Case Study:

People, Orion & Discovery

Location

Singapore

Artist

Florence Ng, Woo Meng Fye

Glass Processes Used

Bent Glass, Blown Glass, Sandcarved, Metal Works

Architect

Completed By

2015

Designer

Specific Materials Used

Customized

Installed By

Synergraphic

 

About the Project

The 19th of June saw the official opening of Seagate Technology‘s new S$100 million dollar R&D center, and the completion of 3 stunning commissioned sculptural artworks – People, Orion and Discovery. Conceptualized by Florence Ng and Woo Meng Fye, the proposed sculptures were commissioned by Seagate as they stood out in their concept, design and material choice.

The artworks were found to aptly embody Seagate’s treasured values of innovation and cutting-edge technology: with their striking forms, vibrant colours, and the use of glass communicating modernity and unconventionality. Unlike more common materials such as bronze and stone, glass is especially compatible with lighting, resulting in artworks that are stunning both in the day and night.

Creating these sculptures was no easy feat. Given their unusual structures and the brittle nature of glass, our engineers went through a difficult but not impossible task of continuous research and testing, and were able to find best solutions in methods, fixing systems, frames, lighting and many other components to finally bring these sculptures to life!

 

Concept

People
by Florence Ng

The concept behind People which Florence designed and created was inspired by the idea that despite contemporary reliance on technology, it is still human relationships which drive any organisation. This was in response to the brief from Seagate which required an outdoor work that embodied values such as teamwork, people and innovation. The requirements were also for a work that was weather resistant and harmonized with the surroundings. The result was a four-metre-high blown glass and cast concrete sculpture designed to remind the viewer of people in conversation.

The base, with its two rows of curled concrete pillars looking like bent figures in conversation, had to be carefully drawn in terms of proportion, since opposite ends worked like a seesaw in balance, and weight was a consideration. The heads of blown glass are shaped more like pieces of M&M candy,” says Florence, “to give it more personality, and then marbled on the inside with glass paint. I wanted them to look like undiscovered planets in a distant galaxy.”

Unique about People is the way such a massive installation was formed in an artisanal, handmade approach. “Instead of solid cast concrete, which would have made the piece too heavy, we built a skeleton over which we plastered on the concrete, lending an organic, handmade feel which cast concrete cannot do,” Florence says. She adds, “I like how the lighted spheres of blown-glass are like neverending sparks of ideas which we often refer to as our ‘light-bulb’ moments.”