Notice23 Jun 2021
The elephant sculpture is not on display till further notice

The Singapore Botanic Gardens’ landscapes are a living gallery for sculptures of diverse materials and created by local sculptors as well as artists from around the world. Many have generously donated and mark partnerships with nations, corporations, communities and individuals, making them an important slice of the Gardens’ history. Explore these works of art with this first published guide to the sculptures of the Singapore Botanic Gardens, available for purchase at Gardens Shops (Tanglin Gate & Nassim Visitor Centre) and online. 

  1. The Bookreader
  2. Bull Frog
  3. Chang Kuda
  4. Chopin
  5. Conversation - From Nature
  6. Clock Tower
  7. Cranes
  8. Ethnobotany Stone Murals
  9. Fan Palm Fountain
  10. Farfugium Fountain
  11. Fifty Wings
  12. Flight of Swans
  13. Gaboon Viper
  14. Geese
  15. Girl on a Bicycle
  16. Girl on a Swing
  17. Hunter-Gatherer
  18. Interactive Birds
  19. Javan Cucumber Seed
  20. Joy
  21. Koi Pond Mural
  22. Lady on a Hammock
  23. Lepidodendron
  24. Little Girl with Shell
  25. Mystree
  26. Native Wildlife
  27. Nurturing
  28. Our Rainforest Heritage Mural
  29. Passing of Knowledge
  30. Saga Daum Tajan Seeds
  31. Sea Pong-Pong Seeds
  32. Sundial
  33. Sundials at the National Orchid Garden
  34. Swing Me Mama
  35. Swiss Granite Fountain
  36. Tanglin Gate
  37. Tandok-Tandok Seeds
  38. Trees of Stone

The Singapore Botanic Gardens’ landscapes are a living gallery for sculptures of diverse materials and created by local sculptors as well as artists from around the world. Many have generously donated and mark partnerships with nations, corporations, communities and individuals, making them an important slice of the Gardens’ history. Explore these works of art with this first published guide to the sculptures of the Singapore Botanic Gardens, available for purchase at Gardens Shops (Tanglin Gate & Nassim Visitor Centre) and online.

Sculpture Name Sculpted by
Material 
Installed/donated on 
Located at 

Tanglin Gate

The metal gates of the Tanglin gate entrance are embellished with motifs inspired by the woody climber, Phanera kockiana. Set against a backdrop of lush greenery, including a magnificent mature Rain Tree (Samanea saman), visitors who enter the Gardens through this sculptural piece are greeted by a complementary blend of nature and art.

Image of Tanglin Gate along Napier Road

ENG SIAK LOY
cast aluminium
Installed in 2006
Located at the Tanglin entrance
   

Koi Pond Mural

A massive mural composition of intricate details carved by 20 Balinese stone workers, depicting a variety of flora and fauna, including the symbol of the Singapore Botanic Gardens, the Sealing Wax Palm (Cyrtostachys renda). Spot other features such as various species of Plumeria, 
include the Chinese Egret (Egretta eulophotes), a rare migrant in Singapore, and the Oriental Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris).

Koi Pond at Tanglin Gate

ENG SIAK LOY
Indonesian brexi stone
Installed in 2005
Located near the Tanglin Gate, at entry area into the Botany Centre
   

The Bookreader

Placed in a quiet spot outside of the Library of Botany and Horticulture, The Bookreader depicts a life-sized woman seated on a bench, enjoying her book in peace.

Bookreader sculpture at Botany Centre Level 1

JONATHAN MHONDOROHUMA
springstone
Installed in 2006
Located in front of the Library of Botany and Horticulture
   

Swing Me Mama

The piece portrays a mother swinging her child, a scene inspired by the artist’s experience of playing with his own child.

Swing Me Mama sculpture at Swan Lake

DOMINIC BENHURA
springstone
Donated by the Rotary Club of Singapore, 1999
Located near the Victorian Gazebo at Swan Lake
   

Flight of Swans

Placed in the centre of the lake, the bronze swans in this work appear to be taking flight
from the surface of the water.

Flight of Swans at Swan Lake

ENG SIAK LOY
bronze
Installed in 2006
Located at Swan Lake
   

Geese

Near The Dell at the northeastern end of Swan Lake, visitors can find this gaggle of Geese. When first donated in 1995, it was placed in front of Burkill Hall, it was gifted to the Gardens as a congratulatory piece at the opening of the National Orchid Garden. In 1996, it was relocated to Swan Lake.

