A gravity defying painting from the Dutch in 1953, an abstract, art school structure in Singapore and a vortex-shaped bridge/bar, all bend reality as people know it. Reality is only an idea of how people view the world and understand how the world works. It is the concept that people use to keep their minds in check with their everyday lives. However, through art, artists express their own sense of reality and show through creativity and hard work, a dream or idea can become reality. M.C Escher’s art piece, Relativity, shows an example of an everyday use, stairs, and reverses the concept of walking up and down them to one that breaks the laws of nature. The Green Roof Nanyang Art School is a structure that shows the viewer that nature and architecture can blend together to make a masterpiece that is the philosophy of the school, art and creativity. Vito Acconci’s Moore Island Bridge changes the natural perspective of a land based island into a metal based one that give pedestrians a chance to experience art by walking through it. Separated, each artwork has its own unique qualities but together, forms an idea that reality is only how people see it and through the artist’s work, people are able to see it in a different perspective.

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Moore Island Bridge

Vito Acconci, born January 24, 1940, was considered a well-rounded artist even during the time of his childhood. As a child of age 13, Vito wrote short stories and poems to express his emotions and showed them to his family to see. During his young age, Vito did not embrace his Italian heritage but actually rejected it. He believed that Italians could not express art or have a passion for it but later accepted his heritage (Lockwood). He eventually became tired of the restrictions poems put on a person’s artistic skills and turned to study as an actor. In this profession, he was able to use his voice to express his arts to the audience and develop his trilling performance attributes. In the end, he found that using a monotone was not enough to express his passion of art and that emotion was too broad of an art to express (Lockwood). Later he developed a sense of art where he would construct his actual body into a different form. He transformed his body by pulling on his chest and shaving it to make women’s breasts. His true belief about life is that the home is a sanctuary and has both a positive and a negative connotation to it. Positively, a home is a place to fully express one’s self and would not be criticized for it. Negatively, it is a place that is confined and would engulf a person unless broken free from it (Lockwood). He then found that public art was his true calling and had the public become the art. His passion to take the public and construct it into art has common people view it as they go through their daily lives.
The Moore Island Bridge, an elaborate bridge, performs as a bridge to walk on, a bar to socialize, a cafĂ© to relax and drink coffee, and a sunbathing area to get a tan. This multi-useful bridge is able to give an exterior of a bridge but to the artist, it’s an artwork that people can walk through and visualize inside and out. This bridge is complete with a walking bridge for pedestrians to enter on either side and the main core of it is a vortex-like structure for people to enjoy. It is considered an island due to its massive form and enormous space that the bridge takes up on the river. This artistic structure is composed up of materials such as metal and glass to give the bridge a simple, clear look. However, the way that Vito constructed the core to a spiral type structure gives people the sense that the bridge is animated and in motion. As people can see, the core is not fully encased by the shell that gives the bridge its shape and is only covering over half of the structure. This was purposefully done to give pedestrians walking through this structure a chance to see the difference of a glass view and an open view to change their perspective of the world. In addition, Vito ingeniously uses the shape of the vortex structure to give people a chance to view different angles of the river and the landscape as they travel around the exterior of the bridge. Vito’s goal of building this unique bridge was to have people enjoy art in a new, creative way by actually traveling through it in their daily lives. This bridge gives people a chance to view reality through the mind of Vito and find that reality is able to form with creativity and artistic ideals.

