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Media Resouces
Conversation with celebrated British artist Yinka Shonibare CBE, RA underlines the importance of arts for placemaking
January 17, 2020
  • Prelude to the upcoming publication titled, "Culture City. Culture Scape." which features the four public art installations of the Public Art Trail at Mapletree Business City
  • Highlights the importance of corporate partnerships in contributing to cultural vibrancy and sustainability in the urban environment  

    SINGAPORE – Mapletree Investments (“Mapletree” or “the Group”) and NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore (“NTU CCA Singapore”) hosted a conversation between celebrated artist Yinka Shonibare CBE, RA (Nigeria/United Kingdom) and Mr Edmund Cheng, Mapletree Chairman, moderated by Professor Ute Meta Bauer, Founding Director, NTU CCA Singapore. The event was hosted at the Green Bowl, Mapletree Business City (MBC) on 14 January 2020 and attended by more than 120 people from the working community in the Alexandra Precinct as well as the arts community from the neighbouring Gillman Barracks.  
    The conversation, entitled Artists as Citizens, deliberated on strategies to activate public spaces through art, for which Yinka will also share in the forthcoming publication, “Culture City. Culture Scape.”. This publication will explore the broader cultural and artistic underpinnings that gave rise to the art installations at MBC II which include Elliptical Pavillion (2017) by Dan Graham (United States), Sonic Pathway (2017) by Zulkifle Mahmod (Singapore), Stillness in Motion – 3 Airborne Self-Assemblies (2017) by Tomás Saraceno (Argentina/ Germany).Dan Graham (United States), as well as Yinka’s Wind Sculpture I (2013). “Culture City. Culture Scape.” will also contain a regional discourse on art in the city from the perspectives of corporate social responsibility and public art education. 

    The conversation event was especially memorable for the British-Nigerian artist, Yinka who last visited MBC in 2017 during the installation of his work. In the dialogue with Mr Cheng and Prof Bauer, Yinka shared that his ambition is to bring public artworks like the Wind Sculpture I (2013) to different places and use art to engage with people.  Yinka’s other works include Nelson's Ship in a Bottle (2010) first sited in Trafalgar Square (London) and Wind Sculpture (SG) I (2018) at Central Park (New York).

    Yinka also added that, “Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is particularly important now as people see corporations as growth engines but corporations can use CSR to build good relationship with their customers, partners and stakeholders. Art can humanise the city by bringing a human touch and it’s actually good for mental health.” 

    Mr Cheng, Chairman of Mapletree, echoed Yinka’s views and shared that, “For Mapletree, we are doing our part for the community, to inspire more people, regardless of social background, to embrace art.  By putting artworks and sculptures in our properties, we help to build the identity of the place and, hopefully, art can invoke harmony, so that the society can become more caring.”

    The event, held in conjunction with the Singapore Art Week, is part of the Mapletree-NTU CCA Singapore Public Art Education Programme started in October 2017. This first-of-its-kind collaboration between Mapletree and NTU CCA also features guided tours on the Mapletree Public Art Trail, public events, educational seminars and conferences. 

    To provide an interactive guide for visitors keen to explore the artworks and artefacts at MBC as well as VivoCity, a new Mapletree Public Art Trail App has been developed and will be launched in March 2020. The App allows visitors to explore specially curated art trails based on their interests and available time. 

    For more information on the artworks under the Mapletree Public Art Trail and upcoming events under the Public Art Education Programme, please visit

    Selected photos the event (high-res here)
    Photo credit: Mapletree Investments



    Artists as Citizens: Yinka Shonibare CBE, RA in conversation with Mr Edmund Cheng, Chairman of Mapletree moderated by Prof Ute Meta Bauer, Founding Director, NTU CCA, at Green Bowl, Mapletree Business City


    Yinka Shonibare shares how his interest in arts started in school and the role art can play especially in the area of corporate social responsibility


    Left to right: Mr Wan Kwong Weng, Group Chief Corporate Officer, Mapletree, Yinka Shonibare CBE, RA, Ms Sophie Goltz, Deputy Director, Research & Academic Programmes, NTU CCA, Mr Edmund Cheng, Chairman, Mapletree, Prof Ute Meta Bauer, Founding Director of NTU CCA and Professor Timothy John White, Associate Vice President, Infrastructure and Programmes, NTU


    The SMU (Singapore Management University) Samba Masala team showcasing their signature samba percussion music 


    Wind Sculpture I (2013) by Yinka Shonibare CBE, RA – a landmark that welcomes guests to Mapletree Business City


    Eileen Lee    

    Manager, Corporate Communications  
    Tel: +65 6659 3669  




    Mapletree has commissioned a series of coffee table books, published in 2012, to feature the art installations at its Singapore-based developments. The first book, Art in the City, showcases the eight artworks at MBC, while Art on the Waterfront features VivoCity’s seven installations that were commissioned during the inaugural Singapore Biennale 2006. The final book, Artefacts from Sea to Land, introduces the artefacts from Singapore’s maritime past that are installed at public locations around Mapletree’s HarbourFront Precinct.



    Mapletree is a leading real estate development, investment, capital and property management company headquartered in Singapore. Its strategic focus is to invest in markets and real estate sectors with good growth potential. By combining its key strengths, the Group has established a track record of award-winning projects, and delivers consistent and high returns across real estate asset classes.

    Mapletree currently manages four Singapore-listed real estate investment trusts (REITs) and six private equity real estate funds, which hold a diverse portfolio of assets in Asia Pacific, Europe, the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States (US).

    As at 31 March 2019, Mapletree owns and manages S$55.7 billion of office, retail, logistics, industrial, residential and lodging properties.

    The Group’s assets are located across 12 markets globally, namely Singapore, Australia, China, Europe, Hong Kong SAR, India, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, the UK, the US and Vietnam. To support its global operations, Mapletree has established an extensive network of offices in these countries.

    For more information, please visit



    Located in Gillman Barracks, the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore (NTU CCA Singapore) is a national research centre of Nanyang Technological University and is supported by a grant from the Economic Development Board. The Centre is unique in its threefold constellation of research and academic programmes, international exhibitions, and residencies, positioning itself as a space for critical discourse and diverse forms of knowledge production. The Centre focuses on Spaces of the Curatorial in Singapore, Southeast Asia, and beyond, as well as engages in multi-layered research topics.

    Since its inauguration in October 2013, the NTU CCA Singapore has developed into an influential institution encompassing research-based artistic practices of international scope, curatorial education, and public programmes to delve into the complexities of the contemporary art field.

    For more information, please visit