8 must-see public sculptures in Singapore

These public sculptures from both local and international artists (including the likes of Salvador Dali) are just a walk away from each other.

Planet by Marc Quinn
  • Kamei Cheong and Syafii Ghazali
  • March 2020

Take art out of museums and galleries into public spaces and it can have a transformative effect. More than just beautifying the built environment, public art has the power to make people stop in their tracks and connect with their surroundings. Here are the most iconic sculptures to check out in Singapore’s CBD area.

1. 24 Hours in Singapore by Baet Yeok Kuan

24 Hours in Singapore sculpture
The work was created in 2015 to commemorate Singapore’s 50 years of independence.

This art installation by local artist Baet Yeok Kuan can be found just outside the Asian Civilisations Museum. Comprising five stainless steel balls, it plays recordings of familiar sounds, such as local traffic, trains and chatter in wet markets.

Address: 1 Empress Place

2. Singapore Soul by Jaume Plensa

Singapore Soul sculpture
The steel structure has an opening at the front, inviting passersby to step inside.

The pensive “man” that sits stoically at Ocean Financial Centre is made up of characters from the four national languages of Singapore — Tamil, Mandarin, English and Malay — and represents cultural harmony.

Address: Ocean Financial Centre, 10 Collyer Quay

3. First Generation by Chong Fah Cheong

First Generation sculpture
First Generation is part of a series of four sculptures by local sculptor Chong Fah Cheong.

Located near Cavenagh Bridge, this installation features five bronze boys jumping into the Singapore River — a nostalgic throwback to the early days of the nation-state when the river was a source of fun.

Address: 1 Fullerton Square

4. Planet by Marc Quinn

Planet sculpture
The immense sculpture was modelled after Marc Quinn’s son.

Weighing seven tonnes and spanning almost 10m, this artwork that appears to float in mid-air is a stunning engineering feat. Head to the front of The Meadow at Gardens by The Bay to check out one of the British artist’s most celebrated works.

Address: 31 Marina Park

READ MORE: Meet the artists behind Singapore’s most Instagrammed street mural

5. Bird by Fernando Botero

Bird sculpture
All of the celebrated artist’s sculptures have a distinctive rotund form.

Located along the banks of the Singapore River just off Boat Quay, this bronze bird statue by Columbian artist Fernando Botero is meant to symbolise joy and optimism.

Address: 6 Battery Road

6. Homage to Newton by Salvador Dali

Homage to Newton sculpture
The sculpture has an open torso with a suspended heart, representing open-heartedness.

Just steps away from Botero’s Bird in the atrium of UOB Plaza, you’ll find a towering bronze figure made by Spanish surrealist Salvador Dali. As its name suggests, it’s a tribute to Isaac Newton, who is said to have discovered the law of gravity when an apple (symbolised by the “falling ball” in the sculpture) fell on his head.

Address: 80 Chulia Street

7. Reclining Figure by Henry Moore

Reclining Figure sculpture
At over 9m long, it’s the largest sculpture by Henry Moore.

Sitting beside the OCBC Centre, a stone’s throw from Dali’s Homage to Newton, this huge sculpture by English artist Henry Moore has been around since 1984. While it may not be obvious from some angles, it’s an abstract depiction of a human figure resting on its side.

Address: 65 Chulia Street

8. Progress & Advancement by Yang-Ying Feng

Progress & Advancement sculpture
Made by Taiwanese sculptor Yang-Ying Feng, the sculpture was donated by the founder of OUB Lien Ying Chow in 1988.

This 4m-tall bronze sculpture just outside Raffles Place MRT includes a detailed representation of Singapore’s CBD as seen from the waterfront.

Address: Battery Road