See the Civic District afresh this August with Benchmarks, a new public art trail commissioned by the Civic District Alliance (CDA) featuring the works of six Singapore-based artists. Part of the Arts in the Civic District placemaking initiative to enliven the arts and cultural precinct, the new trail is curated by local multi-disciplinary artist Justin Loke and accessible by the public from 2 August 2023 until 31 July 2026. Benchmarks is anchored on the concept of punctuation marks, and presents a poetic series of unconventional artwork benches situated in and drawing inspiration from historical landmarks within the Civic District.
Punctuating everyday conversations with pockets of art within the Civic District
Playing on the definition of a benchmark as a point of reference for measurement and comparison, the art benches artworks in Benchmarks are located within key areas of the Civic District, serving as markers for visitors to take a breath and reflect on the history and cultural significance of the area. Akin to punctuation marks that guide everyday conversations, each artwork bench flows naturally from one to the other, offering rest stops to catch one’s breath and enjoy the beauty of the vibrant arts and culture precinct.
Appointed as the project curator for the first public art initiative within the Civic District, Justin Loke said, “The connections one makes with art through dialogue are extremely valuable. That is why I used a typographical device that is key to all conversations — punctuation marks — as a visual metaphor to kickstart dialogues with the remarkable Singapore-based artists we have onboard. I invited them to create playful works that not only respond to the site but also tell the rich heritage of the precinct. As a result, the artwork benches throughout the trail form a sentence within the visual narrative of the precinct. Each artwork leads seamlessly to the other, linking the different histories of the landmarks within the Civic District together.”
Unpacking histories of the precinct through meaningful collaboration
With punctuation marks as the unifying visual metaphor, the CDA shortlisted proposals through a closed call submission and commissioned six Singapore-based artists Lua Boon Kai, Joyce Beetuan Koh, Immanuel Koh, Yang Jie, Jeffrey Tan and Jason Wee to explore functional bench artworks that not only encourage visitor interaction but tell the remarkable stories of the precinct while reflecting the diverse practices of the Singapore-based artists.
The Arts House
Along Singapore River
Along Queen Elizabeth Walk
When: 2 Aug 2023 - 31 Jul 2026,