Singapore Airlines (SIA) today launched The Upcycling Project, through which the Airline will provide parts and materials from retired commercial aircraft to various Singapore-based organisations and selected global retail brands. These parts can be upcycled and repurposed to create unique retail products and art pieces, and will also be used to support educational institutions, artists, and persons with disabilities.
The first initiative under The Upcycling Project will be a competition organised by SIA and Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), that aims to promote awareness about design and upcycling among tertiary and pre-tertiary students in Singapore. Aircraft parts and materials will also be donated to several educational institutions, which they can use as learning materials for art or design courses. Further information can be found in Annexe A.
SIA has also appointed two Singapore-based brand and product consultants, Edwin Low1 , Founder of Supermama, and Adriana Lim Escaño2 , Chief Executive Officer of Abry. They will work with SIA to source for local and global retail brands that are keen to repurpose aircraft parts and materials into products such as bags, furniture, fashion apparels and accessories, and service ware. More information on the sale of the finished products will be announced closer to their launch dates.
Local art consultant Jazz Chong3 , who helms the Ode To Art gallery, will work with SIA to select Singapore-based artists and sculptors who will create unique art pieces using the upcycled materials. To date, four prominent artists and sculptors have been selected. Their completed art pieces will be sold exclusively at Ode To Art. Further information of the selected artists and sculptors can be found in Annexe B.
SIA will also work with SG Enable, an agency dedicated to supporting persons with disabilities, in their i’mable Collective initiative. Aircraft parts and materials will be provided to the i’mable Collective’s makers such as Singapore Fashion Runway and SPD. People with disabilities can fashion them into gifts and products for sale via the makers’ platforms, with the proceeds going directly to the makers.
Mr Yeoh Phee Teik, Senior Vice President Customer Experience, Singapore Airlines, said: “The Upcycling Project is a unique opportunity to repurpose parts and materials from older retired aircraft, and find a new use for them. There was a lot of interest when we first broached the concept, and we are happy to be able to support a wide range of communities through this initiative. Our customers and fans will also have a rare opportunity to own exceptional art pieces, as well as the exclusive items that our retail partners will create.”
Professor Chong Tow Chong, SUTD’s President, said: “SUTD is pleased to partner with SIA on this meaningful upcycling project and competition. Through the upcycling design competition, we hope to inspire the next generation of designers and innovators to create novel products from exclusive materials and spread the idea of upcycling among the community. In addition to the competition, SUTD has devoted an entire term studio led by the Architecture and Sustainable Design faculty to creating new products from upcycled aircraft parts. This is in line with SUTD’s vision to create a better world by design.”
Mr Edwin Low, Founder of Supermama, said: “As a local designer and retailer, I am really excited to be appointed as a consultant for The Upcycling Project. I believe we have some of the most creative minds and talents in Singapore, and I cannot wait to work with Singapore Airlines and the local brands to see what magic can be made from different aircraft parts and materials.”
Ms Adriana Lim Escaño, Chief Executive Officer, Abry, said: “The retail industry is very competitive, particularly with everyone trying to survive amid the Covid-19 pandemic. This collaboration turns that ‘you versus me’ mentality into ‘we’, by gathering global brands and local designers to work together and breathe new life into aircraft parts. With more participation, there are more possibilities for exciting designs, greater sustainability, and a sense of hope in what we can create together.”
Ms Jazz Chong, Owner of Ode To Art, said: “Ode To Art is happy to be part of this exciting upcycling project as we partner Singapore Airlines and local artists to create a new, dynamic art environment for the strong collector base in Singapore.”
Ms Ku Geok Boon, Chief Executive Officer, SG Enable said, “We would like to thank SIA for their support and partnership, which dates back to 2018. This includes featuring the artworks by persons with disabilities on the airline’s amenity kits, and promoting their crafts and products on KrisShop.com. We are excited by this meaningful endeavour that emphasises the values that are close to our hearts – disability inclusion and sustainability. Our makers are delighted with the opportunity to create unique gifts from the materials provided by SIA, and to be a part of this milestone project.”
1 Local designer, educator and entrepreneur Edwin Low is the Founder and creative mind behind Supermama.
2 Celebrated local entrepreneur Adriana Lim Escaño is the Founder of Abry, a fashion and lifestyle distributor for global brands in Singapore. Through innovative retail platforms, Abry seeks to inspire hope, nurture local talent, and benefit the community.
3 Singaporean Jazz Chong started Ode To Art to share her passion for art, and also to create a platform for art lovers to be immersed in contemporary art.
Partnership with Educational Institutions
SIA will donate aircraft parts and materials to Singapore-based educational institutions such as Institute of Technical Education, LASALLE College of the Arts, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Singapore Management University, and SUTD. These can be used as learning materials for their art or design courses, providing an opportunity for students to gain greater knowledge about the aviation industry.
SUTD X SIA Upcycling Challenge 2021/2022
SIA and SUTD are jointly organising a competition which will run from September 2021 to April 2022, to promote awareness about design and upcycling among tertiary and pre-tertiary students in Singapore. They will be challenged to think out of the box, and repurpose aircraft parts and materials into items such as lifestyle and home products, furniture, clothing, and more. Selected products may also be sold by The Upcycling Project’s retail partners. Details of the competition will be announced by SUTD on 6 September 2021.
Local Artists and Sculptors
To date, with the help of local art consultant Jazz Chong, SIA has selected four prominent artists and sculptors to create unique art pieces using aircraft parts and materials.
Baet Yeok Kuan is a master contemporary artist and sculptor who presents highly personal interpretations of objects in nature beginning from the realistic to abstract. His works include the 24 Hours at Asian Civilisations Museum and Bird of Flight at Changi Airport Terminal 3.
Kumari Nahappan is a prominent artist in Southeast Asia. She has forged a reputation for effectively reconciling the language of “international contemporary art” with her own vocabulary and has developed a visual identity that is decisively shaped by her cultural roots and beliefs. Kumari is celebrated for her iconic sculptures in landmark locations across Singapore including Saga at Changi Airport and Nutmeg & Mace at ION Orchard.
Sun Yu-Li is one of Singapore’s leading artists, known for his sculptures such as Abundance III at Suntec City and Land Before Time at Paragon Shopping Centre. His sculptures have been described as “sculptures of the mind” and his style “an expression of abstract thought based on metaphysical principles”. Although in simple shapes and forms, there is always a deeper meaning behind his works.
Yeo Chee Kiong is an award-winning professional contemporary sculptor and installation artist who is known for his uniquely playful juxtapositions on spatial perspectives. His works include In the Eye of the Red Dot at National Museum of Singapore, created for SG50, and The Wind and Wings at Nanyang Technological University, commissioned for the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in 2010.