The Thinker, Singapore

I invent nothing, I rediscover.
~Auguste Rodin

On my last visa run to Singapore, I found myself with time to kill and so, as I usually do, I explored the island city on foot. It’s hot work and always incredibly humid in Singapore – albeit mercifully free of pollution – and I was quickly sweating buckets. To get some respite from the heat, I entered one of the typical modern office buildings – located across from Marina Bay – and there in front of me was Rodin’s famous sculpture, The Thinker.

The Thinker

Singapore is known for the tight control of its citizens, of course, and the statue seemed very much out of place. The Thinker? But that’s exactly what the Singapore government doesn’t want its citizens to do – to actually think. Adding to the irony is the fact that the Thinker is completely starkers whilst Singapore is known for its socially conservative mores – until only fairly recently oral sex between heterosexual couples was actually considered a crime – and homosexuality still is illegal.

Yes, you can construct an ultra modern city and pay homage to great western artists and thinkers. But that doesn't mean you are free to think your mind. And I’m sure Rodin would agree with that!


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