The Merlion or Singa-Laut in Malay, is the national mascot of Singapore's proud city. Designed by Fraser Brunner in 1964, the Merlion is an emblem of the city's progression into a modern age. Its composition seems to be like mythical combination of lion and fish. Now, there are 5 prime statues of the Merlion observable in Singapore: the original 8.6 meter Merlion at Merlion Park, The cub sculpture that stands two meters tall behind the main sculpture, the 37 meter tall replica with a viewing deck on the 9th story (located on Sentosa Island), the three meter tall polymarble statue at the Tourism Court, and lastly the same sized statue placed at Faber's Point.

 The Merlion Sculpture, Singapore - Photography by Mithun Kumar

The original Merlion sculpture/statue was standing at the mouth of the Singapore river, but it was moved after the Esplanade Bridge was finished in 1997. The Merlion also underwent maintenance from June to July during the year 2006, this was due to the forces of natural weathering as well as the water pressure from the river. One curious fact you may also find intriguing is the time that the Merlion sculpture got damaged by lightning in 2009. It was a late February afternoon when lightning stuck at the statue's head, breaking off some pieces. Despite this, they were able to repair the mascot and set it back to its proper place in no time.

An evolving movement of abstract sculpture has hit the Philippines since 2007 and the population of its art followers in the community continues to grow. The country has always been known for its history of painters and sculptors that played a crucial role in the development of a society. Juan Luna for example, was a Filipino painter that aided in the struggle for independence along with Jose Rizal, the country's national hero.

Photography Copyright - (2008) The Artasia Gallery- retrieved at

Recently, the biggest art hub in the Philippines; the Artwalk at the SM Megamall (Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila) has been a prime hot-spot for local and international collectors to view and experience a taste of true Philippine and Asian art. Sculpture is a novelty that has emerged from the recent modernist trends that encircle the local art scene. Many of the emerging talent has been drawn from the new generations that have been exposed to the path left by the historical 13 moderns (referring to 13 artists that have paved the way for modernism after the period of realism brought about by the influence of Fernando Amorsolo).

Galleries like the Artasia Gallery, Gallery Nine and Gallery Anna situated at the Artwalk are currently exhibiting several of these artistic modernist sculptors that are also beginning to catch the attention of the international art community through their successive exhibitions in foreign cities. Even online galleries from the Philippines are starting to revolutionize the sculpture world on the internet. "Sculptor.Asia" by local young artist Kylo Chua has gotten the community to appreciate sculpture in a whole new light by using 360 degree viewing technology.

Website Snapshot of Sculptor.Asia - Copyright of Kylo Chua 2010

Many people gravitate towards art because it tells a story of how things came about. This is most definitely true for the newer generations of Filipinos that have started to come out of their imperialist shell, and begin to create an identity for a deeply creative nation rooted in the foundations of visual symbolism.

A popular public sculptor is Singapore, Chong fah Cheong was a master of abstract and figurative sculpture, He often preferred to create semi-realistic subjects of people living their lives by the local riverside.

Chong was drawn to art since the age of 4, and was very fond of drawing sketches as an output away from school. His talent continued to grow during his academic occupation at St. Joseph's Institution, however he decided to drop out of school after finishing year 10. He did this to pursue a teaching career with the Lasalle Brothers novitiate in Penang. He spent a total of seven years training as an instructor of education. He became a secular regular again in 1967 and opted to teach at the Teluk Anson school in Malaysia. Later on in his life, Chong continued to pursue art, particularly the artform of sculpture, and was commissioned by Wing Tai Holdings to creatte a jade sculpture over 3000 tonnes in weight. The sculpture was set to be placed at the residence of Tan Yeok Nee. The work was one of Chong's biggest and most notable projects. It was revealed finish during the year 2001

 Sculpture by Chong Fah Cheong - Photography by Sengkang (2006)

Chong's sculptures display a degree of still-life art that captures and holds a sense of emotion in every figure. Each of his artworks that were set-up in a communal place reflects upon the simplistic lifestyle of cultural Singapore. He loved to create art using inspirations that came from day to day life. Chong was even inspired to create sculptures merely by seeing people eating together or children playing with each other.