The Green Roof Nanyang Art School

CPG Corporation is one of the leading building development services in Singapore that helped remodel Singapore into the country that people see today. Started in 1999, CPG has shaped the skylines of Singapore and has come a long way since then, taking their business beyond the province of Singapore and into the world, including China, India and the Middle East (CPG Corp.). This corporation uses the style of Environmentalism to develop an architecture that is both eco friendly and a work of art. They use this trend to harmonize modern, architectural design with nature so that they can co-exist and make a masterpiece of art. This idea of fusing buildings with art is ingenious with a natural resistance from scorching heat in the summer to freezing weather in the winter. This creative and powerful method of bonding nature and architecture is known as Green Design (CPG Corp.). The Green Design is different from other types of design in the way that other architectural designs interfere with the surrounding environment; however, the Green Design embraces it into the design and blends with it to the fullest. The Nanyang Art School is an excellent example of the planning and development of the Green Design that the CPG Corporation has mastered over the years.
The Green Roof Nanyang Art School in Singapore uses the landscape to its advantage to bring out the details of the building itself and fusion of nature and structure. This building’s roof uses real grass to have the sense that the building has actually grown from the ground up.  This green grass on the roof builds the viewers’ sense of perception and leaves them in awe. They picture that this school is part of the earth and that the surrounding area and the building are one. In addition, the way that the sides are just clear windows brings out the intricacy of the inner part of it. On the outside, the roof takes up the entire top and sides of it. With the inside, the watcher is able to see that rooms are not the same size or color but are distinct in each section.  At first glance, viewers believe that the entire building is just only one part as a whole; however, CPG constructed the building into four separate parts, three overlapping crescent shaped layers and a half moon shaped layer sticking out. This design challenges the observers’ sense of perception and gives them the sense of depth. This design also makes sure that each angle outside and around the building gives the observer a different perspective while cruising along the road. Not only is this structure planned out in both details and perception but also in spacing. The CPG Corporation creatively spaced each part of the building so that from far away, people can see each object around it helps emphasize the area of the building. Close up, people are both in awe and amazement at the very size of the School and are able experience the comfort of the building. This 5-story building distinguishes itself from the other buildings on campus by the use of Green Design with the roof and scenery as one. CPG’s reality is one with human structures and nature joining together peacefully. Their reality challenges the rest of the world to change their own reality from one that doesn’t hurt the planet to one that helps it grow.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


M.C. Escher, born on June 17, 1898 and died on March 27, 1972, was a talented artist and even as a child, people around him knew that he would make art his life (Locher, 5). Born in Friesland, the northern area of the Netherlands, Escher attended secondary school in Arnhem and his art teacher insisted Esher to make pieces and prints (Locher, 5). After secondary school, Escher took his father’s wishes and went to Haarlem to study architecture (Locher, 5). However, he found that it was not his interest. He then studied graphic mediums under Jessurun De Mesquita in 1919-1922 that later became his style of art (Locher, 5). In his art piece, Relativity, Escher uses the graphic medium to design detailed drawings that has a meaning behind each and every object in it. Escher’s art expresses his reality that has every space filled up and that there is always something beyond what the eye can be see (Escher, 15). He believed that giving the perception of far and near and inside and out will give the observer the sense that something is beyond that which their eyes cannot perceive.
This artwork, Relativity, is a piece that contains the different styles of drawing that Escher developed over the years. Even though Escher found architecture boring, his drawing is a format of a complex structure that defies the very law of gravity. In the real world, people know that stairs can only go up or down; however, this unique way of having stair passages move in different directions has the viewer confused and interested in knowing which way is up. Escher also has little objects to make this scene believable such as doors and pottery. These random doors and plants may seem miscellaneous but are in fact useful to show the multiple ways a person can walk through and at what angle the person is. In addition, Escher has people in the background, relaxing and talking, and in the foreground walking stairs in opposite directions. This allows the viewer to get the true feeling of wonder about what is the real floor or if all of them are real. While keeping this drawing abstract and elaborate, Escher keeps it simple with colorless art and no facial expressions. With this, Escher wants people to focus on the details of the stairs and with color; people would not get the true meaning of the drawing and might overlook the creativity behind Escher’s view of reality. Also with no distinction or facial expression on the characters, the viewer cannot compare the characters and use their own interpretation of what the character is thinking or if they even notice the mind twisting stairs. The true meaning of Escher’s view of reality is that these stairs started out as an idea or dream in the mind of Escher and could be part of this world. Granted, people probably won’t walk the same way, but if someone were to put the same time and effort that Escher put into this paint, this structure of stairs could become reality.