Monday, 9 January 2012

Day 295 & 300- The Elephant Parade

Singapore Botanic Gardens where all 162 elephants congregate for 3 days from 8-11/1/2012.

Have you heard of The Elephant Parade?

An outdoor exhibition of huge elephant statues, each one uniquely designed by a local or international artist, this event is touted as the largest of its kind. The Elephant Parade seeks to raise awareness of the plight of Asian elephants and is dedicated to the conservation of this dwindling specie. At the end of each exhibition, the artwork are auctioned off with parts of the proceeds donated to The Asian Elephants Foundation. I was really excited when I found out that the Parade was coming to Singapore, a 1st time in Asia! 

Ming Kwan Nakorn Ping  by Jharatpong  at National Museum Singapore.

Between 11 November 2011 to 11 January 2012, 162 art elephants were scattered around Singapore, adding welcomed colours and interest to my country. It culminated in the big herding of all the statues at the Singapore Botanic Gardens. I saw a few over the months and on Sunday, we ran to the Botanic Gardens (our regular weekly runs)  just to meet all of them. 

                              Ming Kwan Nakorn Ping  by Jharatpong  at National Museum Singapore

There were many elephants with an Indian/ Hindu / Buddhist theme. This one was one of the more elaborately decorated piece by a Thai artist called Jharatpong. Using many Asian Hindu and Buddhist elements like deities, temple architecture and landscape, Jharatpong created a sparkling and colorful elephant with acrylic oil and gold leaf.

                                                              Miss India by Nut Thamrongpittayanan

This artist designed 3 elephants, Miss China, Miss Malaysia and Miss India. Miss India wears a sheer veil over her face.

Haathi Mere Saathi by by Farhad Hussain

This piece was named after  an Indian movie that was a huge hit in the '70s. The title means Elephant, My Partner and is also the name of its theme song. I know because it was my housemate, Fai's favourite Hindi song. Underlining this piece of work is the theme of the movie and how the smiles and apparent joviality of  the characters belie the tragic life of the elephant. The movie was about an orphan, Raju who was saved by 4 elephants, in particular Ramu, the one he became closest with,  from a leopard. They became street performers and lived a hard life. In time, Raju became wealthy and could afford his own zoo where he kept other animals together with his 4 elephants. When he got married and a child was born, his wife made him choose between the animals or the family as she feared the child being hurt by them. When Raju chose his life long friends over his family, Ramu decided to bring the estranged couple together but eventually sacrificed his life in doing so. 

Precious by Ahmad Zakii Anwar at National Museum Singapore

The artist associates the endangered status of the elephants with something as precious and fragile as Chinese porcelain.

I was the most amused by this one

                                                 Dada, the Surrealist Elephant by Rosihan Dahim

Bula by Arturo Sanchez Jr. at National Museum, Singapore

but the most fascinated with this one with the lights.

Delightful Durians by Nat Posila & Ed Robinson

The crowd's favourite 

Not Forgotten by Michael Han & Kiat

My favourite. It's a rusty elephant and  this is the artists' statement:

This elephant rests uneasily in a decaying state  as concrete jungles overtake its natural environment – in the process, overtaking its form as its expression depicts the tension between our world and theirs.

                                                                  Damaged Dumbo by  Renato L. Barja Jr

while this one was the favourite of my 3 year old nephew, Xander. He called it "the sad elephant."

                                                                   The Naughty and the Elephant - Carrie Chau

There he was standing next to a piece aptly titled The Naughty and the Elephant. His dad told me he loved the parade so much that he didn't want to go home. His mum thought maybe he wanted to live with the elephants instead. 

Like my nephew, I love the elephants and the Parade but I love the spirit behind it even more. From how the parade started (a father and son team going from door to door with paper mache sample elephants only to be rejected again and again) to the saving of this endangered specie, I am inspired and reminded that no dreams are too big, no efforts too small, to always believe and when we do, to never give up. 


Drora's minimundo said...

I love and respect elephants and this way of raising funds to help save this species is very appealing. The statues are lovely and your little nephew is cute and handsome. No wonder he didn't want to leave.

