Hanging Gardens: Mexican Roots is an exhibition and a huge collaboration between The Gardens by the Bay and the Embassy of Mexico in Singapore. The event pays tribute to the agricultural contribution of Mexico’s ancient civilizations by showcasing corn, or maize as it used to be called, which was first developed and cultivated in Mexico about 10,000 years ago. And with that – maize is now grown and enjoyed all over the world!
Mexico is the birthplace of corn. They genuinely created and invented corn and it’s now being enjoyed as a staple food globally. It’s not just like a staple food, but it is quintessentially Mexican – it’s their symbol. They have 59 varieties of heirloom Mexican corn and many more hybrids and mixes.
The Hanging Gardens also highlighted Mexico’s history, culture, arts, and some of its products. The exhibit was held at the egg-shaped glass conservatory known as The Flower Dome of the Gardens by the Bay. The dome is a perfect place to visit anytime as the weather in Singapore is hot and humid, luckily The Flower dome is maintained at a very cool temperature.
⇧ Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay
⇧ El Castillo, Temple of Kukulćan, Chichén Itzá, Mexico. This stepped pyramid El Castillo (The Castle) has become the towering icon of Chichén Itzá, a Mayan City in Mexico. The way the Mayan architect construct this temple is really incredible – the structure features a total of 365 steps, the number of days in a calendar year. Their astronomical skills are so advanced that the pyramid can predict a solar eclipse. No doubt, this beautiful archeological ancient city is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007.
⇧ Chacmool is a Mesoamerican statue mostly used for sacrificial offerings for the gods. The reclining statue is holding some kind of a tray or bowl on his stomach or chest for offerings, including feathers and flowers, tamales, tortillas, turkey, and tobaccos.
⇧ Quetzalcóatl was a significant god in ancient Mesoamerica, a cultural hero, a prophet, the creator of life and humankind, and the god that gave corn to people. To the Aztecs, Quetzalcóatl was a god of the sun, wind, and rain, which is essential for agriculture. The Quetzalcóatl is a feathered serpent god and emerald green in color.
⇧ The Olmec Head. On the other side of the dome, this huge head with piercing eyes will really capture your attention. Standing at 4 meters, the monument is known to be hand sculpted and carved out of a single boulder to achieve the look-alike real facial features of the great rulers of ancient Mexico.
⇧ Floral Arch. Once you enter the Flower Dome this giant arch made of real flowers welcomes you vividly. It was huge and colorful, and up close it’s really all flowers, they say it was made of 40,000 different kinds of flowers. Standing tall at 8m across and 5m in height, the arch was designed by Mexican artisan Mario Arturo Aguilar Gutiérrez and his team build the floral arch on-site at Gardens by The Bay. Floral arches are usually located on entrances that symbolize gratitude and devotion and an offering to the patron saints or during fiestas.
⇧ Seed Mosaic. Heading down the main stage of the dome is the timeline of seed mosaic medallions of Mexico. It’s really amazing that up close these are hand-made using seed, pulse, and beans. Seed mosaic art handmade by the Mexican community in Singapore.
⇧ Marigolds. While walking through the Flower Dome, the strong scent of Mexican marigolds is lingering in the air. They are bright orange in color and are native flowers to Mexico. Also, during Mexican Holidays they used this flower for the annual Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) festival as the blooms are used to decorate altars of the dead.
⇧ Toltec warrior columns on the Temple of the Morning Star or House of the Morning Star
So that’s about it for now and I hope to see you again in my next post.