Wildlife art in Singapore’s concrete jungle

Three amigos by Laura Quinn.

Wildlife art in Singapore’s concrete jungle

It’s not everyday you see images of endangered Asian animals and learn about wildlife conservation in Singapore, especially not along the Orchard Road shopping belt.

Animal conservation groups Shark Savers Singapore and WWF-Singapore are jointly holding a 10-day public exhibition featuring over 200 paintings, photographs, etchings and sculptures at Orchard Gateway.

These works celebrate the beauty of wildlife in the region and are created by 36 wildlife artists from 13 countries around the world.

Curated by Mandala Fine Art Gallery, the works are displayed at four locations: The Tube on Level 3, Unit #02-05, Level B1, and the Underground Fashion Street at Level B2.

Asian animals such as gibbons, orangutans, and tigers fascinate UK artist Laura Quinn, whose works are mostly commissioned by pet owners.

Standing in front of her painting of a gibbon, the 31-year-old Quinn said, “You don’t see that many paintings of gibbons in the UK, and I wanted to show how beautiful they are.”

Sri Lankan artist Vishi Dharmasiriwardena, 45, whose paintings featured elephants from his home country, explained that there are two kinds of local elephants – “the tuskers” and those without tusks.

While there were many tuskers around in his younger days, he said they are becoming a very rare sight in Sri Lanka today due to poaching.

The self-taught artist has been sketching and doodling elephants since his school days.

“My teacher used to scold me for drawing elephants on my schoolbooks, because I wouldn’t concentrate in class,” he said.

The free public exhibition began on 6 November and will end with an auction at IndoChine Saint Ma on 15 November.

Shark Savers Singapore and WWF-Singapore hope to raise S$100,000 from the public sales at the exhibition and the auction.

IndoChine owner Michael Ma said the auction will be held in conjunction with his company’s Green Festival, which aims to promote environmental awareness in Singapore.

Citing the example of the many millions of sharks that are killed every year, the firm believer of animal conservation said every species has the right to exist and play an important role in the ecosystem.

“People need to understand how human beings can live with mother nature, not destroy it, and we want to bring awareness through these paintings,” Ma said.