One of my favorite things about Singapore was twenty life-like sculptures placed in key locations along the water-front esplanade. The series of statues titled People of the River depict various scenes from Singapore’s history.
There’s one called The River Merchants which shows men with abacuses buying and selling their wares. There’s another labeled First Generation which consists of five little boys in mid-air jumping off a bridge into the Singapore river for a swim. I loved one near the Asian Civilization Museum of a young girl leading her grandpa by the hand. It’s titled Forward to the Future. There’s one called Coolies Take a Break which is a tribute to the thousands of unskilled workers who came to Singapore from China to escape poverty and make their fortune. They lived in cramped and squalid quarters and worked brutally hard. Many loaded and unloaded ships for merchants or plied small craft along the river for traders. The word coolie means “suffering strength” in Chinese. Often these men ended up dying in Singapore, never having achieved the better life they had hoped to gain by immigrating.
The neat thing about the People of the River sculptures is that they are life size. Viewers can join the action and pose as part of the sculpture. I had my husband Dave sit at the table in The Coolies Take a Break sculpture and pretend to be part of the unique tableau.
In Singapaore they’ve made history come alive in sculpture and you get to jump right into that history too.
Other posts about sculptures………