Maria Ireland said...

I also have a big love of elephants. What a wonderful way to help save them. Thank you Sans for sharing these beautiful pictures and telling us the story. Your nephew is so cute.
Hugs Maria

CWPoppets said...

Beautiful idea behind a beautiful exhibit. Poor little Dumbo is my favourite, too.
Thanks for showing.

carmen said...

que preciosas piezas...

The Old Maid said...

What a cute boy, Xander is!
Great elephants and a very noble cause!
We of course don't have elephants in my country, still they are a symbol of happiness - specially these angry ones, with their trunks up!LOL!

Plushpussycat said...

Lovely photos and story, Sans! What a very worthy cause! Your nephew, BTW, is adorable! :-) Jennifer

rosanna said...

What really strikes me is how Nathaniel has grown up. He is as beautiful and cute as I remember him.
The elephants are all great, each one in its own way, and the cause is only too rightfull.
Humans forget too easily that we aren't the only dwellers on this planet.Hugs, Rosanna
PS love the music too

Ascension said...

Una causa noble, para unos animales que lo son.
Que preciosidad de sobrino, seguro que se entenderia a la perfeccion con mi nieto que tambien tiene 3 años, no creo que el idioma fuese un problema para jugar jejeje
Me has dado una idea para tu nueva escena, espero que quede bien y te guste........pero sobre todo.....¿COMO LO ENVIO PARA QUE LLEGUE VIVO...?

Kim said...

How wonderful they are- I think it is hard to choose a favorite! I'm so glad you brought us along with you :)

Kikka said...

What a wonderful way to raise some fund to save these beautiful animals. I LOve all the statues, they are so adorable each in different way!

Susanne said...

Believe it or not we had a cow parade i Europe, I saw it some years ago in Berlin ;-)
Love, Susanne

malu2 said...

Espectacular!!! arte en la calle al alcance de todos los ciudadanos además por una buena causa!!!!
Es precioso el reportaje que nos has enseñado!!!Tienes un sobrino muy guapo!!!
Besos de las Malu´s.

Ara said...

Beautiful!! THank you for sharing the parade with us!!! I love the spirit of it too. Ask anyone who knows me and they'll tell you my favorite animal is the elephant. I am amazed at something so big that can be so graceful and so merciful towards smaller creatures. hugs, ara

Dark Squirrel Victoria said...

Beautiful! I think I like the sad one best too :) We have Cow Parade in the US where the cows are auctioned for different charities. I have to say I think the elephants make a better canvas than the cows.
Thank you so much for sharing the Elephant Parade.


BiWuBär said...

BREATHTAKING!!!!!!! Looking at this stunning photos made my day. Spectacular pieces of art, a firework of inspiration and creativity - and all for a very good cause. What a wonderful project - thank you very much for sharing this with us, I have to go and have another look... ;O)


Daydreamer said...

Beautiful, Sans! Every single one! It is impossible to decide on a favorite... but the starlight one stands out... as does the first incredibly RAJ one..... and the mournfully eloquent simplicity of the rusty one is so Moving! I hope this raises huge amounts for the Elephants! I'm glad you were able to see them and share them with us.... It is a very creative way to raise funds and Awareness!

Norma Soulet (AZArtist) said...

Hi Sans,
What a fabulous parade of elephants.I really love the intricate ones. Thanks for sharing your lovely photos.

Ana Anselmo said...

This is so beautiful!!!! thank you for the photos and the explanation.
(there is a mistery, I wrote a message in your blog in the two previous post and nothing is there..... this is really weird)

Eliana said...

Beautiful photos, Sans! Very interesting, thanks for sharing. ;)

rosanna said...

What a mistake !!! I read Xander, meant Xander and wrote Nathaniel !!! must be crazier that I thought!
I'm glad to see that there aren't an mosquito bites on him.
Forgive my mistake. Hugs, Rosanna

Sans! said...

Just a quick one Rosanna :):) before I head off to bed. Such a big big week until Thursday :). After that I should have a little more time.

