as workshops conducted by the Italian community such as crepe paper flower making and postcard colouring, for the public to enjoy.
Rose Romance runs till Jun 12 in Flower Dome at Gardens by the Bay.
Please refer to the Annex for more information on the roses of note and the line-up of programmes in conjunction with Rose Romance.
Up, up and away! This June school holidays, kids and their families are set to be blown away as eight specially-designed giant inflatables, measuring up to 12.5metres tall, take centrestage at Gardens by the Bay. Brought to you by Gardens by the Bay in partnership with Kiztopia, Singapore’s leading mega-indoor kids’ edutainment playground centre, and featuring Kiztopia Friends, this larger-than-life inflatables installation is part of this year’s Children’s Festival, which runs from 28 May to 19 June at the Supertree Grove.
As travel opens up and we can, once again, see the world, this timely installation brings the world to our hood, without the need to board a plane! Each inflatable features the iconic landmarks of the different countries, such as Mount Fuji in Japan, the Sydney Opera House in Australia and Gardens by the Bay in Singapore. Two of the inflatables allow visitors to “board” the hot air balloon to take photos.
Festival-goers will be greeted at the entrance by their favourite cast of Kiztopia Friends, in the form of an inflatable welcome arch, before they enter to discover the various countries that the characters have “flown” in from. With the lush and picturesque landscape of Gardens by the Bay as the backdrop for the giant, colourful inflatables, they make for amazing instagrammable moments for the whole family.
Gardens by the Bay's Director of Programming Mr Dinesh Naidu said, “Our team is excited to organise this year’s Children's Festival as pandemic restrictions ease. As we progress towards normality, this year's Children's Festival will also be a richer experience for families, with more activities for children to enjoy. Not only will there be more giant, colourful inflatables at Supertree Grove, kids can also indulge in exciting sports carnival games and have some much needed fun under the sun."
Founder and CEO of Kiztopia Ms Heidi Tian said, “Kiztopia is excited to partner Gardens by the Bay to bring our popular characters in the form of giant inflatables to Children’s Festival this year. With the easing of regulations and more borders opening up, the idea of travel is close to everyone’s heart, making our installation relatable to both adults and kids. In addition, travelling helps to broaden our kids’ horizons and encourages them to explore new experiences. We hope that this festival will help to create precious memories and serve as a great bonding experience for families and their kids, even if they are not travelling out of Singapore this school holidays.”
Get Your Cameras Ready To Go Around The World With Kiztopia Friends
Get ready to welcome the well-loved Kiztopia Friends characters as they make their highly-anticipated descent in their hot air balloons at Gardens by the Bay.
Joining Tiger in Singapore are Happy the Hippo flying in from Australia, Eli the Elephant making his landing from Japan, Drago the Dragon flying in from Kenya, Mark the Monkey arriving from Thailand and Raby the Rabbit entering from the Netherlands. Each of them brings their best memories of the sights and delights of the country that they have travelled from to share with Singaporeans!
You can see the iconic windmills in the Netherlands through the eyes of Raby, or perhaps venture into the wild safari with Drago taking the lead or be mesmerised by the beauty of Mount Fuji like Eli did. With a total of six country-themed hot air balloon inflatables, there will be ample adventures laid out for kids and their families to explore the world alongside the fun-loving Kiztopia Friends. (See Annex A for the giant inflatables designs)
In addition to the photogenic inflatables to take unlimited photos with, there is a host of fun activities to complete the kids’ and families’ experience at the Gardens by the Bay Children’s Festival.
“Play To Learn, Learn Through Play” with Kiztopia
In line with Kiztopia’s ethos of “Play to Learn, Learn Through Play” that promotes spontaneous and simultaneous play and learning, kids can pick up a complimentary activity booklet at the entrance or selected points at the venue which they can use to discover interesting facts about each of the countries featured.
By travelling along the trail, they can even collect stamps and hit milestones to redeem an exclusive sticker sheet upon completion of the mission.
Get Creative Or Be Sporty
There will also be two ticketed interactive zones found at the Supertree Grove Lawn and Colonnade, where families can take part in exciting activities whilst bonding with their kids.
Get creative at Happy’s Craft World, where kids can embark on a craft activity of their country of choice and take home the finished work as keepsakes. The craft activities include clay art painting, scratch painting and 3D puzzle assembling of animals and iconic landmarks synonymous to the countries.
