By Kumari Nahappan
Material : Bronze
Location : ION Orchard
Duration : Permanent
Collection : CapitaLand Limited
Dimensions : 3.6m x 3.3m x 4.8m
This signature sculpture at ION Orchard connects the mall building site with its past as a nutmeg plantation – a reminder that present-day social spaces are enlivened and enriched with histories and collective memories. This two-tonne bronze sculpture is an interpretation of an opened nutmeg seed revealing its distinctive crimson mace – the unique lace-like covering.
Singapore’s main shopping belt, Orchard Road, was named after the orchard and nutmeg plantations of the 1830s until commercial development cleared the site in the 20th century. Today, few are familiar with the evergreen nutmeg tree or the sight of its seed – distinctively protected by its red lace-like membrane (the mace). The nutmeg, native to the Indonesian Spice Islands, was once traded as a highly prized spice and essential oil and its supply source was a tightly guarded secret.
A symbol of trade prosperity, the nutmeg is celebrated as the only tropical fruit that bears two flavours – referring to how both spices of nutmeg and mace are extracted from a single seed. This unique intertwining of seed and mace carries special resonance for the joint venture between Singapore’s CapitaLand and Hong Kong’s Sun Hung Kai Properties.
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Image courtesy of CapitaLand Limited