Geese at Swan Lake

UNKNOWN ARTIST
Donated by Tan Jiew Hoe, 1995
Located at Swan Lake
   

Joy

The smooth and elongated sculpture depicts a mother gazing with love at her child as she holds her high in the air. This tender moment, shared between a mother and her child, expresses the timeless and ineffable nature of love and the joys of motherhood.

Joy at Swan Lake

RUTH BLOCH
bronze
Donated by a Friend of the Gardens, 2005
Located on Lawn E
   

Chang Kuda

Chang Kuda portrays a group of six boys - captures the dynamic movement of the game, with well-crafted details
showing the varied postures and facial expressions- playing the childhood game by the same name, which is also known as encang kuda. 
This piece was sculpted by local self-taught pioneer artist and Cultural Medallion
recipient Chong Fah Cheong. Chang Kuda is a nostalgic sculpture that encapsulates the simple joy and freedom of childhood. 

Chang Kuda at Tanglin

CHONG FAH CHEONG
bronze
Donated by Asia Pacific Breweries, 2011
Located on Lawn E
   

Sundial

The Sundial was designed and sculptedby Ursula Holttum, wife of former assistant director of the gardens Eric Holttum in 1929. The sundial is elevated on a four-sided pedestal, with each side depicting a different carved figure. Two figures represent Father Time and Death, while the identities of a robed woman and a turbaned male holding a candle or lanterns are unknown. It is inscribed with the statement that “What thou seekest is but a shadow”.

Sundial at Tanglin

 URSULA HOLTTUM
metal and concrete
Installed in 1929
Located in the Sundial Garden
   

Swiss Granite Fountain

The ball component took Swiss sculptor Ueli Fausch three months to sculpt by hand. It weighs 700 kg and fits perfectly into a 3-tonne basal block and is kept afloat by strong water pressure directed through the block.

Swiss  Ball Fountain at Tanglin

UELI FAUSCH
granite
Donated by the Swiss community in Singapore, 1991
Located at the junction of the Cissus Trellis, Lawn E and the
Frangipani Collection
   

Nurturing

Nurturing was donated to the Gardens in 2011 by two sisters, Myrna and Ivy Thomas, in fond memory of their late mother, Doris. Sculpted by British artist
Vanessa Marston, his bronze piece consists of two figures. It portrays a moment between a mother watering her plants and her child, seated on the ground and
looking in her direction with an earnest gaze.

Nurturing sculpture at Frangipani garden

 SYDNEY HARPLEY
   

Lady on a Hammock

The Lady on a Hammock depicts a maiden reclining in a hammock, a beautiful sight to behold especially when the surrounding plants are in full bloom. One of three sculptures in the Gardens commissioned by Singapore’s first Chief Minister David Marshall, Lady on a Hammock was a congratulatory gift for the Gardens’ 130thanniversary in 1989.Today, it is surrounded by frangipanis artfully draped in Spanish Moss (Tillandsia usneoides), which sways with the slightest of winds and brings a sense of motion to the Lady on a Hammock.

Lady on a Hammock at Tanglin

SYDNEY HARPLEY
bronze with dark brown patina
Donated by David Marshall, 1989
Located in the Frangipani Collection
   

Girl on a Bicycle

The Girl on a Bicycle has the same carefree spirit as Lady on a Hammock. With her legs lifted free of the pedals in joyful abandon, she wheels down the path of a
spiralling hedge. The sculpture was donated in 1987 by David Marshall, who said the piece embodied what he wanted for the children of Singapore, and hoped that it symbolised the fun of living.

Girl on a Bicycle

SYDNEY HARPLEY
bronze with green patina
Donated by David Marshall, 1987
Located at the western end of Bandstand Hill
   

Girl on a Swing

Girl on a Swing was the first of the three bronze sculptures donated to the Gardens by David Marshall. This life-size bronze sculpture was modelled after local Malay factory production operator Sapiah. The figure is mounted to give the impression that she is in mid-air. Here in the Gardens, she swings over a bed of brightly coloured flowering shrubs, creating an effect of great zest and freedom of movement.

Girl on a Swing

SYDNEY HARPLEY
bronze with green patina
Donated by David Marshall, 1984
Located at the western end of Bandstand Hill
   

Passing of Knowledge

Passing of Knowledge portrays a father and son with a continuous stream of water flowing between them, symbolising the knowledge that is passed from generation to generation. It was sculpted by Singaporean artist Victor Tan Wee Tar, who has earned a reputation in the local art scene as a sculptor who works with the medium of wire.