For the active little ones, aged four and above, who are looking for some fun and action under the sun, the Tiger’s Sports Arena, featuring inflatables of five sports carnival games, including basketball, ring toss, football and more, is THE place for them! Score points and accumulate stamps to redeem an exclusive goodie bag filled with yummy treats and attractive Kiztopia merchandise! (See Annex B for the list of sports stations)
Priced at $8.00 for one craft activity per person and $18.00 per person to enter into Tiger’s Sports Arena, there is also a bundle deal of $22.00 per person for one craft activity and access to Tiger’s Sports Arena. Tickets can be ourchased via https://www.klook.com/en-SG/activity/71860.
For more information, visit www.gardensbythebay.com/childrensfestival.
Children’s Festival – Around the World with Kiztopia
Location: Supertree Grove, Gardens by the Bay
Date: 28 May 2022 – 19 June 2022
Operating hours: 10am - 7pm daily
The Precious Peony floral display at Gardens by the Bay will be extended until May 8.
This is the first time that Gardens by the Bay is showcasing peonies in a floral display in Flower Dome. The peonies on show come from Japan, Israel, the Netherlands, and China. The final shipment of peonies from China arrived yesterday, and has been incorporated into the floral display. These peonies are expected to bloom in the next few days, just in time for the long weekend, amidst the blooming peonies from Netherlands, Japan, and Israel.
Precious Peony pays tribute to the journey of this revered flower as it made its way from China to Nanyang in the hearts and minds of Chinese immigrants in search of a new home, and how its portrayal evolved as Chinese culture itself evolved. The recreation of a Chinese garden is a nod to the roots of the peony in Chinese history, while the facade of a Peranakan shophouse represents the evolution of the flower to become a well-loved motif of the Chinese Peranakan community in Singapore.
In addition to the beautiful landscape of peonies complemented by snapdragons, camellias, asters, and centuries-old bonsai, visitors can also see more than 70 artefacts of Chinese and Peranakan culture, on loan from Peranakan Museum (a division of Asian Civilisations Museum), The Intan and The Society for Chinese Ceramics Studies.
Precious Peony floral display
Date: Till Sunday, May 8
Time: 9.00am – 9.00pm
As part of her visit to Singapore, the Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern unveiled a kūwaha sculpture at Gardens by the Bay’s Cloud Forest. The donation of the sculpture, named Tāne Te Waiora, to Cloud Forest was made possible with the support of New Zealand High Commission, and sponsors Fonterra, Tourism New Zealand and Zespri.
This kūwaha is a bespoke Māori carving and represents a symbolic doorway – a threshold celebrating cultures, beliefs and identities. Tāne Te Waiora represents and reaffirms the special relationship between Singapore and New Zealand. Comprising three pieces made of tōtara wood from the Pureora Forest in the central North Island, the sculpture is crafted from a tree that is estimated to be over 2,500 years old, which fell naturally in the forest during a severe storm. Measuring 3.2m tall and 3.6m across, it is carved by master carver James Rickard and specialist carver Tommy Herbert, of the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute.
Tāne Te Waiora translates to Tāne, the giver of life. The personified form of sunlight, Tāne is represented in this sculpture by the two figures carved on the left and right of the whakawae (upright supports), depicting Haumietiketike (atua or spiritual guardian of uncultivated crops) and Rongomātāne (atua or spiritual guardian of agriculture and cultivated crops).
The reciprocity between Singapore and New Zealand, as well as the former’s history as a long-standing trading post, are represented in the pare (lintel) connecting the whakawae, which features two tauihu (the prow of a waka or sea vessel). At the centre of the pare is a wheku (a carving of a face) depicting Hina, the personification of the moon. Hina reinforces the importance of light in Māori culture, which symbolically denotes awakening and enlightenment.
Surrounding the sculpture are plants native to New Zealand such as the Tōtara (Podocarpus totara), the same kind of tree the sculpture was carved from; Silver Fern (Cyathea dealbata), a plant that is emblematic of New Zealand; Hen and Chickens Fern (Asplenium bulbiferum), a wild crop; Kumara (Ipomea batas) or sweet potato; and Pepper Tree (Piper excelsum), which has medicinal properties.
Gardens by the Bay CEO Felix Loh said, “Māori art and culture has deep significance in New Zealand's cultural history. This specially crafted kūwaha sculpture is from a piece of wood from a tōtara tree –endemic to New Zealand – which is estimated to be over 2,500 years old. We are grateful for this precious gift to be placed permanently at the entrance of Cloud Forest as a lasting symbol of the close friendship between our two countries."
