Augury sculpture

Augury sculpture, public art, Singapore, Anthony Lau

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, produced “Balance”.

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 nature."

Augury sculpture, Fort Canning Park, Singapore, public art

References: Anthony Lau's Imposing Sculpture in Fort Canning Park by Ooi Kok Chuen, News Strait Times newspaper article, November 4th, 1988.

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