Passing of Knowledge

VICTOR TAN WEE TAR
stainless steel
Donated by the Rotary Club of Singapore and by Crocodile, 2003
Located at the eastern end of Bandstand Hill
   

Our Rainforest Heritage Mural

This stately wall sculpture was commissioned to celebrate rainforests, which are home to over half the world’s flora and fauna, it captures the incredibly rich biodiversity that can be found in rainforest habitats.

Heritage Mural at Tyersall Entrance

ENG SIAK LOY
stone
Donated by Dr William Chan and Mrs Chan Tsok Fah, 2017
Located at the entrance to the Learning Forest
   

Clock Tower

Made of steel, the Clock Tower stands 3.5 m tall, with a 0.7-m-tall granite base. It was designed by Eng Siak Loy, who took inspiration from the Sealing Wax Palm
(Cyrtostachys renda) found in the Gardens’ logo. The tower was originally placed at the Nassim Gate Visitor Centre, but was moved to Orchid Plaza in 2014, where it has become an iconic landmark. The Clock Tower was commissioned by Lady McNeice, a longstanding patron of the Gardens. 

Clock Tower at entrance of Orchid Garden

ENG SIAK LOY
granite, steel
Donated by Lady Yuen Peng McNeice, 1998
Located at Orchid Plaza
   

Cranes

These elegant cranes were donated by Tan Hoon Siang as a congratulatory gift for the opening of the National Orchid Garden. Surrounded by beautiful orchids, the sculpture stands at the entrance to the Garden, welcoming and wishing all visitors good health and longevity.

Sculpture of cranes at National Orchid Garden

UNKNOWN ARTIST
bronze
Donated by Tan Hoon Siang, 1995
Located in the Crane Fountain, National Orchid Garden
   

Farfugium Fountain

Designed and sculpted by Dr Humphrey Bowden, the Farfugium Fountain was commissioned as a gift for the Gardens. Inspired by the plant Farfugium japonicum, the design features scalloped, rounded copper leaves on slender stalks

Farfugium Fountain

DR HUMPHREY BOWDEN
copper
Donated by Lady Yuen Peng McNeice, 2000
Located in the National Orchid Garden
   

Fan Palm Fountain

The Fan Palm Fountain was designed by Garth Bowden, an artist in his own right who also happens to be the son of well-known English fountain designer Dr
Humphrey Bowden. The sculptural fan palm here is almost an extension of his father’s Farfugium Fountain, blending perfectly with the surrounding foliage while
water trickles down from the narrow tips of the leaves in a gentle pitter-patter.

Fan Palm Fountain

GARTH BOWDEN
copper brazed with silver/copper alloy
Donated by Lady Yuen Peng McNeice, 2000
Located in the National Orchid Garden
   

Little Girl with Shell

This sculpture depicts a little girl taking a very close look at a shell that she has found. The piece encapsulates the natural curiosity that children have with nature. Visitors who spot her in the National Orchid Garden are sure to be delighted.

Little Girl with Shell

VANESSA MARSTON
bronze
Donated by Lady Yuen Peng McNeice, 2001
Located in the National Orchid Garden
 
   

Sundials at National Orchid Garden

This pair of intertwining sundials was donated by Mdm Looi Eng San in 1995, as a congratulatory gift for the opening of the National Orchid Garden. They were made by John Close, a bespoke sundial maker based in the UK, whose company went by the name of Westwood Dials at the time.

Sundials at National Orchid Garden

Sundial at National Orchid Garden

WESTWOOD DIALS
bronze
Donated by Mdm Looi Eng San, 1995
Located in the National Orchid Garden
   

Fifty Wings

Fifty Wings was donated by Helmut and Anna Sohmen in 2015, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Singapore’s independence. It was inspired by the winged fruits of the dipterocarp trees found in the Gardens, and features 50 ‘wings’, representing Singapore’s 50 years of independence. Trees in the dipterocarp family, Dipterocarpaceae, are dominant species in many rainforests of Southeast Asia. Sadly, many of these are threatened by deforestation. 