In its 10th anniversary year, internationally renowned horticultural attraction Gardens by the Bay is renewing its commitment to the environment, by becoming the first in Singapore to embark on the EarthCheck Sustainable Destinations programme accredited by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council(GSTC). The Gardens joins a worldwide network of destinations that include Nuuk in Greenland, Rottnest Island in Australia, and Sierra Gorda in Mexico, who are committed to sustainable destination stewardship and place management.
The EarthCheck Sustainable Destinations programme works with tourism destinations and precincts to facilitate and foster responsible environmental and social planning and management practices. Recognised as a leading scientific programme for responsible tourism, it provides operators with a holistic framework to benchmark and certifies their environmental and social performance, in an effort to address some of the challenges facing the planet such as climate change and biodiversity loss.
Stewart Moore, Founder and CEO of EarthCheck, noted, "EarthCheck is honoured to be working with Gardens by the Bay, a tourism icon of the Asia Pacific and an integral part of Singapore's City in Nature vision."
A national garden and world-class horticultural attraction located in the heart of Singapore’s downtown, Gardens by the Bay is home to a living collection of over a million plants and rich diversity of wildlife. Built on reclaimed land, much effort was made to plan and design sustainable cycles in energy and water management throughout the Gardens. From its temperature-controlled plant conservatories that 2 are cooled by renewable energy to the solar-powered vertical gardens known as Supertrees, environmental sustainability has remained at the core of the Gardens’ operations since it opened in 2012.
Mr. Felix Loh, CEO of Gardens by the Bay, said, “As we mark the the 10th anniversary of Gardens by the Bay this year, we are renewing our commitment to being part of Singapore's sustainability story. We aim to achieve best practices in sustainable tourism, by benchmarking against GSTC-recognised international standards through the EarthCheck Sustainable Destinations program. This also demonstrates our support for the Singapore Green Plan 2030, as we further our efforts to embed sustainability in our DNA –through our business, day to day operations, and corporate culture."
The EarthCheck Sustainable Destinations program is in line with Gardens by the Bay’s sustainability roadmap, which was recently developed based on the ESG (environment, social and corporate governance) model to drive the Gardens’ sustainability efforts in the coming years.
For the first time in Gardens by the Bay’s 10-year history of floral displays, more than 70 artefacts of Chinese and Peranakan culture, on loan from Peranakan Museum (a division of Asian Civilisations Museum), The Intan and The Society for Chinese Ceramics Studies, will be showcased alongside peonies at the Precious Peony (富贵牡丹) floral display. This is Gardens by the Bay’s inaugural collaboration with our local museums for a floral display.
Minister for Culture, Community and Youth and Second Minister for Law Edwin Tong launched the Precious Peony floral display today, which will run until May 3.
Precious Peony pays tribute to the journey of this revered flower as it made its way from China to Nanyang in the hearts and minds of Chinese immigrants in search of a new home, and how its portrayal evolved as Chinese culture itself evolved. The recreation of a Chinese garden is a nod to the roots of the peony in Chinese history, while the facade of a Peranakan shophouse represents the evolution of the flower to become a well-loved motif of the Chinese Peranakan community in Singapore.
Interspersed in this landscape are various artefacts from museums and private organisations that incorporate the peony in various ways. Some highlights include:
Precious Peony, which is part of the calendar of changing floral displays that Gardens by the Bay has lined up this year, faced an unanticipated setback close to opening day. The first batch of peony shipments from China could not be delivered on time due to supply chain disruptions caused by the sudden measures imposed to contain the virus outbreak there. As such, for the first week of the floral display, horticulturists are supplementing the show with peonies from Japan, Israel, and the Netherlands, while awaiting the shipments from China to arrive.
Gardens by the Bay’s Senior Director of Horticultural Operations Gary Chua said, “The peony is revered for its elegance and beauty. As part of our 10th anniversary, Gardens by the Bay is partnering with local museums for the first time ever to curate a brand-new experience, where we present these precious blooms in the context of Singapore’s rich culture. We hope visitors will take time to enjoy the exquisite collection of artefacts on loan from the museums, admist the beautiful landscape of peonies complemented by snapdragons, camellias, asters, and centuries-old bonsai."
Precious Peony is supported by Bloomberg and private individuals, and presented in collaboration with ChengTai Nursery Pte Ltd, Jia Bonsai, KenSoon Asiatic Art Pte Ltd, Ming & Qing Furniture Pte Ltd and Xi JewelBox.
