Singapore is not the first place that I would go for street hunting, my hometown Yogyakarta maybe, but not Singapore. The main reason for this is street art is actually illegal in Singapore. Well, vandalism is, and they give no mercy to those caught. For this reason, “illegal” street art is almost impossible to find.
However, you can get a license in Singapore for doing street art. Also, street artists can collaborate with building owners or receive commissioned works. This is great news for street art lovers like myself. During my recent visits to Singapore, I started seeing more and more street arts. From beautiful murals from well known artists to community projects that make neighbourhoods more lively with colours.
Here are some of the street arts that I found while walking around Singapore.
I remember walking down Haji Lane and was completely awed by the mural on the wall of Piedra Negra, a Mexican restaurant. The mural fills a huge wall in bright colours that it would be almost impossible to miss. In front of this mural, was a white wall decorated with colourful windows. Soon I was admiring the area like crazy, admiring each art I passed by.
My love for this area is not only for its bookstore and cupcake shop, but also for its murals. There seems to be everything for everyone in this area! Tiong Bahru is quite a big area and I really love getting lost in here. Walking through here in the afternoon sun definitely left me breathless but it was really worth it as I stopped a lot to admire the many “gems” I passed by.
Some of the murals at Tiong Bahru are around Tiong Bahru Market. I found two goats, which are part of Ernest Goh’s “Animal Walls” project. The goats represent the animal in Chinese zodiac (which is actually my dad’s zodiac, he gladly posed for me next to one of the goats :D). Goh used a technique called wheatpasting. Wheat paste is the glue they use to stick the art works. There are a few animal zodiacs at Tiong Bahru and I’ve yet to see them all, but I hope to soon!
Inside Tiong Bahru Market, there are also a few murals. At the centre of the market, there is a small garden where some of the murals are. You can’t miss Mike Makatron’s peacock and feather as it is really huge and super bright! The murals were commissioned as part of Singapore’s 50th anniversary and as a way to celebrate Singapore’s hawker centres. His works really does look like a celebration!
Near the market, I also spotted Yip Yew Chong‘s work titled “Bird Singing Corner“. His works are truly spectacular with amazing details that make the murals look so real.
I know that there are several murals in Little India. Not only that, Little India is also a place where you can find many shops selling flowers, fresh vegetables and fruits as wells as gorgeous facades (and not to mention all those Indian restaurants with their delightful smells, making my mouth water!). This is truly a fun place to get lost in! As I was walking towards my favourite Indian restaurant (Jaggi’s Northern Indian Cuisine, if you must know), I spotted an amazing mural at Race Course Road. The mural, called “A Ride Through Race Course Road“, is a community project organized by Jaxton Su. It’s a stunner!
I love the Kampong Bahru area for its amazing heritage houses. Surprisingly enough in this area, I could find some gorgeous murals by the one and only Yip Yew Chong. Here you will find Chong‘s first work “Amah” at Everton Road. I also saw his work “Provision Shop” at Spottiswoode Park Road. Indeed this was a treat for me!
I was not completely surprised when I spotted some art works in this area as Singapore Art Museum (SAM) is located in this area. Next to SAM, I saw really pretty seats, I guess this also counts as street art.
I was very happy when I went passed Queen Street where the wall on one side of this street is filled with many street art. I found it rather hard to take good pictures of it since there were cars and trucks parking right in front of the wall but it didn’t stop me from excitedly gawking at it.
I loved walking in this area as there were many bright buildings. I couldn’t help but noticed the abstract mural in front of the Singapore Council of Women’s Organization‘s building.
I also saw some community project murals at one of the high tower apartments. It looks like community projects are becoming popular in Singapore.
After being pleased by so many murals in this area, I ended my wandering with the mural at Bras Basah Complex. The cool mural can be found inside the complex, and I personally think it brightens up the space. Apart from that, this art piece really goes well with the theme of the complex which is of course known as a centre for books and arts.
While finding street art in Singapore was rather “organized” due to the nature of the tight rules being set out in the city, I still loved my findings. There is no doubt that the art scene is amazing in the city and there are certainly lots of talented local artists.
I can’t wait to see many more street art in Singapore!
Do you like to hunt for street art while travelling?
This week’s theme: On the Street