Capturing Nature Exhibition

Available programmes:

  1. Speaker Series (September 2023): Capturing Nature : 4pm, 28 September 2023 @ Function Hall, Level 1 of Botany Centre
  2. Make Your Own Nature Print : 10am - 12pm & 2pm - 4pm, 30 Sep - 1 Oct 2023 @ Botanical Art Gallery
  3. Guided Exhibition Tours on 30 Sep, 28 Oct, 25 Nov, 9 Dec 2023 & 27 Jan, 24 Feb, 30 Mar 2024
  4. Capturing Nature Exhibition Catalogue [Hardcopy available at the Botanical Art Gallery (while stocks last!) and e-copy for download here (2mb)]
  5. Capturing Nature Exhibition Postcards [Series of 6 designs, released every 1st Saturday of the Month at the Botanical Art Gallery (while stocks last!)]

The pressing urge of humans to leave marks of their existence is attested by direct prints of hands found in pre-historic caves. This desire to be remembered and documented was among the factors that stimulated the development of human intelligence.

Hailed as the earliest precursor to photography, Nature Printing is the practice of taking impressions directly or indirectly from the surface of natural objects such as leaves, flowers, ferns, seaweed, snakeskin, and more, to produce an image on paper. Nature printing was popular with botanists in the 18th century as an aid in their study of useful and medicinal plants. By printing directly from specimens, they were able to represent plants in an affordable way and to great effect. 

In the 19th century, the desire for life-like scientific images in combination with technological innovations led to developments in nature printing. Significant advances occurred between 1842 and 1868, at the kaiserlich-königliche Hof- und Staatsdruckerei zu Wien [Imperial-Royal Court and State Printing Office in Vienna]. Their nature prints still trick the eye with exceptional detail and life-like appearance.

This exhibition spans two rooms, featuring objects mainly from Europe, but also India, Japan, New Zealand and Southeast Asia, dating from 1748 to the present.

The exhibition is curated by
Capturing Nature: Matthew Zucker, Pia Östlund
NParks: Michele Rodda, Martina Yeo
Photography: Martin Slivka, Oleg Baburin

This exhibition would not have been possible without the loan of materials from Matthew Zucker and Pia Östlund, and generous donations through the Garden City Fund.

About Capturing Nature
Capturing Nature is an initiative co-founded by Matthew Zucker, a rare art book dealer, publisher and collector from Berkshires, Massachusetts, and Pia Östlund, a Swedish printmaker and artist based in London. Their shared passion for nature printing has led them around the world, connecting with botanists, institutions, collectors, and green-minded companies to explore the various aspects of this ancient art form. They co-authored Capturing Nature (Zucker Art Books, 2022 & Princeton Architectural Press 2023), an award-winning visual exploration of nature printing, featuring 45 different techniques and hundreds of astonishing rare images. 

If you would like to know more about Capturing Nature, please visit

About the Garden City Fund
The Garden City Fund is a registered charity and Institution of a Public Character (IPC) established by the National Parks Board in 2002. The Fund works with corporations, organisations and individuals to better engage members of the public through conservation efforts, research, outreach and education. In doing so, we hope to cultivate a sense of ownership and encourage the community to play its part in preserving Singapore’s legacy as a lush and vibrant City in Nature.

If you would like to support our projects, please visit


Level 1, Botanical Art Gallery (Gallop Extension)
Open daily*, 9am - 6pm (Last entry at 5.30pm)
*Closed on the last Thursday of every month

Admission is free

Exhibition runs from 29 September 2023 to 31 March 2024


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