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Where to Find the Best Street Art in Singapore

Want to know where to find the best street art in Singapore? Well, you've come to the right place! I only spent two days in Singapore but I was gobsmacked by the diversity of street art I came across. It's interesting how sometimes we have preconceived ideas of places. I wholeheartedly expect to find street art in certain cities but Singapore? Nope. In my mind, Singapore was too clean and orderly to allow any sort of graffiti ruin its image. Guess what? I was so wrong. During my short time in Singapore, I discovered (quite haphazardly) a thriving street art scene beyond anything I could've imagined. I know I missed a whole bunch of spots but I still managed to see a lot of street art. That's only because most of the popular street art can be found in two very touristy areas, namely Little India and Kampong Glam, not because I did any sort of research, haha.

This medium of creative self-expression is relatively new in Singapore. Street artists (mostly taggers) started to emerge in the 1990's when it was still illegal in Singapore. It took almost a decade for street art to finally become legal. The first authorized Mural was unveiled around 2002 at a skatepark and since then a whole slew of talented artists have cropped up. As you'll see, the street art in Singapore is vibrant, fresh and as diverse as its people.

Are you ready to get started on this virtual art walk through Singapore? Let's go!

[email protected]

This mystical mural by TraseOne, recognized as a pioneer in the street art movement in Singapore, is named [email protected]. It references the busy junction of Clive Street & Dunlop Street where it's located. The use of several electrifying primary colors certainly make this beautiful Indian dancer come to life! I just love her finely-detailed headpiece. It's impressive what a talented artist like TraseOne can create by simply using spray paint cans. Kudos to him!

Location: 104 Dunlop Street, Little India

Where to Find the Best Street Art in Singapore

I Am Still Here

A telling mural by award-winning Singaporean artist known as Dyn, I Am Still Here features a woman wearing a traditional dupatta (headscarf). What stands out as unusual is the camouflage print on her dupatta. This contrast in styles is meant to showcase both the enduring traditions and ever-changing landscape of Little India. 

Location: Dickson Road between Clive Street & Perak Road, Little India

Traditional Trades of Little India

As the name suggests, this stunning mural by local artist Psyfool portrays the traditional trades of local Indians living in the Serangoon area, otherwise known as Little India. Among the trades commonly practiced are garland-making (used as offerings in temples), a parrot astrologer as well as the ubiquitous street-snack seller and dhobis (men and women washing laundry). This is one of my favorite murals in Singapore!

Location: 8 Belilios Lane, Little India

Where to Find the Best Street Art in Singapore

Where to Find the Best Street Art in Singapore

Layers

Local artist, Shah Rizzal, is the creative mind behind this amazing mural entitled Layers. His quirky yet thought-provoking rendition of Little India conveys his belief in preserving the architecture that genuinely reflects this historically-rich neighborhood in lieu of urban development. 

Location: 240 Serangoon Road, Little India

Festival

This fun mural is most certainly fitting of its name! Festival by LASALLE College of the Arts graduate, Izzad Radzali Shah, is a sort of illustrative storybook based on his interactions and engagement with the residents of Little India. Each symbol and character depict elements that are an integral part of this historical neighborhood.

Location: 1 Hindoo Road, Little India


Tekka Three

Back in 2015 , the Tekka Centre was chosen as part of a project in collaboration with Australia to underline its 50-year diplomatic relations with Singapore. Tekka Three is another work by TraseOne; this time he was joined by Australian-born artist, Regan Tamanui (aka HA-HA). Both participated in these various art works adorning the columns of the Tekka Centre. Two methods, spray painting and stenciling, were used to create these vibrant images. The Indian dancers were done by TraseOne using his signature spray paint technique and all the stencil work was done by HA-HA. 

Location: 665 Buffalo Road, Little India

Where to Find the Best Street Art in Singapore

Madan Mogra: Jasmine of the City

This beautiful climbing jasmine branch is the work of Singapore-based artist, Nadiah Alsagoff. Entitled Madan Mogra: Jasmine of the City, it's a tribute to the thousands of migrants who flock to Singapore to work. The jasmine symbolizes their hardships, the longing for a better life for their families and the endless sacrifices they make to achieve it.

