Arbutus, as a specialty mechanical watch-maker, has always prided its watch-making techniques as a form of fine miniature art, with minute rotors, wheels and balance springs intricately assembled together within a tiny 44mm-diameter watch dial by skilled watch-makers with incredibly steady hands and an eye for detail. Arbutus therefore lends its support to nurturing and cultivation of young talent in the growing genre of miniature art, a highly respected fine art form with a long heritage of over a millennia originating from South Asia in the 11th century.
The Arbutus “Art & the Art of Watchmaking” SG50 Roadshow at VivoCity Atrium from 24 to 30 August 2015 is an initiative to revitalise the genre of miniature art in the commercial space in Singapore to celebrate SG50 and connect young miniature art talents to collectors. At the roadshow, Arbutus will be holding a public exhibition of 10 Arbutus Singapore Jubilee Limited Edition Timepieces, showcasing the miniature artworks of local youth visual artists from 10sq@Orchard Central (the youth division of arts education non-profit organisation, The Little Arts Academy), hand-painted on 44mm-diameter watch dials.
The miniature artworks will feature renditions of locations in Singapore that hold a special place in the heart of Singaporeans, in celebration of SG50. So far, the artists have come up with 8 designs watches, still in the draft stage (see below): “Colours of the Heartland”, the brightly coloured heartland flats in Rochor; “Southern Ridges Waves”, the Henderson bridge in the Southern Ridges designed like sea waves; “Raffles Heritage”, the Raffles Hotel which has deep heritage value; “Garden Rhapsody”, the supertree grove of Gardens by the Bay; “The Red Dragon”, the dragon-shaped playground in Toa Payoh; “Stairway to the Skies”, the spiral staircases of Bugis Junction shophouses; “Theatres by the Fort”, the National Theatre at Fort Canning Hill. The designs are currently work-in-progress.
All proceeds from the sale of these Arbutus Singapore Jubilee Limited Edition Timepieces will go towards non-profit arts education organisations, The Little Arts Academy and 10sq@Orchard Central, to nurture and develop the artistic skills of young talents and youths from economically-disadvantaged families. Priced at S$1,800, each Arbutus Singapore Jubilee Limited Edition Timepiece will be unique and one-of-its-kind-only, with no duplicates existing in any other part of the world.
What better way to show appreciation and support for Singaporean art than by wearing a work of art on one’s wrist as a watch? The “Art and the Art of Watch-Making” roadshow by Arbutus is also promoting the burgeoning sector of wearable art, where modern consumers, against the tide of mass commercialised production, are looking for artisanal qualities in their attires, accessories and watches. Revitalising the millennia-old miniature art form to celebrate SG50 is an initiative by Arbutus, not just to nurture young art talent in a unique genre, but also to promote appreciation of art and artisanal products amongst Singaporean consumers.
This initiative is a continuation of Arbutus’ successful 2014 “Art & the Art of Watchmaking” Singapore Heritage Roadshow which featured 12 Arbutus Singapore Heritage Timepieces featuring miniature art renditions of places in Singapore with heritage significance, also designed and hand-painted by local youth visual artists from 10sq@Orchard Central. 10 out of 12 of the Arbutus Singapore Heritage Timepieces have been sold. The last two – Kallang Roar and Merlion – are currently on sale at TANGS departmental store in Orchard Road.