Donation of Lee Kuang-Yu’s “Thinker” sculpture to Cloud Forest
During his visit, Minister Edwin Tong also officiated the donation of Taiwanese artist Lee Kuang-Yu’s Thinker sculpture as a permanent fixture in Cloud Forest.
Donated by the Taipei Representative Office in Singapore and Taipei Business Association in Singapore on the occasion of Gardens by the Bay’s 10th anniversary, Thinker was among the 16 sculptures by Mr Lee in A Sculptor’s Secret Garden, the first full-scale art exhibition to run in Cloud Forest back in Aug 2020.
Taipei Representative Office in Singapore’s Representative Francis Liang Kuo-Hsin said, “The gift of Thinker, Lee’s signature work paying tribute to nature and life, to the permanent collection of Gardens by the Bay, is testimony to a valuable milestone in the art exchange between Taiwan and Singapore. Singapore is a master in blending nature with urban living while Taiwan is a fertile ground for nurturing humanities and arts that promote curiosity and tolerance. Just as Gardens by the Bay inspires and uplifts the spirits of all its visitors with its blend of botanical beauty and art, we hope that Singapore and Taiwan can leverage on each other's complementary strengths to create positive synergies for both parties.”
Taipei Business Association in Singapore’s President James Yang said, “Taipei Business Association in Singapore is honoured and delighted to participate in the donation of Taiwanese sculptor Lee Kuang-Yu’s signature bronze sculpture Thinker, on the occasion of Gardens by the Bay’s 10th anniversary. It is a progression to another level in promoting cultural exchanges between Singapore and Taiwan.”
It is the latest addition to the growing collection of world class sculptures at Gardens by the Bay, which now numbers more than 200 pieces. Gardens have traditionally been great social levellers because of their public accessibility, and it is through the generosity of sponsors that Gardens by the Bay has been able to continue this tradition and bring art to the community at large.
10 Years of Wonders season pass
As a show of appreciation to local residents for their continuous support over the past decade, Gardens by the Bay is also launching a 10 Years of Wonders season pass.
From now till May 2, local residents can purchase the season pass at $20 and enjoy unlimited entry to Flower Dome and Cloud Forest for up to six months. With this season pass, they will be able to enjoy the next four floral displays following peonies, which centre around flowers such as roses, hydrangeas, orchids and sunflowers. This ticketing promotion is available online from Gardens by the Bay’s website as well as mobile app, for visits till Oct 15 this year.
Please refer to the Annex for more information on Precious Peony and the 10 Years of Wonders season pass.
In its 10th anniversary year, Gardens by the Bay officially opened Active Garden, a new 10,000 sqm purpose-built green space for people across generations to connect with one another through physical, social and learning activities.
Active Garden is a barrier-free space with no admission charge. Its facilities include:
Waterfront Plaza and classroom for talks, workshops and events for the community
Moongate Lawn and Active Garden Lawn for recreation and activities
Multi-generational fitness equipment and outdoor musical instruments
Mylo’s, a pet-friendly cafe
Active Garden was launched by Guest of Honour President Halimah Yacob today, who planted a variegated guava tree (Psidium guajava ‘Variegata’) to commemorate the occasion. Minister for National Development Desmond Lee also gave a speech at the launch.
More programmes for greater community engagement
The development of Active Garden was supported by Tote Board, with the intention to create more opportunities for community engagement and provide more programmes for the public with greater breadth and depth.
For example, Gardens by the Bay can work with more community partners to curate programmes for the public. Prior to today’s opening, the Gardens has already been partnering the Health Promotion Board (HPB) to explore the potential of Active Garden. HPB’s free activities for the community, which have been ongoing since last year, include the Active Family Programme that promotes bonding between parent and child through communal physical activity, and Rolling Good Times, which aims to raise awareness on common fall situations and equip seniors with basic strategies to avoid and overcome these situations.
Active Garden is also a platform for educational outreach on horticulture. Since last year, Gardens by the Bay has been holding horticulture and botanical arts workshops for people who are interested to learn more about plants. With its own community garden that grows more than 50 types of vegetables, herbs and fruits, from starfruit and long beans to less common edibles like Noni and Bilimbi, the Gardens’ horticulturists and volunteers have a practical example to make use of to impart knowledge about edibles to the community, such as how to grow their own.
Upcoming, the public can look forward to more activities at Active Garden, such as more workshops themed around edibles and botanical crafts, as well as child-friendly activities just in time for the June school holidays. Visit www.gardensbythebay.com.sg for details.
