Kampong Glam is one of my favourite places in Singapore to hang out. I used to shop around this area and spent many times walking up and down these streets, so I will always be fond of it. I love that it’s one of the first places that street art became hip. But even if I’m on a repeat visit, there’s still a whole lot to experience in the neighbourhood.
Kampong Glam is known to be unique for being a place that history and modernity are able to thrive together. It's also home to tons of cultural spots and quaint little cafes and bars. It’s pretty much a common sight to see an old and traditional shop right next to a trendy and quirky boutique. The whole area gives voice to local artists, both established and previously unknown, and to renew tourists’ interests in Singaporean arts scene.
But what really makes Kampong Glam stand out are its beautiful IG-worthy graffiti-filled walls. So beautiful that they are now Singapore’s very first outdoor gallery — Gelam Gallery, which is testament to this artistic diversity. Gelam Gallery, which features stunning imagery and paintings done by art professionals as well as graduates from local art educational institutions, is located in the back alleys of the streets of Kampong Glam. I've previously done some street art photodocumentary at Haji Lane and the other side of Kampong Glam which you can click on the links to reminisce.
Singapore has some amazing street art, scattered in various neighbourhoods, painted by incredibly talented artists. Among them, Mr Yip Yew Chong is the one of the popular artists who draws the original scenery of Singapore in its early days with a warm touch. He has been inventing new ways of utilising our shared space to communicate, provoke, and interact, which is what made this a vibrant and engaging place to live. Most of his artwork are murals telling a story about the very place they are located in. All his murals are site specific, but these are more literally so. They are centered on the social practice of using art to create social interaction, in which people reflect on the history, current state, and better potential, of the very space they find themselves in. There’s no better ways to record stories from our pioneer generation than to put them into painting. What’s more we have lifelike murals.
At Blk 683C Woodlands Ave 6 near MRT Admiralty Station, the empty void deck has been transformed into a whimsical world with three zones by Mr Yip. It is divided into three zones featuring nostalgic murals of the farmland and kampung, nature murals and futuristic city murals. The murals resonate with people in a nostalgic way. I feel that Mr Yip did an amazing job. I also think that his artwork itself has the capacity to engage people in conversation and to look at landscapes and physical environments differently. I hope the community will appreciate it and feel that it's their space.
Wall Murals of The Four Great Beauties of Ancient China in Singapore Simei estate 狮城邻里四美区集合中国古代四大美人的壁画
Some of Singapore’s ubiquitous HDB blocks have been jazzed up with interesting designs and murals, but this particular endeavour is quite unusual. I found these eye-catching wall paintings which recall different periods of Chinese history for residents of Simei estate. The word "Simei" means "four beauties" in Chinese. Indeed, when mentioning Simei, one tends to think of the Four Great Beauties: Xi Shi, Diao Chan, Yang Guifei, and Wang Zhaojun - legendary characters in Chinese classical literature.
According to local archives, the government had planned to name four roads in the estate as “Guifei Road”, “Diaochan Road”, “Xishi Road” and “Zhaojun Road”. Unfortunately these names are quite the tongue-twister for non-Chinese residents, and so they later settled for Simei Street 1, 2, and so on. Even though the authorities eventually did not name the roads here after the four beauties, you can find murals of them at the HDB void decks in Simei. Look beyond the beauty, the murals of the four beauties sitting at Simei HDB void decks have certainly altered the void decks scene by injecting this area with a little more culture and history.
我最近在本地染上了追 “壁画风”，到许多邻里社区拍摄祖屋底下的壁画。今天我就来到了东部的四美区，而且很意外地发现当年新加坡建成新镇 “四美”，是为了纪念中国古代四大美女的：西施、貂蝉、贵妃、昭君，各有不凡的气质。据说，在新加坡发展初期，确实是以四大美人的美人芳名命名街道的，更有温柔余韵，而且还能凸显社区的不同魅力。但对于不懂中文的人，实在过于拗口。于是，政府便依序以四美一街至四街重新命名，也就是：四美一街、四美二街、四美三街、四美四街等。在“组屋”底层，分别绘制了这四大美人的壁画。每幅壁画绘着美人半身像。贵妃把盏醉酒、貂婵月下焚香、昭君怀抱琵琶、西施纤手浣纱，画面栩栩如生，人物身份一目了然，别有韵味。
I’ve been noticing some murals springing up in the city in recent months, even our humble HDB flats have been catching my eyes more. There are plenty of unique, compelling HDB blocks in Singapore which are painted in vibrant colours or feature giant murals on their walls, boasting all sorts of creative designs from abstract art to pop art. Their bright splashes of colour brightening up the once-grey walls, they never fail to perk me up! Singapore may be a concrete jungle, but as the murals on the streets and charming heritage buildings show us, you can find beautiful art almost everywhere in the city. Since many of the oldest and prettiest buildings have been demolished these past few years, it is time to start paying more attention and appreciate wall murals as a community. I don't wish to wait till it's too late to treasure the colourful murals around us.
