Wood you like a seat?

Trees at NTU’s campus that made way for new buildings have been given a new lease of life as art for the enjoyment of future generations. Lester Kok brings you some of these masterpieces by local artists and NTU faculty and students

Panel discussion

Kick back, relax and let your course mates join the chat at this semi-circular bench. The two-toned acacia wood planks surround you with nature’s beauty without cutting you off from the environment, says its creator, famed Italian designer Fabrizio Galli (pictured), a visiting artist at the School of Art, Media & Design, who named this conversation piece Tête-à-tête.

Sculptures of learning

Remember the heap of books stacked up in the corner of your dorm? Now that has become a work of art by renowned sculptor Han Sai Por. Its other siblings are a brain-like tree, a molecular structure and a flower tower symbolising enlightenment and discovery, all made out of wood from the humble albizia tree.

Together, they represent the meaning and philosophy behind learning and education. Unlike traditional wood carving, however, colours were added to the sculptures for a contemporary twist.

An eye for art

It’s a bird, it’s a pencil, wait, it’s both! Take a seat and have a flight of fancy. Who knows what innovative ideas you can come up with at NTU?

The creators of these “pencil benches” – Faith Teh from the NTU Museum and Caroline Pang from the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine – were inspired by how the forested areas of the campus are home to numerous birds and insects. These creatures once rested on this acacia timber, and now it’s your turn to enjoy the forest fringe benefits.

Logs of the rings

If you fancy Scandinavian design, you’ll love this set of tables. Made from log halves and inlaid with semi-precious stones, it’s a down-to-earth yet artistic platform to wine and dine on.

Designer Jermaine Ng wanted to showcase two contrasting yet complementary materials – soft wood and strong metal – and how they can achieve harmony despite their differences, just as it is in life.

Trunk call

You can use this as a table or chair as you wait for your friends. Or climb to the centre and stand out from the crowd.

Made of several types of tropical hard wood, this creation was inspired by lengthy “standing meetings” that its creators, Calvin Goh and a team from NTU’s medical school and museum, could relate to. The core vertical structure depicts people coming together as a team, while the spherical seat represents their endless ideas.

NTU Trees: Upcycled features more than 50 works made from common roadside trees like albizia and acacia. Artists and designers, including NTU faculty, alumni and students, contributed to the upcycling project. The sculptures will later be moved to other parts of the campus.

Where: Experimental Medicine Building, Collaboration Space, Level 3
When: Till 4 November; 9am to 8.30pm daily
Admission is free.