In Makati City, the M.West Rotary Club has been doing this annual project of hosting an art exhibition to help raise funds for different charities. Entitled the "Alay Sining" (Filipino), the exhibit brings together many of the country's nationally and internationally acclaimed artists. Pieces by Renowned sculptors Imao and Pilapil are among the works that belonged to the Alay Sining 4 exhibition that was held a few months ago at the Mandarin Oriental. Being the fourth exhibition in a row, art patrons and enthusiasts alike attended this ground-breaking event which featured sculpture as the main artistic media, as well as some pieces of art-based jewelry done by the sculptors. Life-size pieces were also on display. Mixed media pieces made creative use of bullets, copper wire, cast marble and bronze. Father and Son pairings Fred and William Baldemor and Seb and Kylo Chua were among the 20+ attending sculptors that were invited to the notable art endeavor. Other personalities included ceramic sculptor Maria Magdamit, who also took the time to create tiara-like sculptures for the jewelry part of the exhibition.

The one-day exhibit was curated in a way that allowed guests and patrons to move around with ease and view each of the artworks to their heart's content. The ground layout for the show was done in a circular spiral fashion that gave each artist a display table to showcase at least 3 of his fine sculptures. The life-size sculptures were placed in the middle of the showroom to add aesthetic ambiance to the entire exhibition. I hope that next year, Alay Sining will continue, as the Philippines is currently a great spot to find groundbreaking contemporary art and sculpture.

The Umlauf Sculpture garden is a spectacular site recognized by both travelers and artists alike for its natural ambiance and aesthetic medley of sculptures. It is located at Located at 605 Robert E. Lee Road beside Zilker Park in Austin, Texas. Charles Umlauf was an American Sculptor who studied with the Art Institute of Chicago. Umlauf eventually came to teach at the University of Texas' School of Art in Austin for 49 years.

 The Umaluf Sculpture Park - Photography by © Larry D. Moore 2006 (only)

Umlauf's donation to the world of art was his home studio, which later on became the Umlauf Sculpture Garden. He donated everything in 1985 and the total lot comprised of more than 160 Umlauf sculptures. Among the pieces Umlauf gave to the city were his bronze sculptures; Icarus (1965) and The Kiss (1970). In 1991, the city of Austin built a museum to display Umlauf's artworks on city property connected to the area as well. The garden is maintained by Austin's Parks and Recreation Department, while staff is comprised of volunteers and citizens. The museum park also features artworks and showcases by outside sculptors on a temporary basis.

 The Umlauf Sculpture Park - Photography by © Larry D. Moore 2006 (only)

The park's impressive display of lifesize artworks would be a great addition to any art lover's travel log. Sculptures like The Diver (1956) interact in still life with the natural surroundings by using permanent, yet natural postures created by Umlauf's eye for beauty.

An art museum in Saginaw Valley University's Arbury FA Center (Michigan) is home to the wide collection of sculptures done by Marshall M. Fredericks. This historically acclaimed museum is also in affiliation with its housing university. I believe that its purpose is to inspire and share artistic knowledge with the generations that follow in pursuit of sculptural endeavors. The project was the product of a combined effort between Honey Arbury, her husband Ned, and Mr. & Mrs. Fredericks. Their original aim was just to house a permanent collection of Frederick's works at the university, though in 1999, the gallery exhibit was renamed the Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum.

 The Marshall Fredericks Sculpture Museum - Photo by Geoffehaney

200 artworks made in plaster and other materials are featured in the museum's main gallery. Most of the exhibition is a culmination of Fredericks' 70 year career as a sculptor. Aside from the main gallery, some periodical exhibitions are also held at the museum. Tenant artists of each of these exhibits are invited from both local and foreign art communities. Media for the shows often include painting, ceramics, prints and photography aside from the usual sculpture pieces. Admission to the museum is free and people are encouraged to drop by and have a look at the collections.

The Sculptor's studio area is a location where guests can view Fredericks' sculpting process through the tools and memorabilia that are arranged to explain the methodology behind his great masterpieces. Outside the museum, a sculpture garden of more than 20 bronze sculptures is available for public viewing. Each of those pieces were cast by Fredericks as well.

Every Artist or Art Collector who has visited Japan most surely knows about the Asahikawa Sculpture Museum. First used in 1902 as a social gathering spot for army officers of the 7th division (Japanese Imperial Army), the building is now a proud heritage site dedicated to in the honor of Teijiro Nakahara. The structure was designed in a western style, meant to serve soldiers in various ways as a hotel, social clubhouse and assembly area. It also served as the assemble hall for the American army after Japan lost World War II. In 1968, the restoration of the building was finally done to use it as a museum. The Asahikawa Museum of Local History was established that year. Among the various collections of art, antiques and artifacts, one of the earliest possessions dated back to the Ainu tribe in Japanese cultural history. The museum was eventually moved to the Asahikawa Taisetsu Crystal Hall in the early 1990's.

