At Home in the Garden ; Zadok Ben-David Sows a Natural Habitat with His Sculptures

By Jessop, Sonia Kolesnikov | International Herald Tribune, October 23, 2012 | Go to article overview

At Home in the Garden ; Zadok Ben-David Sows a Natural Habitat with His Sculptures


Jessop, Sonia Kolesnikov, International Herald Tribune


The work of the sculptor Zadok Ben-David is being installed throughout the lush grounds of the Singapore Botanic Gardens.

The lush grounds of Singapore's renowned Botanic Gardens have "sprouted" some extremely large flowers and trees.

The works of the sculptor Zadok Ben-David, a poetic intertwining of human forms and nature, are being installed as part of Sotheby's first exhibition in Asia of outdoor sculptures for sale, and they already look right at home amid the vegetation here.

Sotheby's has been staging exhibitions of monumental sculpture at Isleworth in Florida since 2003 and on the grounds of Chatsworth House in Derbyshire since 2006 but while these exhibitions have usually showcased a multitude of artists, only a few have been solo shows, such as the exhibition this year of Barry Flanagan's work at Chatsworth.

"A solo exhibition tells more of a story, otherwise you have disconnected pieces that create impressions," said Alexander Platon, Sotheby's head of private sales in Europe, who organizes the Chatsworth sculpture exhibition every year and was in Singapore to oversee the installations.

Mr. Ben-David already has a few of his large installations on display in Singapore, including one at the entrance to the Jacob Ballas Children's Garden, which is part of the Singapore Botanic Gardens, and for this Singapore exhibition the London-based Yemeni sculptor has created 12 new site-specific sculptures to be displayed and offered for sale along with five more works.

Although the exhibition doesn't officially open until the end of October, 15 of the 17 sculptures are already installed and can be seen now, though they will not have their final weathered look until closer to the opening.

"What I love about Zadok's sculptures is that they have the ability to disappear and reappear in the landscape. You don't get tired of them," Mr. Platon said while walking around the garden, adding, "These pieces are perfectly integrated to the natural landscape and look like they could have been here for a long time. They make a statement, but they're not overwhelming and I think that it's important they don't interrupt the natural beauty. They add to it, embellish it."

Mr. Platon said Sotheby's selected Mr. Ben-David because his sculptures were already well-known in Asia: "We've had an amazing response for his works in the region. It's an aesthetic that matches the Asian sensibility, and he is collected in the region and in Singapore, in particular."

Born in the Yemen and educated in Israel, Mr. …

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At Home in the Garden ; Zadok Ben-David Sows a Natural Habitat with His Sculptures
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