Sentosa wraps up Golden Jubilee with a ‘Giant’ bang – Thomas Dambo’s recycled art installation unveiled in Southeast Asia for the first time

  • The hidden family of giants, Explorers of Sentosa, are adorned with upcycled accessories crafted by local volunteers
  • Approximately 5.5 tonnes of reclaimed wood materials donated by local enterprises used in the construction

Explorers of Sentosa - Dreamer DeeExplorers of Sentosa – Dreamer Dee. Image credit: Sentosa Development Corporation

Little Lyn, Reef the Chief, Curious Sue, Dreamer Dee – collectively known as Explorers of Sentosa, have landed on the shores of Palawan Beach in Sentosa! Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC) officially launched the installation, comprising a family of four giant sculptures created by internationally renowned Copenhagen-based recycling artist Thomas Dambo, to conclude the island’s Golden Jubilee with an experience centred on sustainability – a strategic imperative at SDC.

Joining Thomas’ other sculptures located around the world in Australia, Denmark, France, Germany, China, South Korea, Chile and the United States, the Explorers of Sentosa cleverly combines storytelling and upcycling of sustainable materials to articulate the message of circularity. Breathing new life into trash, the newest exhibit revolves around an allegorical fairytale of how the man-made Eternity Material can disrupt our natural environment.

Each requiring approximately 700 hours to build, the sculptures have been constructed with reclaimed wood materials, such as pallets and floorboards, donated by local enterprises. Collectively, they weigh almost 5.5 tonnes – approximately the weight of three passenger cars.

Not-for-profit organisation and volunteers work together to create upcycled plastic art

Sentosa upcycled plastic art

From flowers to animals, the sculptures have also been accessorised with artwork upcycled from discarded plastic waste sourced on Sentosa and other parts of Singapore. The eye-catching art was created by local volunteers and not-for-profit organisation The RICE Company Limited (TRCL).

Discovering more about the Explorers of Sentosa with “breadcrumbs”

With the help of an interactive online treasure trail map, visitors can join the search for the Explorers of Sentosa, an experiential mixed-media installation, by first discovering “breadcrumbs”, which contain codes to unravel clues that would lead them to the sculptures.

“Having hidden four upcycled giants in Southeast Asia for the first time, I hope the exhibits will bring both magic and meaning to the adventurer in all of us. Trash does carry value – it can be repurposed, reused and transformed, so I truly encourage people to think before they throw,” explained Thomas.

“Our collaboration with Thomas Dambo reflects Sentosa’s desire to bring meaningful sustainable experiences within the unique context of our island. Through the Explorers of Sentosa, we invite guests to explore the hidden side of Sentosa and learn about how the waste we collectively generate can impact the natural areas around us,” said Ms Thien Kwee Eng, Chief Executive Officer, SDC.

The sculptures will be situated along Palawan Beach till 2024 and access to the installations is free throughout the year.

Sculpture A: Curious Sue

Explorers of Sentosa - Curious Sue.Explorers of Sentosa – Curious Sue. Image credit: Sentosa Development Corporation

As the youngest of the giants, Curious Sue has adventure in her heart and joyfully searches for hidden treasures in the sand – a cargo container being one of the biggest she’s found so far, a representation of the marine litter that can come from both the cargo ships seen from Sentosa and from us as island visitors. Sue reminds us to be more conscious of our consumption and to keep the beaches beautiful and clean.

Sculpture B: Dreamer Dee

Explorers of Sentosa Giant - Dreamer DeeExplorers of Sentosa Giant – Dreamer Dee. Image credit: Sentosa Development Corporation

Dreamer Dee is a lover of nature – that’s why he surrounds himself with it! He is an optimist, ever hopeful for a sustainable future preserved by tourists today. Dee inspires us to think about the potential of what is waste today and to be mindful of what we leave behind.

Sculpture C: Reef the Chief

Explorers of Sentosa Palawan Beach - Reef the ChiefExplorers of Sentosa Palawan Beach – Reef the Chief. Image credit: Sentosa Development Corporation

Reef the Chief leads the other Explorers. He is a craftsman who takes plastic trash and recycles it into beautiful treasures. As recycling uses less energy and produces less pollution, Reef encourages us to be more aware of our carbon footprint and reduce it one small step at a time.

Sculpture D: Little Lyn

Explorers of Sentosa - Little LynExplorers of Sentosa – Little Lyn. Image credit: Sentosa Development Corporation

The rich resources of nature are what Little Lyn forages and eats for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Lyn nudges us to pause and appreciate the thriving biodiversity that can be found all around us, as it serves as a reminder of how important it is to preserve the delicate ecosystem of nature.

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