(top) Donna telling us about her timepiece bugs. (bottom-left) Participants admiring Sandra’s work on the third floor. (bottom-right) A stuffed owl on the second floor.
Some might say that holding our virgin event in the same week as the Singapore Design Festival and right smack in the middle of monsoon season — for many folks a drop of rain paralyses the legs — might have been foolish on our part, but to our huge relief it went down well with 50 people attending our private talk and tour of Majestic Bar.
I’m glad to say that contrary to popular opinion, the artists are not a pretentious lot. Remarkably grounded and down to earth, Mark Wee (Annex A), Audrey Phng (Asian Art Options), Donna Ong, Sandra Lee, Yuki Chong and Leonard Ng (a surprise guest!) charmed us with their vision, eloquence and passion for the project.
Participants were separated into two groups and taken on a top to bottom tour of the space gamely led by Mark. From the third floor where we were wowed by Sandra’s imaginative murals that covered the walls under a canopy of stars (can we say childhood fantasy?) to the first, home of Donna’s mechanical bugs made out of old clock parts “escaping out of their clock case homes” bathed in mottled light from Yuki’s light installation inspired by looking up through a thick tree canopy. The last stop of the tour was at the entrance of the bar, where Audrey explained the man and nature idea behind Zadok Ben David’s towering piece and Leonard, his newly installed landscape on the New Majestic lawn.
(top-left) Audrey telling us about Zadok ben David’s sculpture (top-right) Zadok ben David’s phenomenol sculpture (bottom) Admiring Leonard’s newly installed landscape in front of the hotel
To better sum up the experience, here’s a snippet of feedback from one of the participants:
It was definitely worth listening to the architects and the artists. Makes me appreciate much more their idea for the bar, how it’s laid out, and the thought behind it. The small bits of information such as the rusting steel that protects it from further rust are quite interesting, and also of course the artist’s intent for each piece. My favorite was the third floor, and while it seemed very simple, it conveyed a nice sense of wistfulness and youth, and really succeeded with the idea of being on top of a tree staring at the stars. Perhaps it’s the statue of the kid tugging at the star that makes it feel very innocent up there. I also liked the grassy “China mountain-like” display outside. I thought it was interesting when he mentioned that once it settles in, people will be able to walk within it and it becomes part of the space.
(top) Giving the artists a big round of applause. (middle-left) The artists and Culturepush (middle-right) Drinks time! (bottom) Chilling out with signature Majestic Bar cocktails.
By the end of night, it was simply lovely to chat with the artists about their work and their future projects over delicious cocktails and snacks that are Majestic Bar’s signature. I think many people were adventurous enough to try the crocodile meat paus. Tastes like pork, or so I’ve heard.