The HDB void decks in Serangoon Central were given a fresh, colourful coat of paint. That’s the dose of nostalgia these murals offer. Many of those murals harken back to Singapore’s simple kampong days as a fishing village, while you’ll can also find a lively mix of everything from Sir Stamford Raffles to our modern buildings in the area. They are great examples of meaningful and impactful ground-up initiatives and the final product is a new appealing space that many residents, both young and old, treasure and are proud of.
Still think public housing blocks in Singapore are boring? I hope you'll change your mind after you get to the end of this article.
Art has traditionally been used as a medium of expression but conversations have often been restricted within the four walls of a gallery, catering only to a niche audience. However, arts and culture are not confined to just galleries and museums in Singapore anymore – they come alive on the void deck walls of many an HDB estate. Public art took on a life of its own, breaking down walls of confined spaces and spilling out to the heartlands, making the art experience accessible to all.
More murals – or rather, art pieces – were done up at another void deck in the West side of Singapore. Non-profit group Social Creatives transformed a portion of the void decks of Blocks 749 and 750 Jurong West St 73 into a ‘Picasso’ community art gallery. The gallery pays homage to spanish artist Pablo Picasso and his famous Cubism style by creating a more intimate relationship between the artists and the community through collaboration. This is also to encourage local residents to know more about the art history and embrace the arts culture of their city.
There is another thing I would say is perhaps not unique but certainly as a whole Picasso brand it is unique. There are so many stories, myths and legends surround Picasso brand that it’s hard to know which are true and which are partly true. This is what made him memorable and his name shareable to wider audience outside art connoisseurs and art collectors.
Today, Pop Art is one of the most instantly recognisable forms of art. The influence and mark of pop art artists can be seen in almost every aspect of our modern society. At first glance, Pop Art might seem to glorify popular culture by elevating soup cans, comic strips and hamburgers to the status of fine art on the walls of museums. Pop Art focused on mass production, celebrity and the expanding industries of advertising, TV, radio and print media. Ultimately, it shaped a completely new cultural identity in the field of art and design. The art movement aims to elevate popular culture to the level of fine art, thus blurring the lines between high and low arts.
Campbell’s Soup, Marilyn Monroe, Coca-Cola and words like ‘whaam’ are some examples of Pop Art. If they aren’t enough of an indication, you can spot a Pop artwork pretty easily as they are bright and bold in colour. But while easily recognisable, artists such as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein exhibited their own, unique style.
There is a pop art gallery in Singapore created by Social Creatives, which you do not need to pay any entry fee to visit, and that is located at Block 8 Holland Avenue, a HDB property in Queenstown estate. I was pretty excited about the exploration because I love bold pop art and just about any image inspired by it. The conclusion of the visit was that I found it so fascinating. Basically the paintings are spoofs of renowned pop art artists such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Keith Haring added in with certain Singapore elements. The artists gave the artwork there a uniquely singaporean twist, so don’t be surprised to see words like “aiyoo” and “sedap” too. There are a few reasons why i personally like Pop Art which are elaborated as you browse the collection of photos below. See if you agree.
Step Into The World of Vincent Van Gogh at the Void Deck Art Gallery in Singapore MacPherson HDB estates
There are places in Singapore not many are aware of which has a good showcase of artworks – and I am not talking about galleries or museums, but your very own housing estates. For people who live in HDB would think that their public housing block look rather dull and lifeless. Standard practice on some buildings is to leave the first floor open, except for the structural elements. This area is called the "void deck".
In a void deck in MacPherson, you’ll find that the walls are painted in Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh’s signature yellow and blue, with reproductions of his famous artworks such as Sunflowers and Starry Night. Arts charity group Social Creatives calls it a “void deck art gallery”, said to be the first of its kind here.
You do not need to buy an air ticket to fly to Amsterdam to visit the Van Gogh Musuem to find artistic inspiration. Instead, take a stroll through one of Singapore’s heartlands at Macpherson HDB estates, to enjoy the colourful art gallery without visiting to any museum. It's so nice to see art and colour on what would otherwise have been ordinary plain walls. It's also a nice way to educate the public about art and show them some of the masterpieces of the great painters like Van Gogh.
