Early life on the Singapore River was an innocent time, and while that time is now lost in the towering buildings and busy lifestyles of the modern-day city, the “People of the River” series of statues that line the water are a reminder of those carefree days. While there is a whole series of life-sized people doing everyday things, none evoke that feeling of uncomplicated living as the “Bronze Bathers.”
The now bustling city was once a modest river settlement, and playing with Singapore’s open museum concept, local artists created the “People of the River” to create a window into the city’s history. Located in the Boat Quay, which back in the 1860s handled three-quarters of the shipping service, the bathers seem to elicit joy in all who see them.
Five gleaming, life-sized chestnut-colored boys, naked as can be, are in different stages of leaping into the water. One throws his arms up as he falls through the air, another pushes his friend who is either to scared to jump or blocking the route. One boy sits on the ledge, contemplating his jump, and the fifth has just noticed the fun, and is climbing the fence to get in on the action.
This piece, as well as the rest of the river people, can be found along the water of the Singapore River in the Boat Quay, positioned behind the Maybank Building and the Fullerton Hotel. A camera is suggested; it’s hard to resist silly or inappropriate photos when surrounded by nude life-sized statues.
Know Before You Go
Take the MRT to Raffles Place Station (EW14/NS26) and walk towards Fullerton Hotel and Maybank Building. The sculptures can be found behind these buildings along the Singapore River.