Elephant Parade goes under Sotheby's hammer

Photo: Katie Sargent

The colourful herd of 162 baby elephants appeared in Singapore almost overnight, popping up around shopping centres, museum and gardens. The fiberglass sculptures were immediately mobbed by children and adults alike, with the most eye-catching elephants attracting a queue of happy snappers around them. Some of these very special Elephants (38) are coming for auction tonight by Sotheby's at the St Regis at an invited dinner, while the rest will be auction on Saturady at the Goodwood Park Hotel. Part of the proceeds will go to helping elephant causes.

The elephants have been "decorated" by high profile artists and designers, international celebrities and local personalities. Some artists have approached this project by transferring their usual visual language onto their elephants while others have diverged and experimented on their new ‘canvas.’

Much sought-after Filipino artist Ronald Ventura, who often incorporates skulls and skeletons in his pieces, created ‘Elephantasm,’ where part of the animal’s skeleton is on view challenging the image of a cute, chubby elephant and perhaps reminding viewers of the threats the beasts are facing.

 Korean artist Yeesookyung, who usually uses fragments of discarded ceramics to create new sculptures, has recovered her elephant with broken pieces of green celadon, covering the sealing between each fragment with 24 karat gold leaf, while Singaporean artist Victor Tan has created in his usual whimsical style a little boy made of wires riding on the back of his elephant.

Photo Katie Sargeant

Bencab's elephant

Taking the opportunity to experiment, Filipino painter Ben Cabrera, better known as BenCab, covered his elephant with drawings of human bodies and faces "to demonstrate how humans are one of the main causes of the displacement of the elephants from their natural environment.”