Street Art is a form of art, specifically visual art, developed in public spaces, that is, "in the streets", though the term usually refers to unsanctioned art, as opposed to government sponsored initiatives. The term can include traditional graffiti artwork, sculpture, stencil graffiti, sticker art and street poster art, video projection, art intervention, guerrilla art and street installations. Typically, the term 'street art' is used to distinguish contemporary public-space artwork from territorial graffiti, vandalism and corporate art.
Artists have challenged art by situating it in non-art contexts. ‘Street’ artists do not aspire to change the definition of an artwork, but rather to question the existing environment with its own language. They attempt to have their work communicate with everyday people about socially relevant themes in ways that are informed by esthetic values without being imprisoned by them.
There is one such place in Singapore that you can find better graffiti work as it seems legal or maybe the people at this area are more tolerant and feel that the chaos rather complement the kind of businesses and atmosphere there. It creates a narrow escape for graffiti artists to express themselves freely and this place is none other than Haji Lane.
The popular Blue Jazz cafe at Haji Lane integrated the artwork as part of its shop's decor.
Many street artist have earned international attention for their work and have shown their works in museums or galleries as well as on the street. It is also not uncommon for street artists to achieve commercial success doing graphics for other companies or starting their own merchandising lines. Other street artists have transitioned away from street art to traditional gallery and museum exhibitions.
The first thing i saw was this colourful wall mural depicting Indians of South / Central America. The whole shophouse was coated but the street was quite narow for me to move backwards to take a wider shot.
Another part of the wall mural, a nice colourful headgear that looked like a chameleon.
Haji Lane has become an attraction of its own, with its youthful exterior and trendy shops, a place where many young people and tourists visit. Hopefully, with this, more of such art can be seen in Singapore, allowing our local artists to express themselves and share their talents.
Besides Haji Lane, alongside the wall of The Substation at Armenian Street (near Capitol Building), the single road lane that leads out of the carpark behind the local, lies a wall of street art most folks outside of Singapore might not get to see. Here are some snaps, although I would be the first to admit, taking photographs does not justify fully the experience of seeing them in person. If you visit Singapore, maybe take some time off to visit this spot, for a slice of life veering off the clean streets you will find in this Nation.
Singapore has another own share of graffiti art, at *SCAPE Youth Park, a park located in the middle of Singapore’s busiest shopping Orchard Road district. The idea of the park itself came six years ago after some artists here lamented on the lack of walls for them to practise their art without risking getting caught.
Indeed, the street graffiti artscene in Singapore has come a long way since first emerging some 30 years ago.
These are the only few areas in Singapore that are designated for street graffiti art and invitations have to be extended to artists before they can paint.
Artists have been taking a more pragmatic approach by practicing their art in places like *SCAPE Youth Park where they can use the grounds, skateboard ramps and two purpose-built walls for their art. Although some street art purists may scoff at the idea of “legal” walls, artists here say it provides a bigger canvas to work with as well as more time to mull over their work, they don’t have to paint in the cover of night any more. Some of the artists would want to do works on a larger scale, legal walls is definitely a must have. Having them won’t dilute anything (the spirit of street graffiti art) if it comes within from the heart.
People must understand that they are artists and if they can find a stream of projects and venues for their creative artwork, then that is just all what they would want to have at the end of day. Over the years, more national institutions, schools, companies and brands are beginning to embrace this art form. Urban street art is firmly part of our visual culture and should be celebrated and encouraged. Surely there is room in urban modern environments, i.e. Singapore for such real creativity. :-)
A freelance Singapore-based travel photographer / photojournalist. I seek the extraordinary, but finds beauty in the everyday. Life is interesting, capture it.
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