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Art attack: 10 public street art gems to discover in Singapore from the Central Business District (CBD) to the heartlands

2 mins read

There’s more to Singapore than the towering buildings and fast-paced lifestyle that many of us are living. From gorgeous wall murals to quirky sculptures and installations, there’s beauty to be found in these visual works of arts and our little red dot is flourishing with stories that come to life through astounding street art at almost every turn. Sometimes all it takes is a look around; time to go on a little artistic treasure hunt around Singapore to find these six iconic public works of art!

1. Aliwal Street Wall Murals

Located at the side alley entrance of Aliwal Arts Centre, 28 Aliwal Street.

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In the midst of Kampong Glam's rich heritage, you'll discover some of the most modern marvels you’ll witness in the Singapore street art scene. A stone's throw from the Aliwal Arts Centre, there's a wall that's basically a neon rainbow that will always be ‘gram-worthy. This kaleidoscopic masterpiece, brought to life during the Aliwal Urban Arts Festival 2019, is a batik-inspired dazzler, created by the artistic wizardry of Singapore's very own Slacsatu.

2. All The Essentially Essential by Tan Wee Lit

Located at the lawn outside One Raffles Place.

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In this whimsical creation, Tan Wee Lit playfully pokes fun at the elusive work-life balance every Singaporean chases. Imagine a colossal toy kit filled with "must-haves" like gym bags and baby strollers, symbolising our fast-paced lives. But here's the twist: there's a gap at the bottom, daring you to step in and complete the puzzle. It's a gentle nudge that amid the daily grind, it's our dreams and vitality that truly complete the picture.

3. Bird by Fernando Botero

Located along the Singapore River by the UOB Plaza at 6 Battery Road.

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This colossal bronze artwork often gets mistaken for a pigeon, but it's really a symbol of peace, serenity, and the joy of life. Colombian artist Fernando Botero cheekily crowned himself the "Most Colombian of Colombian Artists.” and his signature 'Boterismo' style that made him a global sensation. In 2012, the International Sculpture Centre even bestowed upon him the Lifetime Achieve Award. Bird is 100% worth a second look when you’re strolling around in the CBD!

4. Singapore Deviation: Wander with Art Through the Rail Corridor

Found at various locations along the Rail Corridor (Wessex Estate and Kampong Bahru Bus Terminal).

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Singapore Deviation unravels the Rail Corridor's history through the eyes of three visionary artists: Sookoon Ang, Hilmi Johandi, and Tan Pin Pin. The once bustling track with trains connecting Singapore and Peninsular Malaysia is now transformed into a recreational wonderland. Commissioned by The Everyday Museum, this art adventure is a captivating reminder of Singapore's rich heritage and an exploration of its enigmatic future. All aboard the Singapore Deviation express!

5. 24 Hours in Singapore by Baet Yeok Kuan

Located on the front lawn of the Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM).

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24 Hours in Singapore is a sonic adventure commissioned by the Public Art Trust that melds massive stainless steel spheres with the heartbeat of the Lion City. Listen closely and you'll hear the unmistakable rhythms of Singapore, from hawker chaos to the symphony of public transport. Baet Yeok Kuan, the artist behind this fusion of sculpture and sound, turns everyday life into a masterpiece. This is definitely your sign to stop and simply take in the sounds of the city around you.

6. The Everyday Museum: Everfowl Estate

Located at 1 Everton Park.

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Everfowl Estate offers a whimsical twist on urban living, bringing a touch of sophistication to the feathered inhabitants of the neighbourhood. Modelled after the eclectic architectural mix of Everton Park, this miniature wonderland blends history and contemporary flair. Its vibrant character and feathered residents urges us to zoom out and see our urban surroundings in a new light. It's a playful nod to the diverse coexistence between humans and the feathered, in our shared public spaces.

7. Void Deck Art Gallery @ Gek Poh Ville

Located at Blocks 749 and 750, Jurong West Street 73.

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In the heartlands of Jurong West, this aesthetic void deck art gallery pays homage to the legendary Pablo Picasso and his groundbreaking Cubism style. Over 50 captivating artworks were created to celebrate Singapore's 50th anniversary, thanks to DBS Bank, Hong Kah North Community Arts and Culture Club, Social Creatives, and South West Community Development Council. Over 600 contributors, from students to teachers, crafted pieces showcasing Singapore's vibrant culture and history.

8. Can You Hear Me? by Quek Jia Qi & Aaron Lim

Located at the Lotus Pond at Bishan–Ang Mo Kio Park.

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Taking a playful cue from childhood's cup-and-string telephone, Can You Hear Me? is an irresistible call to revive a nearly forgotten art: active listening. In a world ruled by screens and pandemic-induced isolation, communities now ache for the solace found in the symphony of nature's sounds – the birds' melodies, leaves' secrets, and babbling brooks. Can You Hear Me? rekindles the lost magic of simply listening – a gateway to understanding and cherishing the world around us.

9. Our Dreams Must Continue by Teo Huey Ling

Located at Forest Rambles at Jurong Lake Gardens.

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These enigmatic forms of colourful shapes mimic dreamy bubbles emerging from the earth, injecting humour and playfully reshaping the scenery with a lively touch.Their vibrant hues seize the spotlight and invite passersby to daydream and wander in sync with nature, sparking imaginative flights. Artist Teo Huey Ling's aspiration is to infuse a burst of positivity, sweep away worries, and reignite inspiration in these transformative times.

10. n o o n (at play) by Hazel Lim & Adeline Kueh

Located at the open area behind Punggol Waterway Point.

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Drawing inspiration from the Sanskrit term "lila" (लीला), this artwork unleashes the magic of two seesaws, transforming into whimsical fulcrums that link the heavens and the earth. Embracing the palindrome "noon," it's a salute to equilibrium: day and night, labour and leisure, intellect and physique, the green world and our urban tapestry. This art piece accentuates the significance of nurturing play as a vibrant avenue for connecting with the community along the Punggol Waterway.

Find your next stop on your search for public art in Singapore

That’s just the very tip of the iceberg on the diverse artworks that can be found all around you! Whether you’re on-the-go or simply taking some time to enjoy the simple things in life, it’s worth stopping to admire these different forms of creativity that make up our vibrant arts and culture scene in Singapore.

Image Credits: Nestia, Raffles, Wikipedia, Singapore Art Museum, Ministry of Culture, Community & Youth (MCCY), The Everyday Museum, My Nice Home by HDB, Little Day Out, National Parks Board, Asian Journeys.

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