Public Art: Augury sculpture
Sculptor: © Anthony Lau
Description: The 5m high 4 ton Augury sculpture
consists of three H shaped interlocking steel plates (creating 6 points) and sits on a granite ringed concrete
base. The plates were sandblasted and given an undercoat to prevent rusting before being painted in green (now
brown) to blend with the park environment. Lau's inspiration was a spiderweb and how, in the morning, it interlinks
with clumps of grass stems. In local folklore this is a sign of good. Lau deliberatedly made the 6 points, which
depict blades of grass (and also the six major countries of ASEAN), equal in height.
Date Unveiled: 1988
Location: The Augury sculpture is located near
Percival Road, Fort Canning Park, Singapore.
by Mr Anthony Lau
This sculpture completed on 31 Aug 1988 is a project of Asean Sculpture Symposium
Background to the Asean Sculpture Symposium:
ASEAN Sculpture Symposium was established in 1981 with the aim of "promoting a sense of
community among sculptors of member countries whose works of art will be visible symbols of regional cooperation."
The ASEAN Sculpture Symposium lasted six summits, the final being in Manila in 1989.
The Singapore Committee On Culture & Information (COCI) held the first
symposium in Singapore between March 27th and May 10th, 1981. Five sculptors from each member country were asked to
produce a five-meter tall sculpture which was later displayed at Singapore’s Fort Canning Park. The Indonesian
sculptor, But Muchtar, contributed a sculpture called “Unity”; The
Malaysian sculptor, Arifin Mohamad Ismail, contributed a fibreglass work called “Taning Sari” (which
sadly desintegrated in the harsh weather and was later replaced by this sculpture "Augury"; The Filipino
sculptor, Napoleon Veloso Abueva, contributed “Fredesvinda”; Thai sculptor, Vichai Sithiratu, contibuted
“Concentration” and Singaporian sculptor, Ng Eng Teng,
Things you may not know about the Augury sculpture : The Augury
sculpture was part of the Asean Sculpture Symposium and Anthony Lau represented Malaysia. Unfortunately Lau
only had 45 days to complete it. Due to the fact he didn't have a workshop the sculpture was created on the site in
Fort Canning Park (cordoned off to the public) using low tech equipment. In the end he was given a 12 day extention
due to rain which caused some of the metal to warp.
The Augury sculpture replaced Arifin Mohamad Ismail's 1980s twin totem firbreglass sculpture Taming Sari. The
totems virtually disintergrated due to the harsh Singapore weather.
The Augury was Anthony Lau's first piece of public art.
Anthony Lau Quote: "There is no greater sculpture than
References: Anthony Lau's Imposing Sculpture in Fort Canning Park
by Ooi Kok Chuen, News Strait Times newspaper article, November 4th, 1988.