“Mother and Child”, cast in bronze in 1980 is one of two sculptures of the same name sculpted by Dr. Ng Eng Teng. The sculpture makes use of the mother and child motif, common in Singaporean art and is associated with the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA). The sculpture explores humanistic themes of emotional attraction and kinship. In particular, Ng emphasized his view that maternal care and nurturing were essential to the growth of individuals and society, symbolized by the safely cradled child.
Ng’s artistic abilities were spotted by pioneering art educator Georgette Chen at NAFA, who thought that Ng’s affinity for creating sculptures was a talent Singapore was desperately missing. In 1962, Chen directed Ng to study in The Potteries in Stoke-on-Trent, England.
Ng continued to study and work in the British Isles until 1966. Steeped in the concepts of the British Arts and Crafts movement, Ng’s idiosyncratic, biomorphic sculptures began to sprout across the newly-independent Singapore.
The other “Mother and Child” sculpture, cast in 1996, now stands in front of the National Gallery of Singapore. The older sculpture has stood on the same site since its casting and has come to define the older stretch of Orchard Road.
Know Before You Go
The sculpture is situated outside Orchard Parade Hotel, near the intersection of Tanglin Road, Orchard Road, and Orange Grove Road.