Increasing a sense of ownership in the Gardens
Active Garden is also a platform to increase a sense of ownership in Gardens by the Bay among the community. Not only is it an inclusive activity area that encourages inter-generational bonding between persons of all ages and abilities, it also supports active citizenry, with dedicated volunteers who are encouraged to develop new initiatives together with Gardens’ staff.
The community garden is maintained by 20 volunteers, who range in age from their thirties to their seventies, from working adults to retirees. These volunteers are involved in preparing the soil, propagating the plants, preparing seed trays and fertilisation, nurturing the edibles in the community garden to grow and flourish. Beyond working together in the community garden, these volunteers from diverse age groups and backgrounds can also bond and socialise in the club room.
There are plans for more activities not only to engage volunteers, but also to tap on their expertise in order to develop programmes for the community. For a start, volunteers have been in charge of coming up with the content of Our Tales on Edibles, an edibles-themed workshop for the public.
Felix Loh, Gardens by the Bay CEO, said, “As Gardens by the Bay grows beyond our 10th year, we are as committed to our original purpose of being a public green space for the community. Active Garden complements our current offerings, in that it was designed to encourage inter-generational bonding among Singaporeans. Even before its official opening today, we have been seeing many people drop by from the busy waterfront promenade to make use of the exercise equipment. Together with our volunteers and community partners, we hope the space will become an active hub for even more varied and exciting programmes that encourage social engagement.”
Donation of Chihuly’s Ethereal White Persians by Tanoto Foundation
Also unveiled today in Cloud Forest was Dale Chihuly’s Ethereal White Persians sculpture at the topmost level of the cooled conservatory. The installation of the sculpture by the renowned American glass sculptor was made possible through the donation of the Tanoto Foundation.
Anderson Tanoto, Member of the Board of Trustees, Tanoto Foundation, said, “In celebration of Gardens by the Bay’s 10th anniversary as a People’s Garden, Tanoto Foundation is honoured to make the Ethereal White Persians a permanent feature at the Cloud Forest. The Foundation’s work has been driven by our mission to provide equal opportunities to the community mainly through education, medical research and youth leadership. Similarly, we believe access to internationally-renowned art should be for all in Singapore to enjoy. At nine feet tall and an assembly of 97 individual glass pieces, the Ethereal White Persians by Dale Chihuly is awe-inspiring. It signifies perseverance, the pursuit of excellence, and reflects the positive spirit of constantly pushing boundaries to open new horizons. We hope this art piece can inspire many Singaporeans.”
Leslie Chihuly, President & CEO, Chihuly Studio, said, “Last year, we had the incredible opportunity of mounting Dale’s first major garden exhibition in Asia, at Gardens by the Bay. We are honoured that this installation will remain in the Gardens for all to enjoy, and we are grateful to the Tanoto Foundation for making this possible.”
The donation is the latest addition to the collection of world class art at Gardens by the Bay, which includes the works of an international array of artists such as acclaimed “princess of polka dots” Yayoi Kusama; Marc Quinn, recognised as one of the founders of the British contemporary art movement; contemporary Spanish painter and sculptor Manolo Valdés; the French sculptor Bruno Catalano, whose surrealist works explore the themes of travel; and locally, Cultural Medallion recipient Chong Fah Cheong, known for the iconic bronze sculpture First Generation, which depicts five young boys in the buff leaping into the Singapore River
Public gardens have traditionally been great social levellers because of their accessibility, and Gardens by the Bay’s collection of art, made possible through the donation of sponsors and loans from art galleries, is for everyone in the community to enjoy.
Ten years of being a People’s Garden
Active Garden and Ethereal White Persians are the latest additions to Gardens by the Bay as it continues to grow in tandem with the evolving needs of the community and endeavours to create new meaning as to what a People's Garden can be.
In the last 10 years, Gardens by the Bay has consciously put together programmes that bring people together, such as Children’s Festival, Mid-Autumn Festival, Christmas Wonderland and most recently, River Hongbao. Last year, more than 2.7 million people participated in such events at the Gardens.
Effort has also been made to ensure that programmes and activities are accessible to all Singaporeans across different backgrounds, in particular those who have less. The Gardens’ Gift of Gardens community outreach programme, which allows the disadvantaged and disabled communities to enjoy attractions at the Gardens for free, has enabled more than 100,000 beneficiaries from over 200 charities to enjoy popular ticketed attractions such as Flower Dome, Cloud Forest and Floral Fantasy since it began in 2012. This is made possible through donations from individual donors and corporate sponsors.
