The “Flora of Southeast Asia” exhibition opens today (Nov 23) at the Singapore Botanic Gardens – the only tropical botanic gardens on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. The exhibition is hosted by the Botanical Art Society (Singapore) and the Singapore Botanic Gardens, in a first-time collaboration with the Indonesian Society of Botanical Artists, Thai Botanical Artists, and the Philippine Botanical Art Society. It features 120 works from 85 artists from these four countries.
80 artworks will be displayed in the Botanical Art Gallery, which is located at the Gallop extension within the Gardens, plus over 40 art prints will be on show at venues throughout the Singapore Botanic Gardens including Tanglin Gate, Nassim Gate, Bukit Timah Gate, and the Green Pavilion at the Botany Centre.
The exhibition focuses on plants native to Southeast Asia. This means that the plant depicted must occur naturally in the region, ecosystem, or habitat without human introduction.
Southeast Asia – Home to a large diversity of flowering plant species
southeast Asia is a region of high plant diversity with an estimated 50,000 flowering plant species – about 15% of the world’s total. It also includes four of 25 hotspots of global biodiversity. Estimates of plant diversity in the region continue to grow as large numbers of new species are described every year.
Botanical artwork is based on keen observation of plant morphology and often includes a dissection of a flower or fruit, while others show the habit along with the main subject. 189 entries were received from artists from 13 countries. Artworks were judged on scientific accuracy, artistic merit, mastery of their chosen medium and overall impact by a panel of expert botanists and botanical artists.
In line with Singapore’s vision to transform into a City in Nature, this exhibition will allow visitors to appreciate botanical artworks, allowing them to better enjoy the benefits of connecting with nature in their daily lives. Flora of Southeast Asia promises to immerse visitors in a journey through nature, showcasing some of the most beautiful plants found in Southeast Asia. Plant enthusiasts, hobbyists, gardeners – anyone who enjoys nature will enjoy the show.
Ms. Carrie-Ann Lee, President of Botanical Art Society (Singapore) says:
“We are an inclusive society for botanical art lovers, beginners, and accomplished artists. Our vision is to grow the appreciation and development of botanical art in Singapore and Asia. Some people create botanical art as a creative challenge, and others want to relax, or just enjoy being in nature.
So along with the exhibition, we are very excited to welcome artists from around the world to showcase the native flora of Southeast Asia. For visitors to the gallery, there will be many activities for everyone. From guided tours, and artists’ demonstrations to workshops for kids and adults.”
The Singapore Botanic Gardens is managed by the National Parks Board. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/singaporebotanicgardens.
Thai Botanical Artists (THBA)
Formed by a small group of Thai botanical artists in 2019, THBA goals include providing both artists and the public opportunities to learn botanical art and illustration, encouraging artists to exhibit their artworks, as well as supporting collaborations between artists, botanists and botanic gardens internationally. Activities include volunteering with the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh Florilegium project, holding field sketching days and workshops. (NNT)