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In the eye of the Red Dot

Public art behind the museum

Pedas-Pedas, the famous red pepper sculpture by Kumari Nahappan located outside the Fort Canning entrance of the National Museum, is about to get a new home elsewhere on the museum grounds to make way for a new work. The latest addition is called In the Eye of the Red Dot, createdby local artist Yeo Chee Kiong. The prototype shown here is just a fraction of its eventual size: the real deal will measure around 4m (H) x 3.6m (W) x 4m (L). The design was selected from 48 submissions following an open call by the museum and property developer City Developments Limited at the end of 2014, and the final piece is due to be officially revealed mid-September.

Since it was commissioned in celebration of Singapore’s golden jubilee, it is of course meant to symbolise the flourishing success and aspirations of the nation.

Created in response to the theme of 'The Red Dot, Today and Tomorrow', the bouquet-shaped sculpture is made of highly polished stainless steel. Not only does its surface literally reflect its peaceful surroundings, a playful touch also allows visitors to go up to the centre part of the piece and peer into an ever-changing, kaleidoscopic world reflected by a series of cleverly placed internal mirrors. Since it was commissioned in celebration of Singapore’s golden jubilee, it is of course meant to symbolise the flourishing success and aspirations of the nation.

Yeo is no stranger in the local art scene: his works have been showcased extensively both here and overseas, and he has won prizes such as the National Arts Council’s Young Artist Award (2006) and the Asia-Pacific Breweries Foundation Singapore Art Prize (2008). In the Eye of the Red Dot is a continuation of his artistic practice, and is reminiscent of his other works, such as the playful 'A Yoga and Pedicure DIY Session on the Beach', which was well received at the Sculpture by the Sea festival in Aarhus, Denmark, in 2013.

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