The Gardens has also been the backdrop for Singaporeans celebrating their key moments of life, from graduation with classmates to inter-generational family outings, from baby showers to weddings.
Local visitorship to Gardens by the Bay last year was at its highest ever with 8.3 million visitors.
Please refer to the Annex for more information on the facilities of Active Garden.
When May Tan visited the Sakura floral display back in 2017 with four generations of her extended family, it was her grandmother’s first-ever trip to Gardens by the Bay – and the first time the 84-year-old saw cherry blossoms in bloom. Her grandmother passed away the following year, but the memory of that visit has stayed with Ms Tan ever since.
“My grandmother could not travel because she was afraid of flying, and would never have had the opportunity to see real cherry blossoms in her lifetime, until Gardens by the Bay brought the cherry blossoms to us. My grandmother enjoyed herself very much, and we’re glad we took many photos that day, so we can remember that precious outing with her even now, years later,” said Ms. Tan.
From first dates to pre-wedding photoshoots to inter-generational family outings like Ms Tan’s, the hugely popular Sakura floral display has been the backdrop for many such important memories of Singaporeans.
The iconic and well-loved floral display, which returns today for the seventh consecutive year since it began in 2016, has continued through the pandemic in spite of challenges brought on by supply chain disruptions and higher costs.
In appreciation of the support from the community over the last 10 years, Gardens by the Bay will be extending complimentary entry to Flower Dome to lower-income Singaporeans during the opening week of this year’s edition, from Mar 5 to Mar 11. Each individual will need to present an orange or blue CHAS card at the Friends of the Garden centre to redeem for one Flower Dome ticket, subject to availability of time slots.
As part of Gardens by the Bay’s existing Gift of Gardens community outreach scheme, all holders of the following cards will continue to enjoy free entry to Flower Dome, Cloud Forest, and Floral Fantasy:
Gardens by the Bay CEO Felix Loh said, “Our Sakura floral display has a special place in the hearts of many Singaporeans. By providing free entry to the most popular show on our calendar to orange and blue CHAS card holders, we hope that more Singaporeans, including those who have less financially, can come and enjoy these beautiful flowers.”
As part of its 10th anniversary celebrations, Gardens by the Bay also launched a public call for people to share their memories of moments spent at the Gardens. These can be in the form of photos, artworks, poems, and even reflections. These memories will be showcased in a public exhibition at the end of the year, as well as in Gardens by the Bay’s upcoming commemorative coffee table book.
Members of the public can visit the Gardens’ website at www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/gbbturns10 to contribute a memory, from today until April 3. They can also visit a retrospective of highlights of the past 10 years, which is ongoing outside Flower Dome. Each panel in the showcase contains a QR code, which visitors can scan to make a contribution on the spot.
Sakura featuring tokidoki characters
This year’s cherry blossom floral display, Sakura featuring tokidoki characters, will run until April 3. Making their debut in the floral display are tokidoki’s five magical Unicornos, Fubuki, Ichiyo, Haru & Harumi, Yoshino, and Sakurako, who join characters SANDy and Donutella.
These colourful tokidoki characters are interspersed in a landscape featuring torii gates, hanami settings, Japanese floral art by Ikebana International Singapore, and a display of Japanese carp streamers known as koinobori on loan from the Japanese Association, Singapore. Visitors can take in the ephemeral beauty of cherry blossoms as they explore a magical giant box with marumado, or traditional round Japanese windows with a view.
The Sakura floral display caused a stir in Singapore when it was first introduced for the feat of making cherry blossoms bloom in the tropics. It not only represents the ingenuity that Gardens by the Bay is known for, but also the resilience of its horticulturists who have put in every effort to ensure that the community can look forward to seeing cherry blossoms in Flower Dome every year.
A decade of being a People’s Garden
Since it opened in 2012, Gardens by the Bay has worked hard to be a People’s Garden. With the aim of bringing a sense of wonder to the community, there have been more than 60 floral displays to date in Flower Dome, which feature temperate flowers like tulips, dahlias, and poinsettias. This year, there will be new floral displays showcasing flowers such as peonies and hydrangeas for the community to look forward to.
Beyond floral displays, people also visit Gardens for myriad reasons, such as to participate in year-round events such as the Mid-Autumn Festival and Children’s Festival, or to bond with family and friends amidst the beauty of nature. Last year, local visitorship was at its highest at 8.3 million, in line with the surge in the number of local residents who regarded the Gardens as a verdant sanctuary to seek respite from the pandemic.
