​Art blooms on iconic sloping grass roof at NTU Singapore

Published on : 21-Jan-2019

- World-renowned Italian artist Michelangelo Pistoletto’s first living art installation in Asia

Art is in full bloom on the sloping grass roof of the School of Art, Design and Media (ADM) at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore).

A living art installation created by world-renowned Italian artist Michelangelo Pistoletto now adorns the curving green roof of the NTU art school. The work comprises three large connecting circles spanning 41 metres at its longest length.

Pistoletto is renowned for his Mirror Paintings - artworks made of human size mirrors that have been displayed in major galleries and museums across Europe and the United States since the 1960s.
His Third Paradise conceptual art work on display at NTU Singapore uses a symbol he has created that plays on the mathematical infinity sign, with two smaller circles on opposing ends that represent nature’s paradise and an artificial paradise. For the first living installation in Asia of his Third Paradise, he has used the Red Sessile Joyweed plant , an edible local shrub that is also made into herbal tea.

Each different global installation has used the same symbol realised in different materials. At the United Nations Headquarters in Geneva, the symbol was created with 193 stones, each representing a member state of the UN, and Pistoletto has also created the symbol with recycled fabrics at the Council of the European Union in Brussels to mark the Italian presidency of the council, and with transparent sheets at the Louvre Museum in Paris. 

“The artificial world has provided mankind with comforts, but also led to the deterioration of our natural environment,” said Mr Pistoletto. “The central circle in the symbol, the Third Paradise, represents a world in which there is an ideal balance between human activities and nature, something which is indispensable in order to ensure the survival of mankind.” 

Gracing the opening of the art installation this morning is Italy’s ambassador to Singapore Mr Raffaele Langella. 

The installation will be displayed till 10 February and is supported by modern and contemporary art gallery Partners & Mucciaccia.  

Welcoming the presentation of art on campus, NTU President Professor Subra Suresh said, “The Third Paradise art installation conveys the idea of technology co-existing harmoniously with nature, and this is very much in line with NTU’s sustainable development goal. 

“Amidst our lush, green campus, where almost all of NTU’s buildings are certified Green Mark Platinum for their environmentally-friendly design and construction, we have also taken steps to reduce our energy, waste and water usage significantly. While we educate our students in engineering, natural and social sciences, and the humanities, and develop innovative technologies for the society and industry, we should always reflect on the impact of technology on the human condition. Mr Pistoletto’s work visually captures our passion and efforts to achieve this connection.”   

In 2018, NTU set up the NTU Institute of Science and Technology for Humanity to study responsible innovation and the influence of technology. In 2019, NTU will award the inaugural Global Digital Art Prize, for works that reflect on the ties between art, technology and society.

Dialogue with Michelangelo Pistoletto and Nobel Laureate Ben Feringa

In conjunction with the inauguration of the art installation, NTU will also host a panel dialogue on 22 January, where Pistoletto and Professor Ben Feringa, 2016 Nobel Laureate for Chemistry, will discuss the meeting of science and art, and how it will help shape the future of humanity.

Held at the School of Art, Design and Media, the dialogue is a partner event of the Global Young Scientists Summit organised by the National Research Foundation, Singapore. 

Professor Emerita Helga Nowotny, a founding member and former President of the European Research Council, will moderate the discussion in her capacity as Nanyang Visiting Professor. 

See the Annex for a brief biography on Michelangelo Pistoletto.


Media contact:

Ang Hui Min
Corporate Communications Office
Nanyang Technological University
Email: huimin@ntu.edu.sg

About Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has 33,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the Engineering, Business, Science, Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences, and Graduate colleges. It also has a medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, set up jointly with Imperial College London.
NTU is also home to world-class autonomous institutes – the National Institute of Education, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Earth Observatory of Singapore, and Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences Engineering – and various leading research centres such as the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI) and Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N).
Ranked 12th in the world, NTU has also been placed the world’s top young university for the past five years. The University’s main campus is frequently listed among the Top 15 most beautiful university campuses in the world and it has 57 Green Mark-certified (equivalent to LEED-certified) building projects comprising more than 230 buildings, of which 95% are certified Green Mark Platinum. Apart from its main campus, NTU also has a campus in Singapore’s healthcare district.
For more information, visit www.ntu.edu.sg   


About Michelangelo Pistoletto

Michelangelo Pistoletto was born in Biella, Italy, in 1933. He began to exhibit his work in 1955 and in 1960, he had his first solo show at Galleria Galatea in Turin. 

From 1961 to 1962, he made the first Mirror Paintings, which included the viewer in the work. These works quickly brought Pistoletto international acclaim, and in the 1960s, led him to put up solo shows in important galleries and museums across Europe and the United States. The Mirror Paintings are the foundation of his subsequent artistic output and theoretical thought. 

In 1965 and 1966, Pistoletto produced a set of works entitled Minus Objects that have been considered fundamental to the birth of the Arte Povera movement. In 1967, he began to work outside traditional exhibition spaces, with the key goal of “creative collaboration” by bringing together artists from different disciplines and diverse sectors of society.

During the 1990s, with the programme Project Art and with the creation of Cittadellarte – Fondazione, Pistoletto and the University of Ideas, both in Biella, Pistoletto brought art closer to diverse segments of society, with the aim of inspiring and producing responsible social change. 

In 2003, he was awarded the Venice Biennale’s Golden Lion for Lifelong Achievement. In 2004, he received an honorary degree in Political Sciences from the University of Turin. On that occasion, the artist announced what had become the most recent phase of his work, The Third Paradise. In 2007, he received the Wolf Foundation Prize in the Arts in Jerusalem.

In 2010, Pistoletto wrote the essay The Third Paradise. In 2013, the Louvre Museum in Paris hosted his solo exhibition, and he received the Praemium Imperiale for painting in Tokyo. 

In May 2015, he received an honorary degree from the University of Arts of Cuba. In the same year, he created a work of big dimensions – Rebirth, which is situated in the park of the Palace of Nations in Geneva.


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