Location: Chander Road (alleyway between shophouse 48 & 50), Little India

Where to Find the Best Street Art in Singapore

Kathaka

Famed Colombian street artist and graffiti connoisseur, Didier Mathieu, who works under the moniker "JABA", is the creative mind behind Kathaka. JABA was inspired by Kathak, an ancient classical dance which originated in Northern India. The choice of vivid colors used throughout the mural perfectly illustrate the graceful movements of Kathak. Each detail of this masterpiece is incredible rendering the dancers incredibly charismatic!

Location: 68 Serangoon Road/Upper Dickson Road, Little India

Where to Find the Best Street Art in Singapore

Where to Find the Best Street Art in Singapore

Book-A-Meeting

Right across the street from Kathaka is a whimsical mural entitled Book-A-Meeting, by Eunice Lim, a Singaporean visual artist. She created this mural as an homage to the 30-year-old bookstore, Siyamala, located along the same wall. Eunice's vision of how traditions and heritage are passed on through books perfectly comes to life. I have to say that I found this mural very amusing: the rack of CD's and the peeping cow brought back fond memories of my time in India

Location: 82 Serangoon Road, Little India

Where to Find the Best Street Art in Singapore

Nalla is the owner of the 30-year-old Siyamala Bookstore

Where to Find the Best Street Art in Singapore

Loops of the Precious

Loops of the Precious is a touching tribute to the artist's,  Priyageetha d/o Diayalan, late-grandfather. I can't say it any better than her:

"The dying trade of traditional Indian goldsmiths is fading away into oblivion. This trade was once embodied by my late-grandfather, whom I've only envisioned through the tales recounted by my grandmother and the jewellery crafted by him - one of which is a classic pair of loop earrings made for my mother".

  Location: 92 Serangoon Road, Little India

Where to Find the Best Street Art in Singapore

Daily Delivery

Another jaw-dropping mural by Colombian-born street artist, Didier "JABA" Mathieu, Daily Delivery illustrates the juxtaposition of modern and traditional that make up Little India. This telling mural features a traditional tiffin (meals in stacked metal containers) delivery man caught amidst hovering vehicles.  

Location: 212 Serangoon Road, Little India

Where to Find the Best Street Art in Singapore

Cattleland

The artist behind Book-a-Meeting, Eunice Lim, strikes again, this time with a piece entitled Cattleland. This candy-colored mural features a group of cattle covered in traditional Indian patterns. According to the residents, this street used to be a hub for cattle-trading; hence the name of the road Kerbau, meaning 'buffalo' in Malay. Eunice used this as inspiration to create Cattleland, a heart-warming tribute to the street's history.  

Location: Kerbau Road (Little India MRT Station, Exit E), Little India

Where to Find the Best Street Art in Singapore

Project Oasis

Project Oasis was an initiative taken by shopkeepers in Little India to enliven the neighborhood in order to attract more visitors to this area. This fun, interactive art installation showcases a group of vividly-painted cows and elephants scattered on two separate empty lots. The choice to feature cows and elephants was based on the belief that these animals are considered highly sacred by Hindus.   

Location: Corner Clive Street & Hindoo Road, Little India

Where to Find the Best Street Art in Singapore

Where to Find the Best Street Art in Singapore

A Sailor's Guide to Little India

Singaporean multidisciplinary artist, A'shua Imran, dedicated this imaginary map of Little India to the different cultures that reside harmoniously in this neighborhood. He envisioned Singapore's first migrants arriving on the island and using various landmarks of different origins to link them together to create one common district. [UPDATE: This mural has been removed]

Location: 2 Veerasamy Road, Little India

Where to Find the Best Street Art in Singapore

Planting the Seeds

This incredibly cute mural was created by influential Thai artist Alex Face (Patcharapol Tangruen). He's known worldwide for his signature bunny-like characters inspired by his own daughter named Mardi. What makes this mural genuinely Singaporean is that both of these adorable characters are dressed in traditional Peranakan clothing. You can find the mural on the back wall of Art Porters art gallery.

Location: 64 Spottiswoode Park Road (back wall), Blair Plain

Beam of Light

This simple yet fun Beam of Light wall art is right next to the back entrance of the aforementioned Art Porters art gallery. The cat and the dragonfly were inadvertently added on by local artist extraordinaire, Yip Yew Chong (coming up next). 

