‘NOW IS NOT THE TIME’: A FIRST-OF-ITS-KIND EXHIBITION CELEBRATING LEE KUAN YEW’S LIFE AND LEGACY ON HIS 100th BIRTHDAY
This unique and immersive experience – featuring virtual production, Artificial Intelligence (AI), generative art, architecture, sculpture, film, and music – brings together a remarkable pool of top global talent, including the American artist Daniel Arsham, design studio Brewin Design Office, production house Refinery Media, award-winning composer Tay Chee Wei, and institutions such as LASALLE College of the Arts (LASALLE) and Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP).
(Singapore, 18 August 2023) On 16 September, the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s beloved first and longest-serving prime minister, would have turned 100.
Widely acknowledged as the architect of modern Singapore, Mr Lee led the island nation’s dramatic transformation from a developing country to a global economic powerhouse in less than five decades.
“When it came to pursuing his vision for Singapore, his energy was unparalleled. He was just relentless,” says Karen Seah, founder of X3D Studio (pictured right). “Singapore truly owes our current successes to Lee Kuan Yew’s steadfast vision, values, sacrifice, and love in building our nation. This exhibition is our way of honouring him and his constant quest for excellence and progress.”
Now Is Not the Time is an immersive experience that chronicles Mr Lee’s life and celebrates his legacy – as a national leader and global inspiration, as an advocate of multiculturalism and a champion of technology and innovation – through the magic of virtual production, AI, generative art, architecture, sculpture, film, and music.
“We’ve merged the powers of art, technology, and storytelling to create an exhibition we hope resonates with different generations and across borders,” adds Ms Seah. “It’s also our way of connecting Singapore’s younger generation with the past so that they fully appreciate what it took to build this safe and prosperous country. None of it was easy and there are many lessons to take from history.”
The exhibition’s title, Now Is Not the Time, speaks to one of those lessons. “We’ve come a long way, yes, but now is not the time to rest on our laurels,” says Ms Seah. “Instead, we must continue to head into the future with passion and embrace the boundless opportunities in creativity and innovation.”
Among the exhibition’s highlights is the work of New York-based contemporary artist Daniel Arsham, (pictured left) who created a series of art pieces – including a full-body sculpture of Mr Lee in a pivotal moment in history, right when he declared Singapore’s separation from Malaysia – for the immersive art collaboration. It is the first time Mr Arsham, whose previous collaborations include work for global brands such as Dior, has made a sculpture of a global leader.
"I’ve been intrigued by Singapore since my first visit over 10 years ago,” says Mr Arsham. “The futuristic nature of the city is incredibly inspiring to me and I'm truly humbled to be part of the of the celebrations marking Mr Lee’s 100th birthday. I hope that the sculptures I have made in his honour will inspire a new generation and help them to understand and appreciate the importance of his legacy as a revered global leader.”
The exhibition also showcases Singapore’s creative talent through works by students from LASALLE College of the Arts Film School and NYP School of Design and Media; the architectural firm Brewin Design Office; and production company Refinery Media. It also features original music by the award-winning composer Tay Chee Wei, who had composed music for EMMY-nominated documentaries such as NOVA's Ultimate Space Telescope and Decoding the Weather Machine.
This monumental exhibition is made possible by the support of Singapore’s eminent organisations, including Founding Partners such as DBS Bank & Pontiac Land Group; and Partners such as Allen & Gledhill, Ho Bee Land, Kuok Group, Mapletree Investments, PSA International, RB Capital, SATS and Woh Hup.
Said DBS CEO Piyush Gupta: “Lee Kuan Yew was extraordinary not only because he had exceptional foresight but also a strong sense of purpose. He lived and breathed Singapore – the success of Singapore and the future of its people were the singular lodestar of his actions. This enabled him to rally Singaporeans from all walks of life behind his bold vision of transforming Singapore from a fledgling port city to a global modern metropolis.”
“With our world today facing rapid change and constant disruption, having a spirit of invention is more important than ever. That is why at DBS, we’ve been on a multi-year journey to embrace a culture of innovation and transform ourselves digitally. We are privileged to be involved with the “Now is Not The Time’ exhibition – our hope is that it will spark meaningful conversations and ideas on how, together, we can reimagine this city for the next bound.”
“Pontiac Land Group is proud of our involvement with the ‘Now is Not The Time’ exhibition as we acknowledge art's transformative potential to inspire and educate. This meticulously curated exhibition offers valuable insights into Mr Lee's life, vision, and values, and we hope it will serve as a source of inspiration to the general public and especially the younger generation,” said Mr David Tsang, CEO, of Pontiac Land Group.
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