The Asahikawa Museum - Original Photo by K.Takeda

It was the only building in Asahikawa city to be designated as an Important Cultural Property of Japan on May 19, 1989. Renovations again took place in 1994 to be used as the Asahikawa Museum of Sculpture in Honor of Teijiro Nakahara. For those of you who are not familiar with Teijiro Nakahara, he was an important modernist sculptor who spent his childhood in the city of Asahikawa.

The renovated museum is now the permanent home of twelve works of Teijiro Nakahara, as well as sculptures by other individuals who have won the Teijiro Nakahara award. External artists also hold periodical exhibitions at the venue as well, such was the case of Bikky Sunazawa, a sculptor who specializes in carving designs out of natural wood. The museum also holds talks and seminars for children, as well as an annual announcement for the reception of the Teijiro Nakahara award for sculpture.

Many of you do not know of the curious Bambara tribe located deep in Mali. They consist of an ancient society that uses symbolical sculptures as part of their daily ritualism. A Chi Wara, Chiwara or Tyi Wara is a figurine-like object that was carved by their tribe to represent their themes and stories. Mainly used either as masks or small sculptures, the Chiwara are a type of visual communication that tribesmen use to relate others with their agricultural and social activities. In Bambara, the word means "laboring wild animal, and represents the story of how the creation of farming arose in Bambara culture. Traditional Chiwara sculptures were hand-carved out of wood, however stylistic variations have been seen depending on the time and location that the artifact was uncovered or found from. Some styles that researchers have been able to categorize are the Bougouni or South region style which combines several animal subjects into the same composition, the Bamako or North region style where orientation is usually horizontal, and the Segu or Mainland region style where male sculptures are created with a vertical orientation and a triangular body. Aside from these, there is also one last style; the Sikasso region style where sculptures are made with a thin vertical orientation that resembles human anatomical design, but done in a delicate feel.

The Bambara story of agriculture revolves around the folklore of the hero Chi Wara, a half human and half antelope born from a union of the sky goddess Mousso Koroni and an earth spirit with the form of  a cobra snake. The Chi Wara came to the earth to teach humans how to sow and harvest vegetation.

The figure of the Chi Wara is traditionally a recreation of the character from the myth; a half human and half antelope creature adorned with emblems of farming. Its body is often depicted through long, slender orientations, symbolizing its descent into the earth (like the tools of a farmer plow into the fertile soil). Other elements of the sculpture may represent the plant to be harvested, plentiful water, and a bountiful harvest. Patterns sometimes imitate the direction of the sun's position in the horizon. Sculptures can also come in male and female pairs, denoting a sense of fertility both in human society and in agricultural activity. The Chi ware is indeed a treasure of the Bambara tribe that shows how artistic sculpture and visual symbolisms hold up a culture of human beings and their community.

One of the most basic materials to practice cast sculpture with is resin. Traditionally used for art crafts and decor, resin functions as a hard fundamental casting medium for you to try out casting for the first time. The resin used here is usually a synthetic monomer and not a natural resin. This type of material is commonly used to make polymer plastics. The types of Resins are Epoxy Resin (lower viscosity), Polyurethane Resin, Polyester Resin (shrinks while curing), and Acrylic Resin (good with transparency). An exothermic reaction is caused by mixing polyurethane for example, with a curing agent. This creates heat and causes the combined materials to harden/solidify.

Picture taken by Alessio from Brescia, Italy

Moulds for casting can be made out of several materials, but the two most common ones are silicone rubber and plain plaster. Both can be obtained for a relatively low cost.

Gravity casting is a term used when referring to allowing resin to flow into the mould cavities merely by using gravity's pull on it after letting it pour vertically into a mould. Air bubbles are usually formed when this happens, so a vacuum chamber is always necessary for clean material output. To push the resin material further into the mould (for detailed pieces), sometimes a centrifugal force or pressurized force can be used. There are lots of machines that can aid in the casting process' artistic quality and finesse.

There is another technique called injection moulding, however this involves the creation of a metal mould with a much higher cost rate. The upside is that much more quantity can be produced using a single mould.

Casting art, sculpture or decor with resin is one of the most common commercial and artistic processes anywhere in the world. This technique has even found its way into doll-making, dentistry and toy-making. The possibilities are simply endless.