Just want to say I KNEW IT! I knew you would realise the mistake. You have an elephant's (teehee) memory :) It was funny though reading how you thought Nathaniel (7 years old) has grown into a *ahem 3 year old Xander :). Yes, he has grown and would you believe it, since that time when he was badly bitten, he hasn't visited me at my house. It's been almost 2 over years? I see him at my mum's of course regularly and at least twice and sometimes more a week. So you are right, no more mosquitoes :)

Goodnight !!

Mona said...

They are wonderful!

Margriet said...

I've seen photos before of these elephants! Aren't they lovely!!! It must be wonderful to see so many together!
We do have some (fake) cows here in my part of the Netherlands painted like these elephants. I really like them too!

Cindy Teh said...

oddly enough i'm reminded of the Madonna song, "Dear Jessie" which has the line "Pink elephants and lemonade"... (if my memory serves me, it was my fave song when i was what, 13??? 14???)

so cute la, Xander hehehe i remember how shy he was!

Amy said...

Sans, thank you so much for sharing this with us! I don't think there are better projects than when different artists are asked to work within the same parameters-it creates not just amazing art but a range of different ideas that is just mind-blowing! I always shake my head at how different the end results are, but all within the same amazing spirit. The starry elephant-woah. And doesn't it bring you even closer to the source-those beautiful, soulful, intelligent creatures. I love them all.

Sans! said...

Amy,isn't it even more fascinating that despite the fact that the elephant parades all over the world have produced thousands of elephants, artists still managed to come up with different ones each time.

The one that you like is titled "Bula" (Bubbles). Not sure if you have clicked through but this was the artist's statement: Bula represent two things: extinction and survival. I used mirrors to capture the reflection of the audience, I want the viewer to be part of the artwork and make them feel that they also a have role in the awareness campaign of the Elephant Parade. I used light to give the elephant a different look during night time. It serves as a big night light and represents hope for the elephants survival.

Have you wondered what kind of elephant you will create if you were asked ? I have :)

Sans! said...

Cindy, I hope you saw some of these elephants.

I never knew that song Dear Jessie so I googled it. And there were pink elephants in the video :). This is so unlike her, right? She who sang papa don't preach :).

I am not a big Madonna's fan although I can totally see her going down in history as a great and revolutionary artiste and songwriter.

2 of her movies I enjoyed tremendously (in spite of her) are "Dick Tracy" (love all the songs too) and "Desperately Seeking Susan" (obviously):).

Sans! said...

O yes, Margriet, the cows' version is called the Cow Parade. I think the concept is the same -after the life size exhibition, the cows were auctioned off and proceeds went to charity-and the Cow Parade was started first. So in a way, the idea behind the Elephant Parade is not entirely new.

I love the cows too :)

Sans! said...

I agree , Mona :) especially when viewed up close :).

Sans! said...

Pleasure's all mine, Eliana :)

Sans! said...

Ana, at one time, it happened to Cindy too. Not sure what happened . But looks like the problem is over as I can see your comment now :).

I was going to write you, my dear friend to say that I may not be going to Portugal this year :(. I will let you know when my plans to Europe are more firmed. Too much going on here that I cannot say for sure what my itinerary will be like or when it will be...sighhh

Sans! said...

Norma, I read your post on "Mannequin Me" and I can totally see in my mind what kind of an elephant you will make :)

Sans! said...

Bets, for me, it is easy to pick the ones I like better, they are always the downtrodden and decaying :). But it is hard to not love elephants, in any forms.

When I was in Sri Lanka, I saw one chained to a shed at a temple. My heart just went out to him/her. So may of these Asian elephants are abused that way and it is all the more heartbreaking as they are such mighty creatures.

Then there is a sanctuary in Sri Lanka (Bentota) where orphan baby elephants are protected. Even then, only 20 elephants were born there in the last 20 odd years!

Elephants can be scary of course. I still remember being told by my guide who took me to the tribal house in Sri Lanka about what I must do if I should chance upon an elephant.

According to another guide, more people there died from elephant attacks than car accidents! Of course, I was at the National Park when the guide told me this and there were hardly any vehicles in the park!

