Some of the most beautiful art in Singapore can be found in the most unexpected of places—think an alley at Chinatown and an underpass at Robertson Quay. Singapore-based artists have revitalised the streets with murals that capture the history of the surrounding neighbourhoods, or showcase their own signature art styles and motifs. The Tatler team uncovers some of the more recent works

Yip Yew Chong

Self-taught artist Yip Yew Chong’s latest work is an epic three-storey mural (2021) on Temple Street featuring an outsize depiction of an uncle pouring tea from the third storey. An homage to olden day Chinatown, the massive piece also presents nostalgic scenes and elements such as an open-air marketplace, an old-school envelope (featuring Yip’s sign off), a traditional coffee shop and a vintage letter box.

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Studio Moonchild

Artist duo Studio Moonchild’s The Journey: Child of Many Cultures (2021), a reflective representation of growing up in a multicultural society, is one of the 17 works featured on Kampong Glam’s graffiti Hall of Fame—a 5-metre-high, 240-metre-long sound barrier that stretches from Ophir Road to Bali Lane.

Zero

Graffiti and street artist Zero’s Kampong Gelam: A State of Mind (2021), another artwork on the aforementioned Hall of Fame, depicts his impression of a person’s state of mind while roaming the area.

Dem

Graphic designer and urban artist Dem’s The Journey (2021), also located on the Hall of Fame, is a tribute to the various communities in Kampong Glam, including its resident pigeons.

Ripple Root

From the Belly of the Carp (2022), a mural at the Clemenceau Underpass by artists Estella Ng and Liew Liquan of Ripple Root, pays tribute to the history of Robertson Quay, which transformed from a trading hub in the 1800s to the gastronomic destination of today.

Slac Satu

Tiger Year (2022), a 14-metre-long psychedelic marvel tucked away in the Sultan Arts Village and located adjacent to Singapore’s first physical graffiti store, The Blackbook Studio, is a beautiful showcase of the signature abstract spray painting of its creator, studio owner Slac Satu, one of the pioneering graffiti artists in Singapore.

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Didier “Jaba” Mathieu

A larger-than-life mural (2021) by street artist Didier “Jaba” Mathieu on Aliwal Street, inducted by Cuturi Gallery, depicts Singapore’s maritime past.

Sam Lo

Urban artist Sam Lo’s Businessman’s Lovebird is one half of her two-part mural Diptych: A Tale of Two Worlds (2022), which takes pride of place on the facade of Coliwoo Hotel Amber on Amber Road and depicts the lost love between two lovebirds.

Tobyato

Commissioned by 8M Real Estate in collaboration with online art gallery The Artling, this mural at Tanjong Pagar, completed just this year by artist Toby Tan, aka Tobyato, tells the heroic tale of Hang Nadim, who protected the villagers of the area, which was once a fishing village, from a swordfish attack using stems from banana trees.

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Spaz, TraseOne, Has.J, Kristal Melson and Slac Satu

Reality in Construction, a participative outdoor mural on an outer wall of the Aliwal Arts Centre in Kampong Glam, features works by Spaz and TraseOne from urban collective RSCLS, Has.J, Kristal Melson and Slac Satu that present their perceived realities of the pandemic. This redefinition of the centre’s outer walls was part of the inaugural AliWall Festival this January, which was themed to “The Dreamer” and showcased the contrasting worlds of fantasy and reality.

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