The street art and murals around Singapore aren’t just for vanity’s sake – they also tell the story of Singapore’s history and heritage. Here’s where to find them!
On the ground floor of this arts centre are six murals depicting historical scenes of the area.
For one, this artwork features the lobby of the old Odeon Cinema in North Bridge Road, complete with an Indian kacang putih (a Bombay snack mix) seller and posters of movies such as Malay screen legend P. Ramlee’s Patah Hati (1952) and the first Star Wars (1977).
51 Waterloo St/222 Queen St, Bras Basah, Singapore
NEXT: Jalan Besar →
Commissioned by Guinness Singapore, the artworks are loud and brash, incorporating the iconic red-tongued dog on Guinness’ label, as well as local subjects such as the red plastic chairs in kopitiams and kueh tutu.
The mural also has the words “Ang Ji Gao”, meaning “red-tongued dog” in Hokkien, a common term local Chinese men use to refer to the beverage.
254 Jalan Besar, Singapore 208927
NEXT: Joo Chiat Terrace →
This mural, featuring two children play-fighting with a paint roller and a mop dipped in paint, was done by Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic, the same artist behind the lively street art in the heritage city Georgetown, Penang!
Junction of Joo Chiat Terrace and Everitt Road, Joo Chiat, Singapore
NEXT: The Singapura Club →
Although the 15-metre high man in a turban is the most eye-catching character on the wall, the mural features other subjects, such as close-up faces of a Samsui woman as well as a Malay man. These elderly and historic characters reflect the heritage of the neighbourhood.
Mr Jerry Singh, owner of The Singapura Club, estimates that between 100 and 200 photos are taken of it every day. He also gets many queries from tourists and locals about the mural.
The Singapura Club, 26 Haji Lane, Singapore 189219
NEXT: Chinatown →
Created by 500 volunteers from accounting firm Pricewaterhouse- Coopers together with 100 Kreta Ayer residents as part of a charity initiative, this set of 13 murals draw on Chinatown’s heritage and modern-day scenes.
Blk 4 Sago Lane, Blk 5 Banda St and Blk 333 Kreta Ayer Rd
NEXT: Clarke Quay →
“The Early Days” mural (pictured), unveiled as part of the SG50 celebrations, focuses on the people working along the Singapore River, such as rickshaw pullers, merchants and labourers.
The other mural, “The Back To The Past”, features the trade activities and transportation that took place against the backdrop of Boat Quay shophouses, such as bullock carts and bumboats carrying goods.
Elgin Bridge underpass, North Bridge Rd, Clarke Quay, Singapore
NEXT: Aliwal Arts Centre →
At the back of Aliwal Arts Centre is a wall of artwork that changes every one to six months. How often the graffiti art is renewed is an organic process and depends on artists’ schedules and inspiration!
Aliwal Arts Centre, 28 Aliwal St, Singapore 199918
NEXT: Skyville@Dawson →
The murals at Skyville@Dawson by comic artist Troy Chin (pictured) have the simplicity of woodcut prints, and are themed around life in the Queenstown area from its kampung times to the present day, such as kampungs and fishing in the canal, and places that people remember in their stories and memories.
Skyville@Dawson, 86 Dawson Rd, Singapore 141086
NEXT: Tiong Bahru →
In 2014, artist Ernest Goh created three murals at the Tiong Bahru Market for the Chinese Year of the Goat.
These billy goat paintings continue his animal-inspired series – you’ll also find a goldfish near the Tiong Bahru Post Office
30 Seng Poh Rd, Singapore 168898
NEXT: Goh Loo Club →
Here, a Samsui woman “peels away” the wall to reveal a historic scene in the three-storey shophouse.
The mural works like a cross-section of a doll house. Looking in, one can see genteel, old-fashioned rooms decorated with lanterns, paintings and elaborate Chinese window screens, as well as men in long Chinese tunics and Western suits. Just like what Goh Loo Club was like in the early days when it was a place where the local Chinese community and visiting dignitaries gathered!
Goh Loo Club, 72 Club St, Singapore 069471
NEXT: 221+51 →
By Nabilah Said, The Straits Times, November 2016 / Updated September 2019
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