Experience Mexican Magnificence At Gardens By The Bay's New Display
STORY: Sim Ding En
20 August 2022
We often take for granted what we encounter on a day-to-day basis, not least the food staples we consume. We’re most familiar with rice, but many populations around the world also rely on wheat, and corn, which was domesticated by the ancient Aztecs and Mayans.
Mexico’s invaluable contributions to agronomy (the science of soil management and crop production) are one of the many things being celebrated about the country at Gardens By The Bay’s new floral display, “Hanging Gardens – Mexican Roots”, a co-operative effort between the national garden and the Embassy of Mexico as well as the Mexican community.
“The ancestors of the Mexicans were truly ingenious, because even without modern technology, they invented cross-breeding techniques that resulted in the domestication of modern corn that feeds the world today,” says Gardens By The Bay CEO Felix Loh.
“The exhibition showcases keystone elements of Mexican culture, tracing back to our roots in the ancient Mesoamerican world, one of the six cradle civilisations in humanity’s history,” adds the Ambassador of Mexico to Singapore, His Excellency Agustin García-López Loaeza.
“The legacy of the Mesoamerican world not only entails their magnificent architecture and cities, art, languages, scientific and astronomic advances, among others, but also their great agricultural knowledge, and techniques and products, which the entire world continues to benefit from in the present."
Here are some IG-worthy spots worth noting amid plants commonly seen in Mexico such as orchids, dahlias and bromeliads:
This is a particular form of Mesoamerican sculpture associated with ancient cultures such as the Aztecs and Mayans. It depicts a reclining figure with its head facing 90 degrees to its left or right. Propping itself up on its elbows, it also holds a bowl or a disk on its belly.
This is a 4.5m-tall reproduction of the well-known pyramid and UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Yucatan, eastern Mexico. On 7 July 2007, it was selected as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
In Nahuatl, the Aztec language, this is called the Maquizcoatl. The Mexica regarded serpents as multifaceted creatures of power, and associated them with regeneration and fertility. Terrifying and beautiful in equal measure, this 18m-long double-headed beast in the Flower Dome is made up of 3,000 tilandsias.
Third-generation artisan Mario Arturo Aguilar Gutierrez and his two assistants flew in from Iztacalco in Mexico City to construct this beautiful, vivid gateway on-site.
Olmec civilisation stone art is said to be carved out of a single basalt boulder. Each of these monuments could reach a height of 3m and weigh 8,000kg.
These carved stone statues are truly giants – they’re big (over 4.6m tall) and heavy (weighing several tonnes each). And if you enjoy impressing friends with long words, these giant statues can be found at the top of the Temple of - are you ready - Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli or “Dawn Lord”, a Mesoamerican god.
Wait! There's more...
Apart from the floral display, there’s also a long list of Mexican-themed activities and events (think: culinary demonstrations, craft workshops, music and dance performances, and film screenings).
“Hanging Gardens – Mexican Roots” is now on till 25 Sep 2022. More information and tickets here.
Special promotion for Flower Dome fans
Enjoy all the gorgeous displays in the Flower Dome? For a limited period only, there's a special Flower Dome-only membership at $29 that will grant you a year of unlimited visits, complimentary parking of two hours, first dibs on exclusive privileges and more. Sign up for the promo (which ends 17 Oct 2022) here.