Singapore’s Botanic Gardens recently hosted an outdoor exhibit by Israeli artist Zadok Ben-David. Ben-David’s art, in this installation, was made of rusted corten steel in larger-than-life compositions depicting nature and “human butterflies”. His sculptures were placed around the Eco Garden within walking distance of each other, some in the open and others partially hidden by trees and brush. Only the most persistent would have found and seen them all — I managed to miss at least three sculptures, unfortunately. However, my luck came in visiting the garden on a day when sunny skies were turning cloudy. The sky shifted between pockets of blue and smudges of gray, creating a backdrop for Ben-David’s art that turned steel into illustration, like black ink on a sea of green and a watercolor sky. I walked in circles around each work of art, looking for the angle I liked best, snapped some photos and then did it all over again 45 minutes later when the sky had changed.
There are few things in Singapore that have compelled me to stand outside in the scorching sun and oncoming torrential rain. This was one of them. Thanks, Mr. Ben-David, for a different kind of day in the garden.