Asia’s contemporary sculpture parks: 20 gardens, 13 countries



Discover some of Asia’s public parks and gardens that house contemporary artwork by top local artists.

With over fifty sculpture parks and gardens in the Asian region, there are bound to be one or two in the country or city you are visiting next. From Japan to Israel, we take a look at twenty parks that focus on work by contemporary Asian sculptors.

One of approximately forty works in the Desert Sculpture Park, in the Negev, Israel.

Whether you fancy a desert hike while on vacation or a lunch-break stroll away from the city centre, there is plenty of interesting outdoor art to discover in Asia. Our list below is sorted alphabetically by country, starting with Brunei and ending in Turkey. To read more about each location, click on the park name.

Brunei

ASEAN Square in Persiaran Damuan - Damuan Recreational Park, Darussalam, Brunei – opened 1986

Shows sculptures by artists from each of the original six ASEAN member countries: Brunei, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines. As it states on the park’s website, “The sculptures which have as their theme ‘Harmony in Diversity’, symbolise ASEAN solidarity and the aspirations of its member countries, which include love, peace, freedom and mutual respect.”

China

Pan He Sculpture Park - Guangzhou, China – opened  2008

The Pan He Sculpture Park is home to over sixty pieces by Chinese realist sculptor Pan He, a professor at the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Art. Most of Pan’s work deals with the social and political life of the country.

'The Helmsman' by Pan He reputed to be 'The Michaelangelo of China', as seen in Pan He Sculpture Garden, Guangzhou, China. Image courtesy Leona Craig Gallery.

Yin Jichang Sculpture Park - Guangzhou, China – opened 2006

Contains work by prominent Chinese artists and features monuments commemorating Guangzhou as the “City of Five Rams” where, according to legend, five celestial creatures riding on rams arrived with rice stems which they presented to locals as a blessing from the heavens.

Hong Kong

Tung Chung Artwalk - Tung Chung, Hong Kong – opened 2000

Established by the Hong Kong Housing Authority at Yat Tung Estate, 26 sculptures have been installed over the years in order to create an aesthetic environment for walkers and promote public art in housing estates.

India

Dhanraj Bhagat Sculpture Park - Chandigarh, India – established in 2010

The park shows sculptures by renowned Indian sculptor Padmashri Dhanraj Bhagat after whom the sculpture garden is named.

The Nek Chand Rock Garden - Chandigarh, India – opened 1976

A garden full of thousands of ‘rock sculptures’ by Nek Chand, a former government roads inspector who started building the works in secret on government land in 1968. The garden was closed and vandalised repeatedly until the founder gained permission and financial support in 1976 to keep it open.

Indonesia

NuArt Sculpture park - West Java, Indonesia – opened 2000

Built on three hectares, this park is dedicated to the career of Indonesian sculptor Nyoman Nuarta.

Israel

Desert Sculpture Park - Mitzpe Ramon, Negev Desert, Israel – opened  1963

On the site of the former town rubbish heap, in 1963, Israeli artist Ezra Orion invited fellow Israeli and a few international artists to create large-scale works along the rim of the Mitzpe Crater, the largest known karst erosion cirque in the world. The park is navigable only by 4×4.

Open Museums Sculpture Gardens - Galilee and Negev regions, Israel – opened 2006

The three sculpture gardens listed below are managed by Open Museums in the Galilee and Negev regions in Israel, located in the Tefen, Tel-Hai and Omer Industrial Parks. Designed by Stef Wertheimer, the gardens work to ensure that an equilibrium between the industrial park centre and periphery is maintained. The gardens opened in 2006.

 

'Birds/Negotiation' by Ahmad Canaan, a Palestinian artist whose work is shown at Omer Open Museum, Beersheba, Israel.

Japan

Moerenuma Park – Sapporo, Japan – opened 2004

Designed by sculpture Isamu Noguchi as a park to be “considered as one complete sculpture”. Nine main sculptural facilities are built on the site of a former waste treatment plant.

Isamu Noguchi Garden Museum – Takamatsu, Japan – opened 1985

Isamu Noguchi’s work space was built into an exhibition space as an extension of the museum of the same name in New York. The museum contains 150 sculptures by this renowned Japanese-American artist and landscape architect.

Lebanon

Anachar Basbous Open Air Museum - Rachana, Lebanon – opened 1981

Established by the Basbous brothers, three sculptors who committed themselves to “transforming the Rachana into an outdoor museum of sculpture”.

Singapore

Fort Canning Hill: ASEAN Sculpture - Fort Canning Hill, Singapore –  opened 1982

Designed with primary school students in mind, although all ages are welcome, Singapore History Consultants have devised Sculpture Walks. These tours combine history and art through engagement with the sculptures around Fort Canning Hill Park. (Click on the link above to learn more.) The area has undergone numerous transformations over its history, from the former site of the Malay ruling class in the seventeenth century to its current status as a national park.

Napoleon Abueva's 'Fredesvinda' at the Fort Canning Hill Park, represents a symbol of regional cooperation.

Sengkang Sculpture Park - Sengkang New Town, Singapore

This blog takes the reader on a visual tour of a park filled with sculpture, encouraging visitors to interact as well as view the works in Sengkang, in the north-east part of Singapore.

South Korea

Lee Il-Ho and Baemikkumi Sculpture Park – Modo Island, Seoul, Korea – established 1990s

Surrealist sculptor Lee Il-Ho’s work is featured here, made famous in Kim Ki-duk’s 2006 film, ‘Sigan [Time]‘.

Che Ju [Jeju] Sculpture Park - Che Ju [Jeju], Korea – opened 1987

Showing Jang Kong-Ik’s “dolhareubang” [stone grandfathers]. These are exchanged between Jeju and sister cities all over the world as a gesture of friendship.

Taiwan

New Era Sculpture Park – Puli, Taiwan – opened 1986

The New Era Sculpture Park is home to the work of local sculptor Lin Yuan, who adopted the art form as a retiree in his late sixties, as well as internationally acclaimed artist Yang Yu-yu.

New Era Sculpture Park features work by international artists as well as stone carvings by Lin Yuan.

Ju Ming Museum - New Taipei City, Taiwan – opened 1999

Approximately 25 acres are devoted to over a thousand works by sculptor Ju Ming as well as pieces by Andy Warhol, Joan Miro and Pablo Picasso.

Thailand

Benjasiri Park – Bangkok, Thailand – opened 1992

Built to commemorate the sixtieth birthday of Queen Sirikit of Thailand, this 11.6 acre park contains twelve sculptures by Thai artists, situated around an ornamental lake.

Turkey

Aspat Castle Sculpture Park and Cultural Centre - Bodrum, Turkey – opening soon.

Sixty artworks created over the past ten years by Turkish and international artists will be installed as part of a new sculpture park and cultural centre in this resort town.

This list of contemporary sculpture parks in Asia is not meant to be a comprehensive tally. Instead, we have selected parks that focus primarily on contemporary art created by Asian artists or work that falls within the broader Asian context.

Did we miss your favourite sculpture park? If we have, we encourage you to name and/or link to it in the comments below. We will consider your suggestion and may even add it to this list!

KF/KN/HH

Related Topics: sculpture in Asia, public art, site-specific art, street art

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