Cultural Diversity – Kaleidoscopic Art Motifs at the Singapore Embassy
For the third time, the Embassy of the Republic of Singapore called for an international competition. Kaleidoscope was this year’s motto. The kaleidoscope is an optical device with mirrors inside that produces beautiful images. But it is also a fitting metaphor for the cultural diversity of the two metropolises of Singapore and Berlin.
Ten finalists showed their ideas and their understanding of the power that results from the beauty and energy of cultural exchange on the modern facade of the embassy. They came from China, Singapore, Berlin, Pakistan, France, America and Mexico. Festival visitors chose their personal favorite among the luminous works of art online.
We’re happy to announce the winners from this year’s Online voting!
- Place: Noor Alvi (Pakistan)
- Place: Yocondo Ratio (Mexico)
- Place: Sarah Brophy (USA)
Kaleidoscope was more than just an award on the facade of the embassy. It was also a cultural program launched by the Republic of Singapore in Berlin in June. Both classical concerts and light music were presented in this cultural exchange. A street food market and other small and large highlights rounded off the programme.
1. Anius (Shanghai, China)
Phoenix & Dragon
Seeing cultural integration and Singapore, we are the first to think of Asian culture, the dragon is a very representative Asian culture, and our team is also from China. The theme of the kaleidoscope gave us the inspiration for fractal art. This is a mathematical art, we are all fascinated by it, just like a kaleidoscope with infinite changes and superpositions. In Asian culture, the dragon and the phoenix represent rebirth, just like the moment when the Berlin Wall was torn down, and it also represented all the good meanings.
2. Ernest Seah (Singapore)
Flowers of Friendship
Cornflower and Edelweiss, Fabulous And Fragrant Flowers of Germany in Vibrant Kaleidoscope of Colours Depicting Happiness and the Vibrancy of Life and Love. Brushstrokes in Ink creating the stainglass effect which signifies the beautiful and bright sunshine that shines upon the relationship between our two countries.
3. Lee Tatham (Berlin, Germany)
Taking a single motif and reflecting it back on itself to create a multitude of interesting forms reflective of patterns created by the Peranakan culture in Singapore and Southeast Asia.
Even with a rich history and culture behind us, those of us fortunate enough to travel and live amongst other cultures will often learn more about ourselves and our own culture when it is reflected back at us from many angles through the different experiences and people we meet.
4. Noor Alvi (Islamabad, Pakistan)
Indeed, the world looks even more beautiful in a “panoramic kaleidoscope”. The inspiration of this design is my love for natural beauty. The design was created using geometrical segments of the very same figure, and ended up becoming a vintage-styled kaleidoscopic design. It is mind-boggling to see how magical a single scene looks when presented in a kaleidoscope.
5. Typru (Paris, France)
I see the kaleidoscope as a mixture of patterns forming an imaginary, wonderful, surrealist world in which our eyes combine shapes and colors. Thereby, this large-scale immersive Kaleidoscope calls us to remember a combination of ecstasy and warm feelings from of a childish, almost psychedelic world.
6. Sarah Brophy (Boston, USA)
Kaleidoscopes were one of the first scientific tools in the 19th century to be available to the entire public, not just a group of elite academics. In 1819, a journalist for the Royal Institution’s Quarterly Journal of Science and the Arts wrote, “A universal mania for the instrument seized all classes… and every person not only felt, but expressed, that a new pleasure had been added to their existence.” My piece, Garden for Berlin, aims to renew this sentiment in a contemporary context, celebrating the way we are using art and technology to evoke wonder in people through this festival. Through two similar but nonidentical groves of strange flowers, Garden for Berlin explores the ways we find balance with ourselves and one another, even if the reflection is not perfect.
7. Sascha Günay (Munich, Germany)
The image is a processed still frame from an interactive animated projection work. The (animated) squares (=signals) show the process of movement and transaction between people in a simplified and abstract way.
Green and red color thereby stand for coming/going/in/out/connect/disconnect…
8. Soh Ee Shaun (Singapore)
The vibrant, energetic artwork depicts the interaction of many colourful shapes and forms, like a Kaleidoscope of different cultures blending into a rich and vivid landscape of ideas, music and art.
9. Thomas Schmidt (Berlin, Germany)
The kaleidoscope creates the reflection of a reflection, but each time the light passes the distance between the mirrors, time moves on, so we are able to see more than a single moment, having the pattern and its colours shift from one corner of the building to the other. This progression in time itself becomes the tapestry, covering the building. But it is impossible to know whether it is in the process of falling apart or getting assembled, as just like the shifting patterns, no information is given which state represents past and which the future and whether we progress or regress.
10. Yocondo Ratio (San Luis Potosí, Mexico)
This piece arises from a concern to lose the digital data and as in the attempt to recover them after a loss, we recover fragments that pretend to be the real image, based on small pieces of memories emerging in a spiral and giving a few clues.