20th anniversary applications are now ongoing for the sculpture show on August 12, 13 and 14. All of you are invited to attend the Loveland Sculpture Invitational show and art sale. Located at a wonderful landscape setting at the foot of the pristine Rocky Mountains, art enthusiasts, collectors and hobbyists from all over the nation will congregate together to have a good time and patron the work of some of the top premier artists in the largest gathering of sculptors in the country.

Over two hundred and fifty of the country's most impressive sculptors will be present, each showcasing his or her own set of magnificent artworks. Choose from thousands of creatively done masterpieces ranging from small miniatures to larger than life monuments. Media choices include metals, stone and glass, as well as mixed materials that go together in artistic fashions.

Come and Join them for a once in a lifetime experience at one of the largest sculpture shows in America. To find out more details, please visit them here


The lost wax process is probably one of the most famous casting processes that has circulated throughout the modern art community. Aside from bronze usage it can also be used with other metals (for jewelry sculpture) or with some non-metal materials like powdered marble. The first step of the sculpting process is to fashion a 3D design out of wax. Sculptors may also mix the wax with paraffin in different amounts to adjust the hardness of the wax. This is very important because the wax needs to stay directly in place while the artist is carving it. Always keep in mind that the balance and position of every element within the sculpture could play a vital or fatal role in the durability of the finished bronze piece.

Carving sculptures in wax can be relatively easy due to the material traits of normal wax. Practice can be done in blocks or candlesticks before the actual design process takes place. This may give the artist a good feel of the material before proceeding any further.

Once the carved studies are finished in wax, a sculptor then needs to attach them to wax funnels by welding sprues (sticks also made of wax). Melting and fusing wax is easy when you have a heated metal material to join the two parts. A heated rod (with a non-heated handle) might be a good choice for doing this. Afterwards, the sculptures are always places near to the bottom of the funnel. Thick sticks of wax are joined using the heated metal rod onto the sculpture where the molten bronze will enter. Thinner sticks of wax can also be joined nearer to the top of the sculpture to form vents. An artist must take into consideration the fact of air entrapment in the negative mold to come. The reason vents are placed properly is so that the pockets of air can escape in order for the molten bronze to fill the cavity of the negative mold.

This mold that we've been talking about must be a negative side of the positive design of the wax sculpture. The wax sculpture must eventually be melted out of the mold before proceeding with the casting. Remember also that before pouring any amount of molten bronze into the mold, the mold must be heated to a suitable degree (it must never ever be cold). The artist then sets the mold onto a vertically stable position and can then proceed with pouring his molten bronze into the cavity of the mold.

Once the bronze has been allowed to cool off, the mold material can be scratched away to reveal the solid bronze interior of the sculpture. Remember the wax sticks that were used as vents? Well, in the final sculpture they are still present, now as solid bronze. The sculptor would need to clear them out with power tools and then simply finish the piece with sandblasting equipment and metal polish or an applicable patina.

Ever since our artists set out to find a more versatile way of sculpting three dimensional works, cast sculpture has grown in popularity within our modern artist circles.
Sculptors like Jane and Ed Hamilton, Doug Roper, Mark Abilgaard, Kylo Chua and Allen Eckman have recently popularized the different material types involved with this modern sculpting technique. Pieces fully cast in bronze, marble, glass and even paper are now being exhibited all across Asia, America and Europe. With an increasing trend in material deviance and unique composition. We have yet to see the main art revolution of cast sculpture movements that is fast approaching our gallery doors.
Cast sculpture is a term that refers to creating a multi-dimensional piece using the manifestation made by an accurate moulding sequence. Modeling clay is the most popular designing device used with this media and is also the first step of the process. Some artists produce wireframes to hold the clay upwards so as to provide a solid framework for the total shape. They then contour the clay as if it were the final finished piece, smoothening and edging as much as the composition needs. When the clay is in its final form, they use a moulding agent such as plaster of paris to create two halves of the negative mould. Release wax is often used to make sure both halves can be pried apart eventually. The next step would be to create a liquid mixture of your material and pour it into the mould. The wait time usually consists of several hours and can even last to an overnight period. Once the cast material inside has fully dried, measures are taken (depending on the material) to carefully pry the new sculpture out of its mould-shell. The last step would be to clean up and/or paint the finished sculpture.
Cast works are usually seen everywhere, from fine jewelry to one-of-a-kind artpieces. You just have to understand the tedious process to be able to fully grasp the worth of a particular piece of beauty.