The Challenge: To visit 33 Tiger sculptures and answer tiger-themed quizzes at 23 locations across Singapore.
The Result: Out of 33, I only visited 20 of these sculptures.
Duration: February 26th – April 9, 2022
WWF’s Tiger Trail is raising awareness and funding to address the unrelenting decline in tiger populations across Southeast Asia.
Tigers are everywhere in the city-state of Singapore and they are roaming travel around the city. Tigers are having a great journey around popular travel tourist spots and i’m on the hunt for them.
The World Wide Fund for Nature Singapore (WWF-Singapore) presents the AR-mazing Tiger Trail 2022. The trail is an island-wide art trail that features 33 life-sized tiger art sculptures, designed by local and internationally-acclaimed artist to raise awareness of the conservatorship of these tigers.
Standing mighty at 3 meters, visitors can scan a QR code to unlock tiger-themed quizzes and Augmented Reality (AR) filters for Instagram. Each piece is uniquely designed and painted by famous local and international artists. All tiger sculpture uses the same base frame of metal and fiberglass, with the body model based on a real Bengal tiger called King. Each of these sculptures presents a unique perspective of how climate change, poaching, and deforestation is affecting tigers in the world.
Sadly, I managed to visit 20 of 30 sculptures but i feel good about it. Plus, the search and walk was a helpful physical activity to fight the “quarantine fatigue” as the pandemic stretches out.
The orange tiger stripes are made of stock market numbers from a financial newspaper and the black stripes are from ink. The numbers represent Capitalism, connecting the exploitation of nature for financial gain against the 21st Century’s urgent existential questions of how will we ensure the survival of our habitat that relies on the ecosystems that Capitalism has eroded the threat of collapse. The sculpture also playfully refers to the ‘Tiger Economies’ of Asia and its title to William Blake’s ‘The Tyger’.
The idea behind this creation is to reinforce the notion that the tiger belongs in the safety of the wild and not the ‘safety’ of the museum.
Location: ION Orchard
4. “Oracle” by Sue Arrowsmith (United Kingdom)
“I was really excited to be asked to paint a Tiger to mark the Year of the Tiger in 2022. They are truly beautiful, sensuous, magnificent species and it is so sad to think they are in danger as numbers have dwindled to just over 3,000 in the wild. I painted my tiger in red and gold which I felt symbolized hope and freedom, abundance and exotica. The form was so amazing to paint, I was sad when she left my studio. I will just have to make do with my lovely old gentleman pussy cat at home instead !”
Location: Raffles Hotel
5. “Kai Xin by Temenggong Artists-in-Residence x Enabling Village x TOUCH Community Services (Singapore)
Jun Quan told our volunteers that he named his tiger “Kai Xin” (“happy” in Chinese) because he is always happy when he is painting this tiger. Simple joy & happiness is precious.
Jun Quan drew the hearts to symbolise his love for tigers. For Kim Han, his artworks stem from seeing the different sides of tigers. He takes inspiration from the tigers he sees on documentaries and in the zoo. Shennie painted vivid, dark stripes on a brown body based on memories of tigers she had seen in the past. Zhiyu loves animals from the cat family, especially tigers. He painted the tiger in his favourite colours and patterns to signify his love for tigers.
Location: Enabling Village, UOB Ability Hub
6. “Theodorus” by Temenggong Artists-in-Residence x Enabling Village x The Art Faculty x The Animal Project (Singapore)
Emerging artists Asher, Janelle and Megan desire to showcase a joyful and loving home for the Malayan tigers with splashes of cheerful colours creating a dynamic and fun background. Drawing their passion for animals, talented artists Jun-Yi, Keegan, and Keen, drew the tigers engaging in different activities using broad paint markers. They hope people can get to know the Malayan tigers beyond them as predators, and they can live happily in the tropical rainforest, their natural habitat.
Location: Enabling Village, UOB Ability Hub
“WWF-Singapore’s AR-mazing Tiger Trail was curated to encourage fun and creative discussions and promote education on vital issues facing the wild tiger population today. We are delighted to work with the incredible artists and partners on the AR-mazing Tiger Trail.” said WWF-Singapore’s CEO, Mr. R. Raghunathan.
