Singapore’s national garden and horticultural attraction Gardens by the Bay has outdone itself again with a spectacular line-up of exhibits and events, specially curated in double celebration of this year’s National Day and the Singapore Bicentennial. From captivating orchid flowers in bloom to local talents jamming out on stage, there is something for everyone across all age groups at Gardens by the Bay’s National Day celebrations.
In line with its mission to give back to the community in Singapore, Gardens by the Bay is also collaborating with Mediacorp and Dick Lee Asia to bring you a series of performances in the month of August with no admission charges. That’s right, you can see all your favourite local acts (think Jasmine Sokko, Kit Chan, and Fakkah Fuzz) up close and personal for FREE – what a treat!
We had the chance to experience a tour of the stunning floral displays in the Flower Dome and a sneak peek of what is to come at the outdoor performances, and here are some of the highlights that we think you should check out:
Orchid Extravaganza – ‘Our SingaPop’ Edition
This floral display that married popular local icons with Memphis-style pop art was the brainchild of Singaporean singer-songwriter Dick Lee and fashion designer Yang Derong. The duo shared that the theme of this year’s National Day Parade “Our Singapore” was personal to them and it inspired the translation of this sense of ownership and identity into orchid arrangements, cheekily titled “Our SingaPop” – a portmanteau of the words “Singapore” and “popular”.
1. HDB Block
Located at the entrance of the Flower Dome is this lifelike replica of a block of Housing Development Board (HDB) flats, complete with blooming orchids artfully arranged in the balconies that give an extra burst of colour to the pop-art style installation. Also, spy the familiar signs that warn of fines and posters – they look exactly like they belong on the void deck notice board on the first floor of Block 200, Tanjong Pagar Road!
2. Peacock with flowing floral tail and giant diyas
The peacock is a bird well-loved not just by Indians, but also by people of other ethnicities and cultures, thus making it an apt symbol for Singapore’s multiculturalism. This floral peacock has a stunning 20-metre long tail made out of orchids that extends out like a wave and is accompanied by three oil lamps with black-and-white flames (a signature of Memphis-style pop art).
3. Chinese archway with bonsai
The Chinese arch is a ubiquitous symbol of Chinatowns all around the world, yet the one we have in Singapore symbolises more than just a space for the Chinese. Singapore’s Chinatown is made up of four sub-districts – Telok Ayer, Kreta Ayer, Bukit Pasoh, and Tanjong Pagar – and houses Muslim mosques and Hindu temples alongside Chinese temples, making it an iconic district of multiculturalism. The two 80-year old bonsais accompanying the arch, carefully manicured to perfection, are also a sight to behold.
4. Ice Kacang
Ice kacang, a firm crowd-favourite of Singaporeans young and old, makes an appearance at the Orchid Extravaganza all decked out in blooming orchids. This giant dessert with its bright rainbow colours representing a multicultural, united Singapore makes for a fun photo opportunity, so be sure to snag a good spot to get that ‘gram photo!
5. Dragon Playground
Mention HDB estates to those who grew up in the 1970s and they’d most definitely bring up the fond childhood memories of playing in the dragon playgrounds with their friends. This installation in the Orchid Extravaganza doesn’t just end at the dragon’s head; the body of the dragon is a corridor of heritage orchids that you can walk through, spanning 20 metres in total.
Orchid Extravaganza is located in the Flower Dome from 26 July – 15 September 2019, 9am to 9pm daily. Admission charges to the conservatories apply. Singaporean residents can enjoy SGD4 off Local Resident tickets from 5 – 31 August 2019. You can find out more about the installations here.
Gardens by the Bay and Mediacorp National Day Concert
If you’ve dreamt of the day you could see a union of Singaporean artistes across generations perform together on stage, this is your chance. Gardens by the Bay is jointly organising a special National Day Concert with Mediacorp that will feature some of Singapore’s most popular icons such as Jasmine Sokko, Kit Chan, Rahimah Rahim, Kumar, and Fakkah Fuzz. We heard a sneak preview of Rahimah Rahim’s amazing vocals during the media preview and can confirm that this concert is worth braving the queues for.
There will also be pre-concert fringe activities such as sand art and face painting workshops, as well as food trucks by Good Burger, Coffee Bandits, and The Halal Food Truck to satiate your hunger, so be sure to bring your friends and family along for a night to remember.
The Gardens by the Bay and Mediacorp National Day Concert will take place from 6.30pm to 9.30pm (gates open at 4pm) on 10 and 11 August 2019 at The Meadow. Admission is free. You can find out more about the performance line-up here.
Legends of Singapore
Legends of Singapore is a series of performances of two local fables – The Scourge of the Swordfish (which was how Bukit Merah got its name) and The Friendly Snake. These tales are brought to life through a captivating performance by the team at Dick Lee Asia, who uses music and puppets to create a unique experience that will stick with you for a long, long time.
Legends of Singapore will take place at several 10-minute time slots from 2 – 4 August and 16 – 18 August 2019 at the Malay Garden and Lattice at Bayfront Plaza. Admission is free. You can find out more about the performance schedule here.
Garden Rhapsody – Songs of Singapore
The signature light and sound show of Gardens by the Bay is getting an upgrade this August in commemoration of National Day as well as Singapore’s Bicentennial. The usual repertoire will make way for special edition covers of 11 well-loved Singapore songs, performed by local talents such as Joanna Dong and Linying. These songs span the official languages of Singapore and will conclude with Home, a perennial favourite of Singaporeans, so be sure to sing along!
Garden Rhapsody will take place daily from 1 – 29 August 2019 at 7.45pm and 8.45pm at the Supertree Grove. There will be also an additional 9.45pm show during the weekend of 9 – 12 August 2019. Admission is free.