Guoco Tower—Art, Music and Community
Hi Jia En! Could you tell us what The Artground is about, and what it seeks to accomplish?
The Artground – A Curious Place To Be is managed and nurtured by The Ground Co Limited, a registered arts charity. We aim to provide positive arts experiences across a variety of art forms for children aged 12 and under in an accessible space that welcomes children from every community.
Our vision To let art do, what art does defines what we do. Throughout the year, we present interactive visual art installations that children can climb through, over and under, and the installation changes tri-annually. The open-plan space not only allows children to engage in non-directive play and practise their motor skills but also heightens their awareness of aesthetic elements and sense of appreciation.
At The Artground, we have an arts play space that changes three times a year, and on top of that, we also have arts programmes for children, which range from gardening-inspired programmes to dance and theatre.
That’s really inspiring. And what made you decide to join TAG’s team?
I majored in Visual Communications, and always had an interest and passion for the Arts. I like working in a fast paced environment, and enjoy the adrenaline of setting up an arts play space. I appreciate the process of working with the artists, and seeing our vision come to life from sketches, through brainstorming and collaboration.
The Artground is essentially a very small team, so it feels very much like family. I’m really blessed to have a supportive team that allows me to explore ideas, implement them and watch them grow.
Could you tell me more about the Crate It Up Space?
Guoco Tower and ourselves have had a really good relationship since Rolling @ TPC. It was the first play space we brought over and was originally named Rolling @ TAG, which we later renamed to Rolling @ TPC. We’ve always wanted to create a focal point in that space, something for people to gravitate towards and bring them together, maybe snap a shot for their Instagram and social media.
The space allows people to sit, mingle and have lunch, and it’s also a space for potential future performances and communal activities.
We also noticed that families tend to visit the Urban Park during the weekends, so we wanted to create an organic and striking structure that they can intuitively interact with and bond over.
I’ve noticed that people have been stacking up the loose crates so that they can chill out in the way they’d best prefer.
Yes, there are certain loose pieces to the installation, but not all of them can be stacked.
So that one person can’t monopolise it by turning it into a gigantic seat?
-Laughs- Yeah, correct!
That’s really cool. There’s an element of play there for adults.
I think we all have an inner child. Even at The Artground, we tend to see parents playing alongside their children, getting onto our play structures and just having a great time in our space. We hope to change the mindset amongst adults that ‘creative play is just for children’.
The thing about the CBD area is that it can feel a little structured. Like, ‘Oh is this a place to sit? Can I put my feet up?’ But if you make it loose and relaxed, I think that over time people will start feel comfortable expressing themselves.
If we break down the barriers of social norms around play, people will probably be more comfortable with themselves, and will make the space their own.
What is it about Guoco Tower as a space that makes it ideal for this type of community building?
I think it’s the diversity of the crowd. The fact that it’s an integrated building with offices, hotel, F&B outlets? It’s like a crossroads—you’ll see families from the residential areas around it, office workers, tourists. It’s a melting pot for people from all walks of life.
Play It Forward
Part of a collaboration between Play it Forward and Guoco Tower, these two public pianos are free for public use.
You can find the pianos at Guoco Tower’s Urban Park, right next to Blue Lotus Restaurant and Grill. Don’t be shy to take a seat, tinkle the ivories and show off your musical talents!
TGIF Music Friday
Celebrate the weekend with TGIF Music Friday brought to you by Cross Ratio Entertainment and Singapore Chinese Cultural Chinese Centre, on the 1st and 3rd Friday of every month.
Drop by the Urban Park at Guoco Tower, 12.30pm – 1.30pm to enjoy great live music from a wide range of genres, ranging from Top 40s to Cantopop.