7. “My Extinction is Just a Precursor for Your Extinction” by Jake Chapman (UK)
How do we address the false altruistic sentiments of those who oppose the extinction of ‘exotic’ specimens, whilst prolonging exploitation in other forms of human activity? Is the extinction of one class of animal worse than the domestic overbreeding of other animals for mass consumption? ‘My extinction is just a precursor for your extinction’ aims to remind us of this paradox.
The core of my art comes from the Tibetan culture of Kangrinboqe. The skull elements are the symbol of the patron gods in Tibetan culture. To me, they are spirits, representing every living entity and life cell from the universe. The tiger is densely covered with brightly colored skulls in order to convey the natural law of coexistence between us and the tiger, humans, and nature.
“XingXing” is painted in celebration of 2022 stars. This nocturnal animal brings light to darkness with its arrival, creating awareness with its presence.
Location: Gardens by the Bay, Super Tree Grove
10. “Dragonertiger” by Wasinburee (Thailand)
The sculpture is being displayed in the form of an old antique found in a museum. Wasinburee Supanichvoraparch has applied the ceramic patterns of Chinese Porcelain that once belonged to Augustus the Strong to a tiger sculpture. Augustus II traded his highly reputed Dragoon soldiers for 151 porcelain pieces to gain recognition and status as a powerful and sophisticated king. This story has fascinated the artist and regularly become a source of his aesthetic inspiration.
He is meant to bluntly and directly remind the world of the imminent demise of the tiger. Hoping to bring stark awareness to people of the critical situation facing us regarding the fragility of their preservation.
I have taken inspiration from the first stanza of the famous poem by William Blake.
“Tyger Tyger, burning bright, In the forests of the night; What immortal hand or eye, Could frame thy fearful symmetry?”
The tiger has a dark graphite base with an applied motif of bright orange graphic flames. All over the world, there are stories alluding to the phoenix or firebird rising from the ashes and symbolizing renewal. Like Tx2 the global initiative to double wild tigers, my heraldic tiger emerges from catastrophe bolder and more powerful.
Location: National Gallery Singapore, Padang Atrium Entrance
The concept invites audiences to consider the survival of two beautiful forms, the passion, dedication, and sacrifice that is required to keep them alive, and the consequences if we fail. Materials and processes employed are based on those found in traditional crafts. The main construction material is rattan, similar to the making of the lion dance head. Knotting and cording are used to secure the joints, showcasing the art of Chinese knots.
The idea behind this work is to highlight the vulnerability of our planet and the life that exists on it. Humankind is striving to reach for the stars and beyond while at the same time forgetting the preciousness of what we have on planet earth. We are a jewel in an endless ocean of space and as far as we know…we are alone.
Lily is a tigress who is nurturing, protective, tender yet very strong. She is very close to her feminine side. Delighted that a flower has been named after her, she wears her ‘Tiger Lilies’ proudly, welcoming the nature around her.
The tiger has been a great source of inspiration for me, and when presented with the opportunity to paint a life-size sculpture I wanted nothing more than to paint it as it is: a tiger as a tiger. The identity of the tiger for me is tied to its bold, black stripes. And just as the stripes seem to be leaving the sculpture, the future of these beautiful beasts’ existence may become more mythical than real.
Location: Millenia Walk
18. “Tiger Going for Baroque” by Erin Lawlor (United Kingdom)
This tiger has painted a deep forest green – the color of the nature with which he merges – and mottled with the dark. His feet and underbelly are copper-tinged, reminiscent of the savannah. He is, above all, coated in an abstract mantle of organic gestures, applied in gold paint with a wide brush. The brush marks recreate a baroque take on the shifting beauty of the tiger’s natural camouflage.
Location: Republic Plaza
19. “Tribal Gold” by Temenggong Artists-in-Residence x Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (Singapore)
Gold represents the precious Malayan tigers. The textured tribal and topographical lines on the Tiger signify an abstract representation of their natural habitat in Malaysia. The red paw sparks the Tiger’s critically endangered status and yet radiates hope in humanity’s efforts to eliminate the poaching of Tigers globally.
Ian has taken inspiration from his main signature works of controlled dynamic pouring of paint, mimicking tiger stripes. But his stripes are rendered in bright colourful, dynamic colours to emphasise its majestic unique beauty, contrasted against the black areas of absence and loss.
Location: Gardens by the Bay
Which sculpture you like best?
Love to hear from you guys and thanks for reading.