Fifty Wings at Orchid Plaza 
JAMES SURLS
bronze, stainless steel
Donated by Dr Helmut and Anna Sohmen, 2015
Located at the southeast entrance to the Rain Forest
   

Chopin

This sculpture is a tribute to one of music’s greatest composers, Frédéric Chopin (1810 – 1849). Sculpted by Karol Badyna and made of bronze, the sculpture weighsa hefty half a tonne. It overlooks Palm Valley and the Shaw Foundation Symphony Stage, where orchestras play regularly for public audiences. The piece arrived at the Gardens two years ahead of the bicentenary of Chopin’s birth. Greatly moved by the sound of the piano from a young age, Chopin began formal training at the age of 7 and wrote the Polonaise in G minor that year. 

Chopin at Heliconia Walk
KAROL BADYNA
bronze
Donated by the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Singapore,
with support from Halina and Miroslaw Pienkowski, 2008
Located along Heliconia Walk
   

Conversation- From Nature

Conversation – From Nature features engravings of the Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus) and the Vanda Miss Joaquim (Papilionanthe Miss Joaquim), the respective national flowers of the Republics of Korea and Singapore. Placed together, the two floral images spring from the same centre, symbolising the interconnectedness and friendship between the two countries. Inspired by the theme of symbiosis between man and nature, the piece also underscores the important role that individuals play in maintaining balance and true harmony with nature. The circle that sits in the centre of both flowers symbolises not only communication between the two countries, but also the conversations that human beings have with nature, with the circle representing the source of conversation, sound.

Conversation with Nature sculpture at Heliconia Walk
 LEE SOO HONG
granite
Donated by the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Singapore,
with support from Matthew Baik Manjooran, 2011
Located along Heliconia Walk
   

Mystree

Mystree is a captivating tree-like sculpture comprising over 500 small human figures. Located at the entrance of the Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden, it was gifted
by Dr Rosslyn Leong for its opening in 2007. The London-based sculptor Zadok Ben-David created Mystree from corten steel, which weathers upon exposure to the elements to give a rusty-red appearance. The design is reflective of the theme of the Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden – life on Earth depends on plants. 

Mystree at Jacob Ballas Children's Garden

 

ZADOK BEN-DAVID

corten steel

Donated by Dr Rosslyn Leong, 2007

Located at the entrance to the Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden
   

Native Wildlife

Native Wildlife is a collection of three copper sculptures located within the new extension of the Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden. Large and placed low to the ground, they are tactile pieces that stimulate children’s exploration of the natural world. The first sculpture is in a zone featuring a stream and depicts a Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) sitting on a tree stump. The second sculpture is found in an orchard themed zone and features a Common Flameback (Dinopium javanense) perched on a Jackfruit tree (Artocarpus heterophyllus). The third sculpture is found in a farm themed zone and showcases a Common Rose butterfly (Pachliopta aristolochiae) visiting a flower of the Common Sendudok (Melastoma malabathricum).

Native Wildlife sculpture at Jacob Ballas Children's Garden
ENG SIAK LOY and WENG ZIYAN
copper
Donated by Dr Rosslyn Leong, 2017
Located in the Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden
   

Ethnobotany Stone Murals

Four painted rock murals showcase the different ethnobotanical uses of plants in the everyday lives of various cultures in the region. Painted on-site by Yip Yew Chong, a Singaporean artist well-known in the local street art scene. The unique medium of paint on rock was chosen for the ability to withstand exposure to the elements. It was agreed that once the murals have weathered beyond recognition, nature could reclaim the rocks. 

Stone Mural

Stone Mural at Ethnobotany Garden

Stone mural

Stone mural ethnobotany garden

YIP YEW CHONG
paint on rock
Donated by Serene Koh, 2018
Located in the Ethnobotany Garden
   

Hunter-Gatherer

These two sculptures located in the Ethnobotany Garden were created by Aileen Toh from the Singapore Sculpture Society. They are sculpted from the wood of salvaged Shorea logs from within the Gardens, and depict Orang Asli, or ‘native people’ in Malay, the indigenous people of Peninsular Malaysia. One sculpture depicts a life-sized figure holding a long stick for defence in his right hand. The other is a hunter poised with a 1.5-m-long blowpipe at his mouth, ready to fire a poison dart at his target. Next to the hunter is an Antiaris toxicaria tree, a native species which the Orang Asli utilise as a source of poison. 

Hunter Gatherer at Ethnobotany Garden

Hunter Gatherer at Ethnobotany Garden

AILEEN TOH
Shorea wood
Installed in 2018
Located in the Ethnobotany Garden
   

Tandok-Tandok Seeds

This sculpture of three Tandok-Tandok (Strophanthus caudatus) seeds stands at the entrance of the Seed Bank. Made from brass, its brown patina forms a striking contrast against the white colonial-style building it fronts. Several species of Strophanthus are planted around the sculpture, including Strophanthus caudatus. This native and critically endangered climber has beautiful white star-shaped flowers, with each petal extending into a long red tendril-like tip. 

