Weaving art into public spaces
1. Public art celebrates the identities, experiences and achievements of cultures that make up a society. Especially relevant to a multi-racial and cosmopolitan city like Singapore, the Circle Line Art in Transit (CCL AIT) programme captures this essence through its exhibits in the CCL stations.
2. Today, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) is pleased to announce the completion of the CCL AIT programme. This is a continuation of the well-received North East Line Art in Transit programme launched in 1997 and completed in 2003.
3. Mr Yam Ah Mee, Chief Executive of the LTA said: "A vibrant arts community plays an important role in the quality of life that we all enjoy. Art recognises the ties that bind people to a place, its past as well as a better tomorrow. A thoughtfully conceived, executed and integrated piece of public art enhances the value and meaning of a landscape. Cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, Paris and London have long promoted public art in their transit systems. These cities, too, recognise the value of art and its ability to contribute to the vibrancy of the cities and humanise the often-hectic transit environment."
4. The CCL AIT programme comprises two main components: Art Seats and Integrated Art.
5. The Art Seats will be installed at all interchange station platforms on the Circle Line: Dhoby Ghaut; Paya Lebar; Serangoon; Bishan; Buona Vista and HarbourFront. Selected from entries through an international design competition launched at the Venice Biennale held in 2006, these creative seats are designed to arouse curiosity and spur inspiration while providing comfort for commuters awaiting their next ride.
6. The Integrated Art for the 28 upcoming CCL stations comprises 22 commissioned and six competition-winning artworks. The artworks are built into station structures as much as possible to ensure that they are durable and easy to maintain. Each artwork is different, creating a unique experience for commuters at every station along the Circle Line.
7. An eight-member Art Review Panel assisted LTA in the judging of both competitions, and in the development of the artworks. (Please refer to Annex A for the members of the panel).
8. The panel provided guidance and support to the artists, as well as advice on how to develop artwork suitable for display in an MRT station environment. It also played a key role in facilitating partnership between private and public sectors and in encouraging community involvement during the development phase of the art pieces.
9. Mr Kwok Kian Chow, Chairman of the Art Review Panel and Director of the Singapore Art Museum, said: "The CCL Art in Transit programme has yielded a collection of high quality artworks by our local artists. The quality is achieved through the strength of the artistic proposals as well as collaboration by multiple parties in the course of realising the works. Beyond the aesthetics of "beauty", public art is also about social renewal, civic pride, public enjoyment, environmental improvement, and a clear relationship between the art and the local geography, features and communities." (Please refer to Annex B for the artists' names and themes for each station).
10. When asked about the concept of having Art in Transit, an enthusiastic Mr Eric Ongusiastic Mr Eric Ong, a Marketing Communications Manager, said: "I think it's a great idea to feature artworks from our local artists at every station. I take the train everyday and I sometimes wish our existing train stations were more colourful. Having these art pieces will give the stations more character, and who knows, it might even inspire more Singaporeans to pursue their artistic dreams."