Please refer to the Annex for more information on the Sakura cultural programmes and ikebana workshop.
Free entry to Flower Dome for orange and blue CHAS card holders
Date: 5 Mar - 11 Mar 2022
Details: Gardens by the Bay is extending complimentary entry to Flower Dome to lower income Singaporeans during opening week of this year’s Sakura floral display. Each individual will need to present their orange or blue CHAS card at the Friends of the Garden centre to redeem for one Flower Dome ticket, subject to availability of time slots. Visit www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/sakura for more details.
Public call for people’s memories of Gardens by the Bay
Date: 4 Mar - 3 Apr 2022
Details: Visit www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/gbbturns10 to make a contribution. Selected photos will be showcased at a public exhibition at the end of the year or in a commemorative coffee table book.
Sakura featuring tokidoki characters
Date: 4 Mar - 3 Apr 2022
Time: 9.00am - 9.00pm
Details: Admission to Flower Dome applies. Visit www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/sakura for more details.
Gardens by the Bay is hosting the largest number of life-sized tiger sculptures in Singapore as part of WWF-Singapore’s AR-mazing Tiger Trail, which raises awareness of tiger conservation and other key environmental issues facing the planet today.
WWF-Singapore’s AR-mazing Tiger Trail features 33 tigers scattered across Singapore. Each tiger has been decorated by a renowned local or international artist, presenting various perspectives on how climate change, poaching and deforestation are affecting tigers in the wild. At Gardens by the Bay, the eight tiger sculptures can be found in a trail that spans the area outside Flower Dome, to Supertree Grove, to near The Meadow. The exhibition is ongoing until April 9 and is free.
Through these sculptures, visitors can experience perspectives by the likes of Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood, local interdisciplinary artist Kumari Nahappan, cult Thai illustrator Phannapast “Yoon” Taychamaythakool, and British visual artist Jake Chapman of the Chapman Brothers fame. (Please refer to Annex A for more information on each of the eight tiger sculptures).
A shared focus on biodiversity and conservation
As Gardens by the Bay marks its 10th anniversary this year, it aims to further its efforts in raising public awareness on biodiversity and sustainability by introducing more programmes and activities with a strong environmental thrust. One such example is partnering WWF-Singapore for its AR-mazing Tiger Trail.
Over the years, despite being built on reclaimed land, Gardens by the Bay has become home to a rich diversity of wildlife. These include the familiar smooth-coated otter, the locally endangered lesser whistling duck, and over 130 species of native and migratory birds. The cooled conservatories and outdoor gardens also house over a million plants, some of which are of global conservation significance.
Gardens by the Bay CEO Felix Loh said, “As Gardens by the Bay turns 10 this year, we are renewing our commitment to be a champion for sustainability. We will continue working with like-minded partners, for example the Tiger Trail initiative by WWF-Singapore to educate the public on biodiversity and climate change. For the rest of this year, the community can look forward to a series of exciting and engaging sustainability-themed activities at Gardens by the Bay.”
The exclusive Tiger Trail Passport at Gardens by the Bay
As part of a community engagement experience that is only available at Gardens by the Bay, the public can pick up a free Tiger Trail Passport from the event information signboards located at the Gardens’ Main Entrance and Canopy to embark on a mini-adventure trail around the Supertree Grove. They can learn fun facts about the Gardens while searching for the tigers, and collect unique emboss stamp designs from each tiger sculpture.
In addition, they can also enjoy discounts at any participating merchant in the Gardens upon presentation of the Tiger Trail Passport. (Please refer to Annex B for the participating merchants). There will also be the sale of tiger merchandise at the Gardens’ retail shop, and proceeds will go to WWF for their tiger conservation efforts in Southeast Asia.
Across Singapore, visitors can participate in Augmented Reality (AR) activities and complete three different missions based on biodiversity, sustainability and climate change at different locations, including Gardens by the Bay. Visitors can check in at the tiger sculptures and be rewarded for completing the missions. For more information, visit https://tigertrail.wwf.sg.
Go on a virtual expedition to the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest at Gardens by the Bay to learn about climate change and sustainability. Or visit the outdoor gardens in-person to learn first-hand about seed dispersal and pollination through the plants on display. With the introduction of Green Guardians, a new hybrid educational outreach programme focusing on biodiversity, conservation, and sustainability, educators in pre-schools, primary and secondary schools will be able to customise the learning journey for their students. The programme was launched by Minister for Education Chan Chun Sing today.