Tandok Seed sculpture outside Seed Bank

CHUA BOON KEE
brass
Installed in 2019
Located at the entrance to the Seed Bank
   

Saga Daum Tajan Seeds

This sculpture depicts a seedpod and seeds of the Saga Daun Tajam (Adenanthera malayana), a species which disperses its seeds via autochory, or self-dispersal. The
long seedpods twist spirally as they mature, eventually splitting open to release glossy red and black seeds. 

Saga duam tajan seed sculpture at Seed Bank

CHUA BOON KEE
brass
Installed in 2019
Located in the Seed Dispersal Garden
   

Javan Cucumber Seed

This brass sculpture showcases a seed of the Javan Cucumber (Alsomitra macrocarpa). This is a climbing species that produces a football-sized fruit known
as a pepo. Inside the fruit are hundreds of winged seeds tightly packed together. Each seed is only 1 mm thick, and light enough to glide through the air for hundreds
of metres, making the Javan Cucumber an example of a species that disperses its seeds via wind, also known as anemochory.

Javan Cucumber Seed

CHUA BOON KEE
brass
Installed in 2019
Located in the Seed Dispersal Garden
   

Sea Pong-Pong Seeds

This sculpture depicts the seeds of the Sea Pong-pong (Cebera manghas). An example of a water-dispersed species, the fruit has an exocarp that disintegrates to
reveal a thick, fibrous mesocarp, which helps the seed stay afloat and travel long distances on water. The seed is surrounded by a waterproof seed coat, or endocarp,
that protects it during prolonged exposure to saltwater. Another term for dispersal via water is hydrochory.

Sea Pong Pong seeds at Seed Bank

CHUA BOON KEE
brass
Installed in 2019
Located in the Seed Dispersal Garden
   

Interactive Birds

This fourth brass sculpture by Chua Boon Kee illustrates seed dispersal by animals, also known as zoochory. It depicts three bird species feeding on the
seeds of three different plant species – the Orange-bellied Flowerpecker (Dicaeum trigonostigma) and the Broad-leaf Bramble (Rubus moluccanus); the Red-crowned
Barbet (Megalaima rafflesii) and the Queen Coralbead (Cocculus orbiculatus); and the Pink-necked Green Pigeon (Treron vernans) and the Green Coffee tree
(Canthiumera robusta).

Interactive birds at Seed Bank garden

 
CHUA BOON KEE
brass
Installed in 2019
Located in the Seed Dispersal Garden
   

Trees of Stone

These Trees of Stone are huge columns of fossilised tree trunks. Placed at the entrance to the Evolution Garden, they invite visitors to explore this interesting and quiet part of the Gardens, which traces the evolutionary course of plants on Earth over time.

Trees of stone

ARTIST UNKNOWN
fossilised tree trunks
Installed in 2005
Located in the Evolution Garden
   

Lepidodendron

A ‘forest’ of Giant Clubmosses is placed amidst over 40 species of cycads in the Evolution Garden. Lepidodendron is an extinct genus of tree-sized plants that were
abundant on Earth during the Carboniferous Period, approximately 300 million years ago. They grew in great swamps where dead plants accumulated and over millions
of years were converted to coal under heat and pressure. They are also called ‘scale trees’, because the fossilised remains of their bark resembles scaly reptile skin.

Lepidodendron trees at Evolution Garden

mass concrete
Installed in 2005
Located in the Evolution Garden
   

Bull Frog

This sculpture outside the Visitor Centre at the Nassim entrance was created by Zimbabwean artist Joram Mariga. Much of his work features subjects from nature, and is stylistically influenced by themes drawn from the culture of the Shona people.

Bull Frog at Nassim Entrance

JORAM MARIGA
springstone
Installed in 1992
Located at the Nassim Gate Visitor Centre

 

   

Gaboon Viper

The Gaboon Viper depicted in this artwork is known to be one of the deadliest snakes in Africa, made from a single large piece of hard springstone.
The idea for this particular piece came to the sculptor when he was going through a period of personal problems and wanted to create something aggressive to personify his negative feelings at the time, and described the process of creating the Gaboon Viper as intense. 

Gaboon viper at Nassim entrance
DOMINIC BENHURA
springstone
Installed in 1996
Located at the Nassim Gate Visitor Centre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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