Art walks in Singapore: Trendy neighbourhoods are getting a facelift with vibrant Insta-worthy street art and murals

Art walks in Singapore: Trendy neighbourhoods are getting a facelift with vibrant Insta-worthy street art and murals

Picture perfect

Text: Yimin Huang

Editor: Aravin Sandran

From crime to sublime, street art in Singapore is being co-opted and commissioned to act as billboards to draw visitors

Keong Saik

Keong Saik's art deco and colonial shophouses have become hotbeds for Singapore's trendiest restaurants and bars. The street art is nothing short of intriguing as well. Commissioned by co-working space The Working Capitol, Ripple Root  the artist moniker of creative duo Liquan Liew and Estella Ng  have applied their signature nature-inspired brushstrokes on an entire street alley. Citing Henri Matisse as a major influence, their fiercely vibrant murals have become a backdrop to Urban Venture's popular street activation. "We wanted to put a fresh spin on the surrounding heritage (highlighted by the Peranakan flower motif)—this is where the classical meets the contemporary", said the duo. Be immersed in their latest mural at Clan Cafe on the ground floor of Straits Clan and enjoy Buro's very own tea menu


Kampong Glam

Kampong Glam is far from glam. Its alternative scene brings together historical and cultural sights like the Sultan Mosque and the Malay Heritage Centre with art and lifestyle destinations like the Aliwal Arts Centre, making it one of Singapore's must-visit neighbourhoods for tourists and grungey youth. From Victoria Street to the Sultan Arts Village, there is a diverse range of street art on view from Ceno2 graffiti walls to veteran muralist Yip Yew Chong's throwback ode to the community's coffee culture. After browsing multi-label boutiques and wall art at Haji Lane, recline for a cuppa or cocktail at Maison Ikkoku.


Armenian Street

The Substation, Singapore's first independent contemporary arts centre, is giving their facade a series of new looks this season. One of their new programmes for 2018, Facelift activates its facade and walls as a constantly evolving canvas. A pointed reference to the city's constant state of renewal and construction, the building will retain traces of past marks while continuing to add new interventions. The programme's latest mural revolves around the subversion of Peranakan culture: street artist Samantha Lo's puts a tongue-in-cheek twist on a classic game by incorporating the floral motifs of Peranakan tiles, while fittingly juxtaposed against the neighbouring Peranakan Museum, art collective Tell Your Children's Culture You Can Eat uses fast food iconography to question the fetishistic consumption of Peranakan culture in Singapore today. For a dose of drinks and entertainment, drop by Timbre in The Substation's open-air garden. The bar features nightly live gigs by local up-and-coming bands and visiting musicians. 


Size does matter when it comes to murals. For those looking for a little more over the top, check out the facade of Hotel Clover The Arts. Gloriously painted with a tropical scene of a waterfall amidst an elaborate display of flora and fauna, the mural takes up the entire height of the hotel, covering the front and spilling over the sides. This is one of the largest street art in the country, so get your cameras ready.


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