Dale Chihuly: Glass in Bloom to premiere at Gardens by the Bay on 1 May, 2021
Dale Chihuly, Ethereal White Persian Pond (detail), 2018, 8 x 26 x 20' Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London, installed 2019, © Chihuly Studio. All Rights Reserved.
Singapore - American artist Dale Chihuly, a trailblazer in his work with blown glass, will bring his large-scale installations and sculptures to Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay from 1 May – 1 August, 2021. Dale Chihuly: Glass in Bloom marks the artist’s first major garden exhibition in Asia, presenting visitors with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience an extensive collection of the celebrated artist’s works. The exhibition is organized by Hustle & Bustle, supported by the Singapore Tourism Board, venue partner Gardens by the Bay and presented by title sponsors Bank of Singapore and OCBC Premier Private Client.
“I’m thrilled to show my work in such a dynamic location in Singapore,” said Chihuly. “The natural world is an endless source for creativity, and it has been so inspiring to bring my work to life in this urban garden oasis.” Dale Chihuly is an award-winning, multi-media artist known for his installations in museums, gardens, and public spaces around the world. For more than 50 years, he has pushed the boundaries of glass, reinventing natural and man-made environments with his experiments in light, space, and form.
Dale Chihuly: Glass in Bloom is the latest manifestation of the artist’s practice as he reimagines the landscapes of Singapore’s iconic Gardens by the Bay with 25 of his magnificent large-scale installations, as well as more than 80 pedestal sculptures and two-dimensional works. The works, which have been shipped directly from Seattle and installed on site, marks the first exhibition of its scale to be hosted at Gardens by the Bay, and makes it the first garden in Asia to provide the verdant tropical setting for people in Singapore to experience the stunning works of Chihuly for themselves.
Among the exhibition highlights are Chihuly’s majestic Setting Sun, and Moon, a large spherical installation which was last presented in the artist’s landmark exhibition, Chihuly in the Light of Jerusalem 2000. Visitors will see Ethereal White Persians at the Serene Garden, and Cloud Forest Persians, a study in scale and translucency which debuted in 2019 at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, in London. These large-scale works, which measure up to 10 metres in height and weigh as much as 3600 kg, were curated and designed to complement the spaces within Gardens by the Bay’s Flower Dome, Cloud Forest and outdoor gardens. The full list of artworks will be announced at a later date.
While this is the artist’s first formal garden exhibition in Asia, Chihuly has an existing legacy in Singapore with large-scale permanent installations at Resorts World Sentosa and at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel.
FLOAT BOAT AND FLOATS
Chihuly first filled boats with glass in Nuutajärvi, Finland, during the 1995 Chihuly Over Venice project. After several days of glassblowing, Chihuly started tossing glass forms into the Nuutajoki river to see how they would look in the environment. As the glass floated downstream it was retrieved in wooden boats by local teenagers, inspiring Chihuly to begin massing forms into wooden boats, for installations in museums and gardens.
"When the world has come to a standstill during this pandemic period, Chihuly’s works bring our focus back to nature. By presenting the works of this celebrated contemporary glass artist in Singapore, we hope to bring joy to visitors, and to make art accessible to the general public."
“Chihuly is a symbol of resilience, as portrayed in his mastery of the beautiful and delicate art of glassblowing. We are captivated by his life story, and view this momentous exhibition as an opportunity to share his inspirational story with the rest of Singapore, despite the challenges of putting together a show of this scale in the midst of a pandemic. When the world has come to a standstill during this pandemic period, Chihuly’s works bring our focus back to nature. By presenting the works of this
celebrated contemporary glass artist in Singapore, we hope to bring joy to visitors, and to make art accessible to the general public, especially for our locals and Singapore residents.” said Michael Lee, CEO of Hustle & Bustle, on the partnership with Chihuly Studio.
CLOUD FOREST PERSIANS
First exhibited in 1986 as part of his exhibition at the Musée des Arts Decoratifs, Palais du Louvre in Paris, Chihuly’s Persian series is a celebration of form, scale and color. Originally presented on pedestals, the series’ dramatic compositions have evolved to include installations mounted on walls, overhead on ceilings, and assembled in the form of chandeliers and towers. For Chihuly, Persians evoke an ancient sensibility and conjure notions of Venice, and the Near and Far East.
Felix Loh, CEO, Gardens by the Bay added: “Mr Dale Chihuly’s colourful glass sculptures first gained popularity in America in the 70s and have since remained highly sought after by destinations all over. We are honored to be the first Asian national garden to play host to these stunning masterpieces, following the footsteps of other successful exhibitions in Kew Gardens, London and the New York Botanical Garden.
