It's fashionable nowadays for luxury hotels to hang expensive artworks on their walls. While visually pleasant, most are of a decorative nature with little true artistic merit. Sometimes, the hotel will have one piece by a well-known artist on which they can build their art credibility (and publicity materials), but there is little beyond that one work.
In Singapore, several hotels have caught on the trends in recent years, but few have brought it to the level of the St. Regis. Large sculptures by Li Chen, Botero and Anthony Poon are placed near the entrance, setting the tone. Walk in the lobby and you will find pieces by Georgette Chen (photo left) who is one of my favourites from the 'first-generation' Singaporean artists, Chen Wen Hsi, Lee Man Fong (only recently hung) and Cheng Soo Pieng. Pity all these works by first-generation artists are not gathered together in a single room, but dispersed throughout the lobby where they can be easily missed.
The hotel also has several sculptures by Rosa Serra, a Spanish sculptor best known for her Olympic Suite, which was commissioned by the International Olympic Committee and depicts every Olympic sport. Serra was in town for a week-long event celebrating Spain, and the hotel organized a small art talk and tour with her, which I attended. It’s always interesting to hear about an artist;'s thoughts and work processes. Instead of working from a specific photograph, she spends hours studying film footage and stills of athletes in movement and then comes up with a simplified movement which manages to rightly capture physical tension.