Singaporean tribute orchid blooms at Expo 2020


Journalism student Sara Hameed explores the Singaporean pavilion at EXPO 2020.

By Sara Hameed

SHARJAH – The Aranda Lee Kuan Yew, an orchid hybrid created in tribute to Singapore’s founding father Lee Kuan Yew, is showcased at the Expo’s Singapore pavilion.

Located in the Flower Cone, the area highlights the country’s successful attempts at orchid hybridisation and conservation. One example is the “Cymbidium finlaysonianum” orchid, which was rescued from the brink of extinction.

Filmmaker Brian Gothong Tan created the two-part video that plays in the City Cone. According to the pavilion’s website, the plot discusses industrialisation, and resulting “challenges” the natural world had to endure. 

Meanwhile, the fog system and ground pond create a natural humidity in the Rainforest Cone, making it a suitable microclimate for the multi-layered ferns. At the center of the cone is a Dipterocarp tree-inspired kinetic structure. The fruit of Dipterocarp trees are typically one or two-winged seeds that spin to the ground during fruiting season in Southeast Asian rainforests.

The Singapore pavilion is powered by 517 solar panels. Saline groundwater is drawn on-site and desalinated in a reverse osmosis process, creating a closed-loop water system. The resulting water is used in irrigation and misting throughout the pavilion.