During my time in Singapore I stumbled across the above installation in Little India. I was so captivated by the umbrellas that it pulled me from my current mission onto a narrow side street. But, after closer inspection of the art I became more interested in the contrast between the community surrounding the installation and the glistening skyscrapers in the distance…
Here’s the project description by Marthalia Budiman, who was apart of the My Ideas for Public Spaces: Forgotten Spaces competition held by the Urban Redevelopment Authority:
“The installation design was inspired by the trees in the precinct. As we live in the tropics, shading is important to bring down the surface temperature to create more comfort in open spaces. Trees provide shade and in open spaces with little or no trees, umbrellas serve as an alternative replacement to provide shade. Umbrellas protect us from both the rain as well as from the sun. – The colourful installation, which takes the form of a superlative tree with umbrellas as branches and leaves, is a blend of functionality and design; providing shade to visitors seeking a respite from the hot sun, whilst remaining visually arresting to the eyes.”
While traveling I am relentlessly reminded that human connection and the hidden gems are what make a place magical. You could no doubt enjoy an experience at a tried and true monument, or spend days (even weeks) content simply lounging around at an immaculate resort. But, if you want to truly experience fragments of what life is like for the locals, see a glimmer of their world, well, then you have to push yourself off the beaten track.
There’s no denying that certain world wonders are justly famed. Many of these places are remarkably unique and thus, people come from near and far to wonder in the rarity of their existence. However, there’s something about seeing a hidden place that represents a less manicured representation of life. One without the frills that come from tourist dollars put to work, or the chaotic clutter and rubbish, and the noise pollution brought by the masses. Wander a little, even if it’s just nearby the world wonders you’re exploring, you never know what forgotten spaces you may find!