With overseas travel still some time away, we hope locals will come experience these magical creations by one of the world’s most celebrated glass artist in the modern era.”
Mr. Ching Wei Hong, Deputy President, Head of Global Wealth Management and Consumer Banking, OCBC Bank said, “With borders closed and travel restricted due to the Covid-19 outbreak, many of us have not been able to access world-class art and performances overseas. OCBC and Bank of Singapore are therefore very happy to be able to support the debut exhibition of world-renowned glass sculptor, Dale Chihuly, in Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay. Members of the public can view the exhibition spanning the entire Garden. For our clients from Bank of Singapore and OCBC Premier Private Client, we have specially curated a set of activities. While we have been able to meet the wealth
management needs of our clients effectively over the past year or so, whether virtually or in small groups, this exhibition gives us the opportunity to engage our clients in person, beyond banking. We hope the beautiful and gravity-defying glass expressions of human creativity and imagination of Dale Chihuly’s masterpieces will bring joy to everyone during this challenging time.”
“We are very pleased that Singapore is hosting Dale Chihuly’s debut at Gardens by the Bay. This world-class exhibition is a strong testament to Singapore’s standing as an ideal location to showcase the work of leading global artists. We hope Singapore residents will enjoy this spectacular, ‘firstin- Asia’ visual art experience, and in time to come, we hope our international visitors can experience it too,” said Keith Tan, Chief Executive, Singapore Tourism Board.
Tickets are available via the following options:
• Early bird tickets to the Outdoor Gardens & Gallery, from $12. Early bird ticketing, which offers 25 per cent off regular prices, is available 1 April through 20 April.
• Tickets to the Conservatories (Cloud Forest and Flower Dome), from $20, available from 21 April.
• Shared experience package that will allow access to all areas of the exhibition including the Conservatories, Outdoor Gardens & Gallery, from $27. Package will be available for purchase from 21 April.
• SingapoRediscovers Vouchers issued by Singapore Tourism Board can be used for the purchase of tickets (for Conservatories and the shared experience package) https:// ticket.gardensbythebay.com.sg from 21 April.
For more information and ticket purchase, please visit www.chihulyinbloom. com.
To ensure the safety of all visitors, the exhibition will be adhering strictly with recommended health guidelines, safety best practices, distancing measures and government regulations. Visitors are encouraged to purchase their tickets in advance to secure slots.
A quintessential example of Chihuly’s daring approach to large-scale installations, the Sun reflects his
lifelong interest in architecture and the natural world. A massing of color and form on a grand scale, the
Sun has appeared in varying palettes, from bold combinations of fiery orange, red, and yellow, to more
subdued hues of rich golds and clear glass forms. Since its debut in 1998, the Sun has been a featured
installation at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, and it has been on view at prestigious
institutions around the world, such as the de Young Museum, the Salk Institute for Biological Studies,
and London’s Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Chihuly’s iconic Sun is in the permanent collections of museums including the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Special Notes: The Sun that will be presented in Singapore is designed specifically for the exhibition.
Originating during his experimentation in Nuutajärvi, Finland, and later revisited by Chihuly, Reeds
are among the most dramatic blown glass forms. To create the long, tubular shape, one glassblower
is elevated in a mechanical lift while blowing through the pipe to encourage the form to stretch,
while another pulls the glass toward the ground.
PALAZZO DUCALE TOWER
Chihuly’s initial phase of extensive experimentation with Chandeliers culminated in the Chihuly Over Venice project (1995-96). Subsequent projects continued to challenge the artist to create large sculptures for spaces without ceilings or where the ceilings could not bear the weight of Chandeliers, giving life to the development of the Tower series.
About Dale Chihuly
Dale Chihuly is an American artist noted for revolutionizing the studio glass movement and elevating perceptions of the glass medium. Known for ambitious architectural installations in cities, museums, and gardens around the world, Chihuly utilizes a variety of media to realize his creative vision, including glass, paint, charcoal, neon, ice, and Polyvitro.
Chihuly’s work is included in more than 200
museum collections worldwide, including Metropolitan Museum of Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum and Corning Museum of Glass. Major exhibitions include Chihuly Over Venice (1995-96), Chihuly in the Light of Jerusalem (1999), de Young Museum in San Francisco (2008), Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (2011), Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond (2012), Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal, Canada (2013), Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Canada (2016), and Crystal
Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas (2017.) In addition, Chihuly Garden and Glass, a long-term exhibition located at the Seattle Center, opened in 2012. For more information, visit chihuly.com and @ChihulyStudio.
WORDS + IMAGES