7 Nov 2019 - 19 Jan 2020
Five Stones by Twardzik-Ching Chor Leng is a playful public art project comprising large-scale inflatables reminiscent of the familiar childhood game. Igniting personal memories, shared histories and a collective remembrance of gathering around simple play, each stone offers exciting new ways of experiencing art in the everyday, and invites all to engage in the spirit of communal play and openness once more.
Its appearance in Punggol marks the start of a three-month journey around Singapore: the colourful inflatables will pop up at multiple locations across the island in December 2019, before they gather in the Civic District for Singapore Art Week in January 2020. Echoing the tossing and gathering of five stones, the movement of the work through our landscape is an attempt to recapture the city’s imagination and inspire the individual through each chance encounter.
Trace their journey via @publicarttrustsg
Spot and tag #sg5Stones #SpotThe5Stones #publicarttrustsg
Follow our programmes on this page, and come play with the artworks!
A commission by the Public Art Trust in commemoration of the Singapore Bicentennial, as part of Arts in Your Neighbourhood in November 2019.
The Five Stones Sensorial Experience
Brack presents an interactive experience as part of its ongoing research practice through encounters with artist Twardzik-Ching Chor Leng’s "Five Stones"; a public artwork commissioned by the Public Art Trust, comprising giant inflatables reminiscent of the childhood game. Igniting personal memories and a collective remembrance of gathering around simple play, each stone offers exciting new ways of experiencing art in the everyday, and invites all in the community to come together.
This Sensorial Experience integrates central elements of the Brack creative process such as: gathering, empathy, and engagement with collective discomfort. How do our physical senses alter the way we experience an artwork?
Through guided walks and sensory activities, this workshop invites participants to engage deeply with their five senses in public spaces—alone and together.
Thursday, 12 Dec 2019 | 2 - 6pm | Multiple venues
*Includes a blindfolded experience, interactive activities, and post-workshop reflections
Capacity: Max of 12 participants only
Tickets at $12 per person (Use promo code 5Stones to register a free ticket!)
- Transport between sites
- Snack / Tea in between
- Bottled water
Please note: Participants will be blindfolded during part of the activity. Comfortable clothing and walking shoes are advised.
Public Art Photography Trail
Keen to learn more creative ways to picture public art? Join us on this special trail led by talented Instagram photographer Lee Yik Keat (@YK) around Five Stones. Learn how to frame public art through interesting perspectives and digitally process photos to wow your friends.
Saturday, 21 December 2019 | 10am - 2pm | Multiple venues
Tickets at $28 per person - Register here
- Transport between sites
- Light meal
- Bottled water
- Comfortable clothing and footwear is advised
- Participants are required to bring a camera or camera-equipped mobile phone
Curious about the fabric designs in Five Stones?
Read on to learn more!
The cloud motif known as megamendung is especially distinctive of batik textile designs from the coastal city of Cirebon in Indonesia. Interestingly, its origins can be traced back to the arrival of ethnic Chinese there, along with ceramic wares and fabrics brought from China by ancient maritime trade. Clouds bring rain, and were often used in Chinese art as symbols of life and abundance. Megamendung thus alludes to the coming together of different ethnicities, religions and philosophies that is synonymous with the cultural fabric of Singapore.
The small triangular bags used for playing five stones are traditionally made with leftover off-cuts of batik cloth, which often portray floral designs. Inspired by the set the artist played with as a child, this work features the Agnes variety of hybrid orchid Papilionanthe Miss Joaquim - Singapore’s national flower, a symbol of our vibrancy, uniqueness and resilience.
Mynah & Frangipani
This design was inspired by the Taman Teratai (Lotus Garden) motif in Indonesian batik, which depicts herons in a lotus pond at sunset. The scene was common in Chinese paintings, which influenced Japanese visual culture and later became popular in Indonesia’s coastal cities through European magazines, when Japanese art was fashionable in the West.
Herons and lotus ponds are relatively uncommon in Singapore, however. Here, the artist uses images of the mynah and frangipani tree instead to place the visual migration of cultures embodied by Taman Teratai in a local context – highlighting the many human voyages in history that have led to the cultural hybridisation of nations like Singapore.
Common Rose Butterfly
Have you seen Singapore’s national butterfly? With a vermilion body and strikingly patterned black wings, its red dots and white streaks evoke the five stars and crescent moon of our national flag. The Common Rose Butterfly featured here was voted Singapore’s national butterfly in 2015.
This geometric print is inspired by vintage window and door grills that the artist remembers from growing up in a HDB estate. A common feature of Singapore’s public housing during the 1960s to 80s, such grills prevented break-ins and kept children safe in high-rise buildings. Windows also mark the boundary between one’s private space and the public realm outside, while framing our view of the world beyond home.
They came to Singapore during the 1930s, and many helped build local infrastructure as manual labourers on construction sites. Who were these women? Can you guess why they wore red headscarves? This design is dedicated to the artist’s maternal grandmother who was from Samsui.
Of Oxcarts, Trishaws and Double-Decker Buses
Modes of transportation in Singapore have changed over the years. Bullock carts were a common sight in the early 20th century, followed by the trishaw, then buses – to name just a few.
Kek & Hai
In Cantonese dialect, kek means ‘clogs’, while hai refers generally to shoes. This print was inspired by common footwear in Singapore: the red clogs of early Chinese immigrants pre-WWII, yellow boots typical of construction workers, army boots worn by NS men, and of course slippers – [a familiar sight] on the feet of every local in our sunny island nation.
Snacks like tutu kueh, putu piring, gem biscuits or pineapple tarts are familiar to Singaporeans who grew up during the 1970s to 90s. What was your favourite snack as a child?
During Singapore’s early years, games like five stones, capteh and marbles were popular among children. Gather some friends to play, and test your dexterity with one of these games!