In a dazzling display of artistry and creativity, Mondrian Singapore Duxton recently made its grand debut, capturing the essence of Singapore’s vibrant Chinatown with the unveiling of a monumental 6-meter bronze sculpture.
This awe-inspiring masterpiece, titled “WHAT PARTY” and created by the acclaimed artist KAWS, has firmly established itself as a new cultural landmark in the heart of the city.
The Centrepiece of Creativity
As the crown jewel of the Mondrian Singapore Duxton Art Collection, the KAWS sculpture serves as a testament to the hotel’s unwavering commitment to merging performance, art, architecture, and interior design. This iconic piece promises to captivate a diverse audience, from dedicated art enthusiasts to hotel guests and the general public, redefining Singapore’s Chinatown skyline. Notably, it ranks among the most significant KAWS installations permanently on display in all of Asia.
The sculpture “WHAT PARTY” introduces viewers to KAWS‘ beloved character, CHUM. This iconic figure symbolizes KAWS‘ unique artistic approach of reimagining iconic characters from popular culture, transforming them into hybridized figures that resonate with our collective spirit. “WHAT PARTY” engages the viewer’s subconscious, embodying the spirit of Mondrian Singapore Duxton’s creative community – a gathering of free-thinkers and the audaciously imaginative. This monumental piece will undoubtedly ignite conversations, spark imaginations, and inspire creation.
A Prime Location
Positioned prominently at the entrance of Mondrian, at the intersection of Neil and Craig Roads, this sculpture seamlessly blends with the eclectic Duxton Street culture. It stands shoulder-to-shoulder with historic Singaporean shophouses and the iconic Pinnacle HDB public housing, while simultaneously offering a glimpse of the future through its breathtaking views of the Central Business District skyline.
Robert C. Hauck, the General Manager of Mondrian Singapore Duxton, expressed his delight at securing the sculpture. He stated, “WHAT PARTY by KAWS perfectly encapsulates our identity. We are a sanctuary for those who march to a different beat, a place where mavericks and dreamers find their home. Now, we have our muse, a world-class art piece that will draw people from all corners of the globe. Standing over 6 meters tall and weighing more than 4,114kg, it truly becomes an iconic Singapore landmark, the flagship of our art collection, and the embodiment of the Duxton community.”
Meet the Visionary Behind the Art – KAWS
KAWS, also known as Brian Donnelly, emerged as a graffiti artist during his teenage years in New York. Today, he is celebrated as an internationally renowned, award-winning artist whose works grace the walls of museums and galleries worldwide.
Born in 1974 in Jersey City, New Jersey, KAWS transitioned from a freelance animator to a street artist, subverting images on bus shelters and billboards. His reputation grew exponentially, leading him to design and produce limited-edition vinyl toys that continue to captivate a global audience.
KAWS‘ acrylic paintings and monumental sculptures have garnered adoration on a global scale, finding homes in prestigious galleries such as the National Gallery of Victoria, the High Museum of Art, the Modern Art Museum, the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, and Qatar Museums. His exhibitions have spanned the globe, from Paris to London, Shanghai to Tokyo.
This prolific artist has also lent his creative genius to collaborations with notable brands, including Dior, A Bathing Ape, Undercover, Sacai, Nike, Vans, The North Face, and Comme des Garçons.
A Collaboration Worthy of Awe
The KAWS masterpiece is the result of an exclusive partnership between Mondrian Singapore Duxton and The Artling, Singapore’s premier art curators and tastemakers. This collaboration, over two years in the making, has birthed a permanent collection that seamlessly integrates with the hotel’s design and ethos, showcasing both international and local talent across various mediums and practices.
Talenia Phua Gajardo and Kim Tay, founders of The Artling and the driving forces behind this visionary collaboration, expressed their excitement at the unveiling of the KAWS sculpture and their pride in the entire collection.
Gajardo shared, “We searched tirelessly for the perfect piece, and when the opportunity to acquire this sculpture for the property arose, we were ecstatic. A work of this magnitude and significance is truly exceptional, especially for a public location in Singapore. We hope it will bring joy and wonder to all who come to experience it. KAWS’ work transcends cultures, appealing to a diverse audience, and seamlessly blending seriousness with playfulness. We sought a statement piece that would engage the community, and when we discovered this artwork, we knew it would be transformative, drawing people in as a captivating destination.”
A Tapestry of Art
The Mondrian Singapore Duxton Art Collection is not limited to the KAWS masterpiece; it weaves a rich tapestry of artistic expression. Among the notable artists featured are Tracey Emin, whose neon masterpiece “I Longed for You” graces Bottega di Carna. Ian Davenport, renowned for his ‘puddle’ paintings displayed in major galleries worldwide, adds his artistic flair to the collection. Other luminaries include US installation specialists SOFTlab, Spaniard Fares Micue, Australia’s Emma Anna, American photographer Tyler Shields, and Singaporean talents Dawn Ng and Andre Wee.
In summary, Mondrian Singapore Duxton has redefined Singapore’s artistic landscape with the installation of the monumental KAWS sculpture “WHAT PARTY.” This visionary collaboration between the hotel and The Artling brings an exceptional artistic experience to the heart of Chinatown, offering both locals and visitors a reason to pause, wonder, and immerse themselves in the world of contemporary art. As the sculpture stands tall, it symbolizes the creative spirit that defines both Mondrian Singapore Duxton and the vibrant Duxton community.