Sans! said...

Birgit, you think one day they will start a Bear Parade? I know of at least 5 types of bears that are going extinct- Giant Panda, Asiatic Black, Sun, Polar and Grizzly!

I am not knowledgeable. It's the facebook game I play called My Zoo where we save extinct animals by breeding and then re-introducing them .. :).

Margriet said...

Sans, there already was a bear parade!!! It started in Berlin.
I've seen some of those bears and they are wonderful too!!

Sans! said...

Victoria, I first read about the elephant parade on a blog that I followed in 2011! And only found out about the cow parade when I saw the mini ones for sale in a shop when I was in Milan! So long after they were 1st started to. That's why I was so thrilled when one was coming to Singapore. In a way, it's like the circus, you know, the 21st century version.

O my, I still remember how a long long long time ago, a circus (the real one, not Cirque du soleil) came to Singapore. I didn't understand then the cruelty to animals but I will have to admit, watching the circus as a child definitely counts as one of the top 10 experiences of my life mainly because of the elephants.

Sans! said...

Ara, I don't know if elephants are really merciful towards smaller creatures or they are afraid of them. Ever since I was a child, I was told elephants are afraid of mice!It's probably not true but if you google it, you will see that opinions are divided on this !

My favourite animals are white- white tigers , white owls and white elephants :). The 1st 2 are real, the 3rd , I just couldn't resist. Stop groaning, some of you!

Sans! said...

Guapo? Wow, Malú, le diré a mi hermano. Xander se parece más a su madre que mi hermano sin embargo:).

El desfile de elefantes se inició en los Países Bajos y se han ido a Londres y Milán. Estoy seguro de que estará en España pronto! Una ciudad como Bacelona, la ciudad de Gaudí! :) Acabo de ver muchos elefantes Gaudí desfilando sus calles!

Sans! said...

MY GOODNESS MARGRIET! Indeed there is a bear parade already and you know what????? I am screeching here! They are in Kuala Lumpur RIGHT NOW! Sorry for all the caps but I am just so excited! My housemate is going back to Ipoh and may drop by KL to see his uncle. I must tell him to go check it out . It will be on till after the Chinese New Year. Shucks! If not for such a busy time at work, I would have seriously consider popping by myself to check it out!

Let's see if he can go and take some pictures. If so, I will definitely make a post about them!

Sans! said...

All of these parades (and I have just found out, even the bear one) started in Europe! I am fairly sure, a tiger, lion, monkey parade will soon happen too, Susanne! The world is an amazing place and like what MaLu said, street art accessible to all and for a charitable purpose too! Best kind of art,me thinks.

Sans! said...

Kikka, I wish they took more time to arrange the elephants in or garden though. It was quite a rushed job and they were all just placed side by side on a big platform with the more delicate ones under a plastic tent. But the elephants were too wonderful for me to fret for long :). You are right, it was hard not to love them all :).

Sans! said...

And I am glad you came, KIm!

Sans! said...

Jajajaja! No me envíen todo lo que está vivo, la Ascensión! Sólo puede saltar hasta el momento que termino en España!

Lo siento, pero todavía tengo que enviar su paquete a cabo. NO envíe nada para mí hasta que me han enviado la mía! Yo te lo ordeno! jejejeje. En serio, la Ascensión, no es necesario que me envíe nada. Estoy tan tarde!!


Sans! said...

Xander sending you kisses , Jennifer :)

Gulp already 1.30am..been here since 8.30 commenting and catching up on blogs!

Sans! said...

Until the elephant parade, Singapore has no elephants too , Ewa :).

I owe you an email !!!

Sans! said...

Estoy de acuerdo, Carmen!

Sans! said...

You and Xander both, Christine. Me 3. I picked another favourite since Xander wanted him 1st :)

Sans! said...

Thank you, Maria I , from Xan :). You know I was just thinking how easy it is to love a majestic creature. Like dinosaurs, for example. I have been hooked on Terra Nova because of the dinosaurs..haha :)

Sans! said...

