Behind The Frame: The Stories Behind The New Art Pieces At Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore
“Great art picks up where nature ends.” Marc Chagall
Beyond brand new guestrooms, suites, restaurants and a redesigned Horizon Club, the Tower Wing’s newly-renovated grand lobby with soaring marble pillars and floor-to-ceiling windows now boasts a refreshed art and design concept that truly defines the distinctive Shangri-La brand.
Inspired By The Elements
Renowned for his design solutions in luxury hospitality environments, Ryoichi Niwata of Bond Design Studio, together with Shangri-La’s Design Manager for Artwork, Winnie Ip, was challenged to conceptualise a new hotel lobby that evoked elements of nature. To achieve this, he drew on the five elements of Stone, Wood, Water, Trees and Wind for inspiration to create the new Tower Wing design aesthetic.
Water: Children Dabbling In The Water by Yi Hwan Kwon
Walk into the grand lobby of Tower Wing and you can’t miss the six whimsical sculptures of children thoughtfully placed around the lobby. Symbolising the multi-cultural society of Singapore, the pieces were sculpted in the likeness of Singaporean children of different nationalities and immortalised in a moment of play around the water, evoking a sense of playfulness and harmony.
Commissioned just for the hotel, the sculptures were created by Korean artist Yi Hwan Kwon, known for his intriguing works that inhabit the space between reality and an imaginary world. The result is one that wavers between two- and three-dimensional forms. Kwon was inspired by the idea of Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore as the ‘mother hotel’ and decided to present her with ‘grandchildren’ in the form of the six sculptures.
Yi Hwan Kwon Video:
Stone: Rock Wall by Charlie Albone
A stunning backdrop to The Lobby Lounge, a 9-metre by 6-metre rock wall pays tribute to the element of stone. Created by Charlie Albone, a celebrity horticulture expert and one of Australia’s best landscape designers, this magnificent green wall took 700 hours to install and features basalt rock, lush tropical ferns and mosses such as Rabbit’s Foot fern, Jungle and Staghorn ferns and Potted Ficus trees.
Six indoor Ficus Benjamina trees (also known as weeping figs), cast a subtle shade over the armchairs in the lobby, their crowns providing guests with a gentle canopy. Indigenous to India and Malaya and standing 4.5 meters tall, they are an arresting presence with their height and stately branches.
Wind: Tree Canopy by Studio Sawada Design
A glance up at the ceiling reveals a stunning shower of glinting and swaying metallic leaves. The result of a reinterpretation of the natural landscapes and beautiful tropical trees in Singapore, Tree Canopy by Studio Sawada Design beautifully captures the movement and nature of wind.
Studio Sawada Design Video:
Led by artist Mr. Hirotoshi Sawada, the ceiling art installation features thousands of leaves in fluid motion, seemingly swaying from a tropical rain shower, and sheltering guests in an oasis.
Wood: Horizon Club Lounge
The new Horizon Club Lounge reflects the element of wood with walls, panels, and tables made from light blond woods. Located on level 24 of Tower Wing, the natural wood details make for a warm, homely enclave. One that’s also a great place to unwind and relax at with its offer of panoramic city skyline views and strategically placed plush armchairs.