On its tenth anniversary, Gardens by the Bay is taking its sustainability focus to the next generation with more educational programmes and events that have a strong sustainability thrust. Since opening in 2012, the Gardens has worked towards presenting the natural world in a way that not only excites and intrigues visitors through the display of plants from all over the world, but also educates and inspires people to care for the living environment.
Gardens by the Bay CEO Felix Loh said, “Gardens are public educators of nature and science. In our role as a national garden, nurturing a culture of sustainability among the next generation is one of our key focus in our tenth year and beyond. Schools and families can look forward to more events and activities with a strong environmental theme targeted at the young and delivered in an interactive way.”
New flagship educational outreach programme for schools
Green Guardians is a tiered programme where schools can decide how many levels they want their students to experience. The first level is free for all schools. In light of the ongoing pandemic, the intermediate and advanced levels of Green Guardians are hybridised so that there are both physical experiential activities as well as learning via digital and online platforms, such as virtual tours and pre-recorded workshops.
The objective is to make learning about sustainability not only fun, but also flexible in the new normal, as well as engage the young through a virtual platform that is familiar to them.
For more information on Green Guardians, including how to sign up their students, schools can visit www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/greenguardians.
Exploring Gardens by the Bay’s Digital Twin for education
During his visit, Minister Chan also got to experience Gardens by the Bay’s Digital Twin as part of Canberra Primary School’s Global Sustainability Development Programme. The Gardens has been working with Canberra Primary School on a pilot to use the Digital Twin for education purposes within its Global Sustainability Development Programme.
Gardens by the Bay’s Digital Twin is a virtual recreation of the Gardens, which people can experience in a way they cannot in the real world. It is being developed on Epic Games’ Unreal Engine, the same game engine behind the globally popular game Fortnite.
As part of Canberra Primary School’s Global Sustainability Development Programme, 400 students from four local primary schools - Canberra Primary School, Innova Primary School, Woodlands Primary School, and Xinmin Primary School - as well as nine schools in China, Indonesia, Malaysia, and South Africa, will be exploring the Digital Twin as a means to learn about sustainability at the Gardens.
For example, they can navigate to key locations within the Gardens and enjoy videos and pop-up information panels on sustainability concepts and how these are undertaken at the Gardens, including waste management, electricity conservation, and even rainwater recycling. The students will also be showcasing their sustainability projects and ideas in a virtual gallery within the Digital Twin.
This initial collaborative experiment with a school on learning via gamification will help Gardens by the Bay to finetune and develop its Digital Twin for educational purposes in the near future.
National Geographic Weird But True!
Minister Chan also launched the National Geographic Weird But True! The exhibition, which runs in Cloud Forest until Jul 31 this year. Based on the successful National Geographic KIDS magazine feature and a best-selling series of books, the exhibition is filled with bold graphics and visuals accompanying more than 50 interesting facts on plants, animals, science, and more, to appeal to children.
Drawing on National Geographic’s established track record of education and outreach, Weird But True! is the first in a series of exhibitions that will be held in Gardens by the Bay’s Cloud Forest to raise awareness of the diversity and value of the natural world.
Schools that complete the first level of Green Guardians will receive complimentary tickets to Flower Dome and Cloud Forest so that their students can experience the Weird But True! exhibition.
For the first time in Gardens by the Bay’s annual Chinese New Year floral display Dahlia Dreams (大丽花之梦), a grand River Hongbao lantern set, Spring Fragrances (花香满溢), takes centrestage. Dahlia Dreams opens in Flower Dome today.
The lantern set features three Chinese moon gates, a pair of rabbits and larger-than-life narcissus, peony and lily blooms, all set amidst about 2,000 showstopper dahlias and vibrant azaleas, chrysanthemums and cymbidiums.
Also on display are adorable tiger cubs to ring in the Year of the Tiger, and auspicious decorations such as giant coin pouches (福袋) and couplets (春联) symbolising good fortune and prosperity.
In addition, large-scale paintings depicting the Four Gentlemen (四君子) of Chinese culture – the plum blossom, the orchid, the bamboo, and the chrysanthemum – not only represent the changing seasons, but are also analogous to virtues such as resilience, modesty, endurance, flexibility, perseverance and fortitude; traits to carry us through the pandemic.
Dahlia Dreams runs until February 20, and is the first of a full calendar year of changing floral displays that Gardens by the Bay is bringing back in 2022 - the tenth anniversary of the Gardens.
The other upcoming floral displays are:
Please refer to the Annex for more information on the floral displays of 2022.