Drora, I think Xan has never seen so many big animals in one place, towering over him. So harmless too. I wonder if he will always remember that experience.

Amy said...

I would want to bead and embroider every inch of my elephant, but of course, the problem would be that it would take me ten years to do so! I need an art army, I guess, lots of hands holding needles. But what a dream it would be...

Ana Anselmo said...

hi Sans! well, I must wait to know you in person...I hope next year!
Lots of hugs

Amy said...

Sans-Just wanted to make sure you knew you're being blogged today about on a lovely French blog called Paradis Express--my friend Claire and my own little world is further down the page too, so we're all hanging out together together, in a way!!

Cindy Teh said...

i'm not a huge Madonna fan either, but that song really stole my heart....i'm the type of person who can listen to the same song 234708273 times in a row...:P so you can imagine the frustration my family has had to put up with LOL

i didn't watch any movies that Madonna acted in in its entirety. i guess the films she starred in aren't of the genre i enjoy?

YA!! i saw the elephants, mostly when i was walking past somerset 313..i love them all made me want to go up and hug 'em...but the ones you posted here are the nicest ones by far :O

Piikko said...

Sans, I haven't ever before heard about elephant parade. So, thank you again for showing me something very special! All the elephants are adorable but I think the first one is my favorite.:)
Sans, I also love your luggages with plants and flowers in your previous post.♥ They are like candies to my eyes!:)
Hugs, piikko

Sans! said...

AMY! THANK YOU! I am thrilled beyond words, still reeling a little :).

I must share this with you.

My sister paid me a surprise visit tonight and we had this 4 hour conversation that I now know will leave an indelible mark because of how this day ends ie reading that lovely post on the blog of a French gardener.

Tonight, I showed my sister my suitcase garden. I guessed she was surprised by what I did because she said " you are not even a gardener , how do you know what to put in that box?" She laughed when I told her I make a pretty decent plastic gardener :) and that I no longer resent mum for her green thumbs.She then showed me pictures of a Thai artist who did impressive installations with plastic flowers and plants. My sister said they were very Parisian or French :).

Just before she left for home, she stopped to look at my tribal house unexpectedly and paid me some very wonderful compliments about the way I used vegetation for the house. It was about how I could place wintry barren "trees" (real life twigs) with lush tropical "shrubs" (smaller scale trees which Delphine showed in her post) together and still somehow make sense of the scene. This was the side of the external wall with the forgotten toy. My sister is the designer in my family and so I was surprised when she told me she could not do what I did because her trained and logical mind just wouldn't allow her to. Her words really made me happy but of course, I then promptly forgot them once she stepped out of the door. Then I read your comment and then saw that post and knew I had to record this special evening with my sister even if it is just in the comment box here chatting with you :).

What an incredible evening this has been ! Delphine found me through your blogroll too . Connected we are, Amy in more ways than we think possible for 2 people who have never met :).

Sans! said...

Cinds, we will have a Madonna movie day and bore ourselves to death . Ahhhhh, but if we make mini at the same time...

Sans! said...

Thank you Piiko :), from one plastic gardener to another ;)

Eva said...

Hi I come back...I habe missed you...A LOT!! Sorry for not coming to your blog and to your life...I was no reading almost any blogs.
This Xmas the three wise man (^-^) brought me a wooden elephant too.
Love the colourful...I remember some year ago to see in Austria a cow parade...I Know, it is not the same but it reminds me :)
Is he Nathaniel??? Wow!!
Un beso!!

Janice said...

I saw these wonderful creations in London. They were an awesome sight. Fabulous photos.

Sans! said...

Eva !!! :) I have been too busy too to read all the blogs. Guess this year started hectic for us eh? Oh my, do I still owe you an email? Shoot, long overdue. Tomorrow!

Sans! said...

Janice! They are a sight to behold eh?

I see you are back from Thailand ! Really hope you do a travelogue for it the way you did your Malaysian trip. That was hilarious and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

Lataina said...

You always show us the most wonderful and interesting things. My favorite is the Rusty Elephant, and I completely agree with the artist's statement. Thank you Sans for sharing this beautiful exhibition. =)

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