Written in Soap: A Plinth Project Unveiled in Cavendish Square

Written in Soap: A Plinth Project is a new public art commission by Korean artist Meekyoung Shin on display in Cavendish Square in central London for one year from 24 July 2012. The artwork recreates in (Lush) soap the original equestrian statue of the Duke of Cumberland that sat on a plinth in the square from 1770 to 1868 and was removed in the nineteenth century due to widespread disapproval of his actions at war – where he gained the charming nickname of ‘Butcher’. The new commission will make use of the Cavendish Square plinth for the first time in 144 years and bring focus to the passage of time as the sculpture weathers through the four seasons that follow.
As the sculpture erodes due to the effects or the weather, specifically rain and snow, the scented soap will disintegrate and release a perfumed aroma. The details of the statue will soften and fade over time symbolising the mutable meanings we attached to public monuments and, in a wider sense, to all aspects of history.
Meekyoung Shin has exhibited internationally and is renowned for recreating replica versions of antiquities in household soap. Initially trained in Korea in a classical tradition of European sculpture, the artist subsequently moved to London where she became drawn to the many objects removed from their place of origin and placed in vitrines and on plinths in museums and other art institutions to act as representatives of other cultures. She began to make copies of the artifacts in soap, an everyday material that has a close resemblance to marble when moulded but disintegrates as it weathers rapidly, mirroring the effects over generations of time on the original and ancient sculptures created in seemingly more durable materials.
Soap for Written in Soap is donated by LUSH, and is 100% vegetarian, formulated from a palm-free soap base. The project has received additional support from Haunch of Venison.
Written in Soap: A Plinth Project
24 July 2012 – 30 June 2013
Cavendish Square

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Beauty test drive: The decadent Charme De’ Orient Hammam ritual at Remede Spa

No spa ritual is quite as decadent as a a Hammam experience, a bathing ritual that hails from the Middle East.
At the Remède Spa at The St Regis Singapore, water is the main element that binds its facilities, treatments and even design. Step into the spa and you’ll immediately notice the blues, silvers and crystals that symbolise water in all its forms.
Checking in early into the spa is mandatory to best enjoy all of its wet facilities. Begin with a dip in the outdoor or indoor hydro pool, before relaxing on a heated slab. Our chosen treatment today is the deep-cleansing 90-minute Black Soap and Rassoul Hammam ritual, which uses organic products from French luxury beauty brand Charme dÓrient.
Your treatment then begins in the Eucalyptus steam chambers, which are divided into three temperatures for different preferences. Here, you’ll be asked to sit for five minutes to allow for improved circulation within skin. The therapist will then apply an olive and eucalyptus black soap all over your body before you spend another five minutes in the steam chambers to soften skin and maximise the absorption of the soap’s nutrients.

Next continues the rest of ritual. You’ll proceed into the Vichy Suite, where you’ll lie on a large and heated marble slab. The therapist then massages you with a traditional Kassa glove to rid your skin of dead skin cells from top to toe. The Vichy shower, which comes with a row of shower heads, is then placed over your body, to give your skin an invigorating rinse.

The highlight of the treatment is the Rassoul Hammam ritual, where the Rassoul mud, a clay found and extracted only at the edge of the Moroccan Atlas and combined with essential oils, is applied onto skin to further draw out impurities and moisturise skin. Your face and scalp will then be massaged with argan oil to complete the relaxation ritual. Relaxation will now easily take over as you find yourself slowly drifting away.

With your body and soul cleansed, the treatment ends with another thorough rinse and a pour of floral water to keep you in the state of relaxation. Bliss.
Remède Spa at The St. Regis Singapore, 29 Tanglin Road, Singapore 247911
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