Nutmeg & Mace

Kumari Nahappan
Text of label: 

[[This is the large label at "back" of the work]]

Kumari Nahappan
Nutmeg & Mace, 2009
Dimensions: 4.8m (L) x 3.3m (W) x 3.6m (H)
ION Orchard's signature sculpture connects the mall building site with its past as a nutmeg plantation - a remineder that present-day social spaces are enlivened with histories and collective memories.
Award-winning Kumari Nahappan, a versatile painter and sculptor, is reputed for her public artworks that explore Nature's forms and Asian identity. Her two-tonne bronze sculpture is an interpretation of an opened nutmeg seed revealing its distinctive crimson mace - the unique lace-like covering

History of the Site and the Nutmeg
The Orchard Turn integrated development is sited on Singapore's main shopping belt, Orchard Road - named after the orchard and nutmeg plantation of the 1830s until commercial development cleared the site in the 20th century.
Today few are familiar witht he evergreen nutmeg tree or the site of its seed - so distinctively protected by its red lace-like membrane (the mace). The nutmeg, native to the Indonesian Spice Islands, was once traded as a highly prized spice and essential oil and its supply source was a tightly guarded secret.

A symbol of trade prosperity, the nutmeg is celebrated as the only tropical fruit bears two flavours - referring to how both spices of nutmeg and mace are extracted from a single seed.

The unique intertwining of seed and mace carries special resonance for the joint venture between Singapore's CapitalLand and Hong Kong's Sun Hung Kai Properties.

[[Then there is a second smaller label towards the front of the piece]]

Photography is allowed, but please do not climb onto nor rough handle the sculptures.
This site is monitored by CCTV cameras and the ION Orchard management reserves all rights to take action against any person responsible for damaging its sculptures, and will not be held liable for any injuries or losses sustained.

ION Orchard

ION Orchard's rather bizarre marketing blurb on this piece:

In A Nutshell
It's for posers: 'Nutmeg & Mace', the giant nutmeg signature sculpture marking the corner of Paterson and Orchard roads is a must-see pit stop. Singapore artist Kumari Nahappan was commissioned to create this whimsical piece, which harks back to the days when Orchard Road was a nutmeg plantation.

Unveiled July 2009, as part of the integrated art program of ION Orchard. Other works include Heman Chong's videowall programming, Kurt Laurenz Metzler's Urban People and Troika's Digital Waterfall.

Location Notes: 

A crucial corner in Singapore, though now removed from the mainstream pedestrian flow as you have to go underground through the mall to cross the road...

First Placed in Singapore: 
Current Location: 
Corner of Orchard & Paterson Rd, in front of ION Orchard


A multiracial country by MJad

The unique intertwining of seed and mace carries special resonance for the joint venture between Singapore's CapitalLand and Hong Kong's Sun Hung Kai Properties -- that's what it says in the blurb.

What about the fact that this intertwining is not about the economics here but about the multiracial sociaty of Singapore in which we were all brought up to think that as a cosmpolitan country we need to work with each other in this society? Tired of listening to organisations simply being involved in everything in life. Organisations need citizens like us to survive, without the customer, they haven't got anything. And they need to remember to return something back to the people who support them,.

fun for the poser

Hey, don't hold the marketing-speak on the ION website against this piece - it works well, is fun for the "poser", interesting as a formal object, and with clear reference to the site's history. This is about as good as it gets for public sculpture, no?

fun for the poser - Peter Schoppert

I agree with you completely Peter Schoppert. First as an artist myself and second as a tourist who never ever gets tired or bored in gorgeous Singapore with its gorgeous amalgam of people, color, cheerfulness, cleanliness and stunning beauty.