Hotel = Art museum/ gallery?? 

​Ritz Carlton’s Art Galore

Dressed in the smartest and crispiest set of uniform we have, the medical response force has been deployed today at Singapore’s Ritz Carlton to ensure the security of an international medical conference.

Upon arriving to this 6 stars hotel, grand works of art greeted us, serving as a backdrop for this luxurious hotel. Sculptures 3 metres tall, paintings 2 metres wide, intricate ornaments work hand in hand with the limestone floor and water features to exute this sense of opulence.

It is my first time at an event of such scale and nature, where a military function is held in a civilian setting.

I knew it was going to be a good break from the mundane and repetitive work we do back in camp and it was going to be an eye opener for us as we see and participate in the inner workings of an international military conference.

My friend and I were in charge of the doors for the conference hall. In that short 1 hour, we saw many foreign military delgates. Each of them, don on a unique set of uniform, indicating their powerful ranks. It was an event charged with power and authority. It is interesting as we observe how the designs of their uniforms differed but served its purpose in presenting these Mdms and Sirs as smart and sharp looking individuals.

As we walked around the place, I can’t help but notice the many works of art on display.

Ritz Carlton boasts a total of 4,200 works of art. At every turn, and at every aisle, there is always an eye catching piece of work within sight.

One of the centre pieces in Ritz Carlton was Frank Stella’s ‘Cornucopia’. Suspended in midair, with natural light cascading in from above, its collossal size coupled with its locomotive form, appeared intriguing at every angle.

There were so many other heavy-weighted artists like Henry Moore, David Hockney, John Rose, Dale Chihuly and more.

So with a galore of artworks in a luxury hotel like Ritz Carlton, there is certainly a strong link between affluence and art. Is art emblematic of wealth or is it something so valuable and profound that it goes beyond the opulent?

Are these works of art placed in an artfully manner, does it have the same breathability they get in the gallery or are they just there as ornaments and decorations? The service and entertainment centred-ness of hotels seemed to obscure the significance of these artworks in my opinion. Ironically, when art is placed in a location like a hotel, the hustle and bustle of human activities causes artworks to lose their audience. The artwork, appear to me, to serve no more than adding to the hotel’s interior aesthetic.

(But perhaps, its probably due to the fact that 90% of the works were commissioned specifically for the hotel.) So then this opens up even more questions, of whether commissioned works for hotels, can they attain the same level of profoundness?

Well, the meaning and value of art have always been elusive and they only reveal themselves to those who seek it. I got a brochure for the artworks from the concierge and I now have a synopsis for some of the major artworks around the hotel. They even have a podcast for it!


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