Location: 64 Spottiswoode Park Road (back wall), Blair Plain 

Where to Find the Best Street Art in Singapore

The following murals are by local artist Yip Yew Chong colloquially known as YC. This very talented accountant-turned-street-artist specializes in creating heritage artworks that can be found all over Singapore. I only came across these three during my short time in Singapore but I suggest you check out all the locations on his website. I really, really like YC's unique artistic style. His lifelike murals truly exude his affection for his home country and his fond memories of a Singapore forever changed.

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Provision Shop

First up is Provision Shop (comprised of the next two images), commissioned by the owner of the house on which the mural is painted. This mural pays tribute to the shops of yesteryear that were abundant at a time when Singapore was much less urbanized. One could buy all types of sundries, snacks, dried food items and even freshly-sawed ice. The Sin Chew (meaning Singapore in Cantonese) Soy Sauce print on the bamboo blind is a throwback to the house owner's Chinese heritage.

Location: 8 Spottiswoode Park Road (corner Everton Road), Blair Plain

Where to Find the Best Street Art in Singapore

Where to Find the Best Street Art in Singapore

A bean curd and soya milk street vendor from yesteryear (part of the Provision Shop mural)

Amah

Amah (housemaid) was YC's very first mural which he painted in 2015. This endearing mural depicts the rich Peranakan culture that presides throughout Singapore even to this day. Peranakan is the term used to describe the people of mixed Chinese/Malay heritage who live in Singapore and in neighboring Malaysia. As is customary with YC's work,  Amah recalls bygone days of a more traditional Singapore when handmade batik clothing, washing laundry in a tin tub and chickens roaming on the sidewalk were still part of everyday life. 

Location: 6 Everton Road, Blair Plain

Where to Find the Best Street Art in Singapore

Where to Find the Best Street Art in Singapore

Nowadays, you won't find any chickens on the streets of Singapore!

Letter Writer

Letter Writer is yet another heart-warming mural by Yip Yew Chong (YC). Letter writers played an important role back in the day when Chinese migrants started flocking to Singapore. They would help homesick migrants write letters to loved ones left behind in China. As this practice became obsolete, letter writers then used their skills to write calligraphy commonly hung in ancestral altars during Chinese New Year. 

Location: 336 Smith Street, Chinatown

Where to Find the Best Street Art in Singapore

Textiles

Located in Kampong Glam, the historical Muslim quarter of Singapore, Textiles is meant to represent the many fabric shops on and around Arab Street. The talent behind this large mural is Yok and Sheryo, an Australian/Singaporean visual arts duo based in New York.

Location: 36 Haji Lane (alleyway), Kampong Glam

Where to Find the Best Street Art in Singapore

Untitled (?)

Sorry, I couldn't find any title for this artwork. This older mural recalls magical Arabian nights with a young, mystical woman at the forefront, as illustrated by Singaporean graffiti art crew ZNC (Zinc Nite Crew). You can find it right next to the one mentioned above.

Location: 36 Haji Lane (alleyway), Kampong Glam

Where to Find the Best Street Art in Singapore

Blu Jaz Cafe/Punjaby Dawat

Colombian-born/Belgian street artist extraordinaire, Didier "JABA" Mathieu, strikes again with this insanely colorful mural commissioned by the owner of the Blu Jaz Cafe. Other whimsical artworks can be found on the walls of the Blu Jaz Cafe, the Punjaby Dawat eatery and Juice Clinic which all share the same alley.

Location: 9 & 11 Bali Lane, Kampong Glam

Where to Find the Best Street Art in Singapore

Funq & Juice Clinic

The facades of these side-by-side bars/eateries are both plastered with fantastically funky, psychedelic neon artwork by multi-disciplinary local artist PrettyFreakyFantasy. From mannequin body parts jutting out of pillars to a David Bowie circa-Ziggy Stardust painting, it's all pretty freaky!

Location: 21 & 23 Haji Lane, Kampong Glam



This post first appeared on Life Untraveled, please read the originial post: here

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Where to Find the Best Street Art in Singapore

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