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Dale Chihuly: Glass in Bloom | Gardens by the Bay Exhibition

In such (COVID-y) times like this, I feel like going to see art is one of the most peaceful things I can do. Even better when I can wander around Gardens by the Bay and explore it a bit more! I find it very fitting that Dale Chihuly’s glass sculptures (a new discovery for me!) inspired by nature are now being exhibited around Gardens by the Bay until its extended date of 3 October 2021, adding something fresh and new to the landscape.

The exhibition is split into three main sections: The Flower Dome & Cloud Forest conservatories, the Outdoor Gardens and Gallery, and the free (!) public exhibits. I chose to skip the conservatories because I thought the price for that was too steep… There are varying admission rates for visiting the different sections, but I paid $16 to see the exhibits in the Outdoor Gardens and Gallery, and went to hunt down the public exhibits too!

Public Exhibits

All Dale Chihuly, Blue and Purple Boat, 2006, blown glass and wooden boat, Victoria Lily Pond

I’m starting off this post with Blue and Purple Boat, simply because it took me so long to find the Victoria Lily Pond! I’m so glad I didn’t miss out on this one โ€” the spiky blue and purple ‘baubles’ (?) look so great within this beautiful pond. I felt a great sense of accomplishment after finally finding it!

Walla Wallas, Dragonfly Lake

I’d never heard of ‘Walla Wallas’, and I was wondering what the title of this work was referring to… But it occured to me that these floating pieces looked a lot like onions! Turns out my visual analysis was on point, because I found out that they are made after the Walla Walla sweet onion, also the state vegetable of Washington in USA!

The Float Boat, Dragonfly Lake
End of the Day Persian Chandelier, SG50 Lattice

I think End of the Day Persian Chandelier might be my favourite exhibit, and I love how it matches the pattern of the SG50 Lattice so well. This is the day view of how it looks like, and the picture below was taken in the evening when the sun was beginning to set. So gorgeous at all times of the day.

Paintbrush Tower, 2014, outside Fullerton Bay Hotel

There is one more glass sculpture Paintbrush Tower that’s located outside Gardens by the Bay, and it’s at the Fullerton Bay heritage area outside the Fullerton Bay Hotel. This was the only work of Chihuly’s that I viewed at night, and I like how it looks lit up at night too.

Outdoor Gardens

The Setting Sun, 2020, The Meadow

The Setting Sun was in fact the first work I saw at Gardens by the Bay, in The Meadow. This photo was aptly taken when the sun was beginning to set. I really like how this work looks like a fiery ball of energy with so many individual curly glass pieces in red, orange and yellow.

The Moon, The Meadow

And then there is its quieter counterpart The Moon, located on the slope-y part of The Meadow.

Red Bamboo Reeds, 2020, blown glass, Serene Garden
Black & Green Striped Herons and Green Grass, 2015, blown glass, Serene Garden

I thought that the way Black & Green Striped Herons and Green Grass almost blends in with the natural scenery of Serene Garden here was very nicely done!

I remember discovering this small stream in the midst of the Japanese Zen garden-inspired space of Serene Garden early last year, and I just love it! Now it leads to Yellow Herons in the pond situated in front of a small waterfall.

Yellow Herons, 2007, blown glass, Serene Garden
Ethereal White Persians, 2018, blown glass and steel, Serene Garden

I love the detail of Ethereal White Persians, and I also find it fascinating how there’s a black outline for each of the white flowers! Actually, it seems like my favourite of Chihuly’s is all those from the Persians series…

Palazzo Ducale Tower, 1996, blown glass and steel, Serene Garden
Turquoise Reeds, 2020, blown glass, Serene Garden

Appreciated the dramatic jutting out of Turquoise Reeds from the middle of this rock installation, especially as we are viewing it from below.

Red Reeds, 2017, blown glass, Serene Garden
Tiger Lilies, 2010, blown glass, World of Plants
Orange Hornet Chandelier, 2013, blown glass and steel, World of Plants
Sea Blue & Green Tower, 2004, blown glass and steel, World of Plants
Pearl and Obsidian Fiori, 2014, blown glass, World of Plants

I’m not sure if I have visited the World of Plants section in Gardens by the Bay before, but it’s not my favourite area… Out of the four works shown here, I liked Pearl and Obsidian Fiori the most!

Gallery (next to SG50 Lattice)

Macchia Forest (in part)

I was surprised to find that the Gallery contained a small exhibition of its own featuring smaller-scale works by Chihuly, including sculptures and abstract mixed media pieces. The first exhibit in the Gallery was Macchia Forest, and I was trying to decide which piece(s) were my favourite and that I’d love to own in my ideal home…

I really liked these ikebana-inspired works on paper, showing another side to Chihuly. They look like they were made in a very free and relaxed manner, and it’s interesting to contrast them with the glass sculpture version (shown below).

Ikebana
Drawing Walls
Cardinal Red and Gold Persian Wall, 2018, blown glass
Ikebana Glass on Glass Painting, 2017โ€“2018, vitreous enamel on glass

The effect of this series of Glass on Glass paintings looks really nice in person, but it just doesn’t translate very well on my camera! It’s meant to look a little different every time you shift positions in viewing them, and I loved how the colours of each seemed to shift too.

Radiant Yellow Icicle Chandelier, 2018, blown glass and steel

Ended off my visit with a bang with this massive Radiant Yellow Icicle Chandelier! I just like how Chihuly’s glass is so ‘easy’ to look at, and I love all the varying shapes and colours. I’m giving this exhibition 4.5 stars! Share your opinion too by giving your rating below. :)

Dale Chihuly: Glass in Bloom runs until 3 October 2021, and you can find more info on the exhibition and the works at this dedicated site!

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