Confession: I am quite obsessed with finding street art. I have a love for public art. Murals and street art are always a fun thing to photograph. It’s something I do in every city that has street art. Any travel day that I end up photographing multiple murals marks a truly successful day of travel photography, in my opinion.
In the past decade, there has been a surge in popularity of one particular type of art in Singapore, the mural. Murals improve the urban landscape around them and create a sense of community through shared visual experience. Much like the flowers, trees, and plants maintained throughout the city, murals provide a splash of color in parts of town dominated by brick, concrete, or limestone. It is no wonder that murals have become popular and they will continue to provide color downtown and throughout the city.
In between the sleek skyscrapers of our Housing Development Blocks (“HDB”), creativity blossoms on the walls of housing estates, in quiet alleyways, and within bustling neighborhoods, bringing with it a flutter of radiant energy and charm. I explored the whole of Hougang HDB town to hunt down as many artworks as humanly possible so that I could break down the works of art by neighborhood. I realised that they are a great addition to our sense of place and offer ‘belonging’ for the residents staying in Hougang, as well as for the arts community.
Here are some of the cool and creative designs I saw along the way, from edgy graffiti to retro scenes. I think the photos in this collection have done a pretty good job of photographing murals with some good results. I hope it helps you chart out your own course to see these sights up close.
10 years ago, I hit PUBLISH and my life changed. Today I am celebrating my 10th year blog anniversary, i.e. blogiversary and I am feeling a bit emotional. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the world, I am not able to celebrate this special milestone with an overseas trip. Instead, I decided to virtually connect and reflect on what it means to have dreams and values which they continue to shape my path.
I cannot believe how much I have learned in the last 10 years (and I know everyone says that but it is soooo true). I started this journey with such limited knowledge and only a dream. I set goals for myself that I thought were lofting and have met a few. If I told you all the late nights and hard work that goes into writing this blog, then I think you would agree that it is time to pop the cork on the chilling champagne in the fridge. It has been a W I L D 10 years.
I started painting for relaxation a few years ago and in the recent months I found that I most liked painting hats. I love colors, and I love seeing what's going to come out on the canvas. These paintings were done with acrylic paint on 16” x 18” canvases. Each brings a different level of emotion to the painting. None of them look the same except for one pair of paintings (you'll know what I mean when you browse the collection). It's like they take on their own personality, and I begin to outline and sketch. It seems like the colors come to me and it's like dancing on the canvas.
As a kid, i was always fascinated over hats. Ladies in England and Wales wear hats of all kinds, colours, and styles. And it seemed always one of the ladies would try to outdo the others by wearing the biggest hat at a fashion event or in an congregation. I was always enthralled by the sight of women wearing over-the-top, colorful and sometimes sequined hats. Hats have always been a complementary part of a woman's attire. It's just a very beautiful, colorful expression of one's self. Real-life people and movie scences would inspire the majority of my featured works as well.
If you’ve seen the movie "Titanic", you’ve seen the beautiful hats of the time. They had the wide brim and were large and covered the face. One of the hats I loved in the movie had a touch of lace stitched lightly over the crown as though the lace was blown by the wind onto the hat. Kate Winslet was stunning in her navy straw as she reluctantly embarked on her bittersweet fateful journey.
看似简单的创作办法，背后并不简单。因为这只是一种方法。但艺术创作一定不可缺少这三步：首先，艺术是表达思想的，美术创作也一定要有一个中心思想，这跟写作文一样；其次，收集素材，要想办法把与你的思想有关的图像和素材画出来或者找出来；最后是组合，把这些图像素材按照一定的艺术规律拼起来，主题图像突出点，其他图像做辅助。我的作品就完成了。为了激励其他的初学者，我在个人IG社交媒体@jenniferteopaints 也贴出了用自己所说方法创作的几幅戴着礼帽的女性的油画，自已的家也因此成了一个小型“画廊”。 这大概是我出于对欧洲国家的仰慕和对印象画的喜爱，也感觉是个学习帽子的机会。
Everything has a shape, right? But what exactly is a shape? Shape is a flat area surrounded by edges or an outline. Artists use all kinds of shapes. Geometric shapes are precise and regular, like squares, rectangles, and triangles. They are often found in human-made things, like building and machines.
Have you ever wondered how artists actually create art? Once they've chosen a subject matter, gathered their supplies, and picked up a paintbrush for the first time - what happens next? Sometimes starting with a simple circle or square or other geometric shape - is the answer.
The shape of things is something we tend to take for granted. Reproducing exactly what is in front of us is fine if all we are after is a likeness, but to extract more from our subject and to make the painting say more, we can modify and rearrange shapes to amplify what we see.
Ever since discovering this inspirational style, I knew I wanted to adapt it a bit. It is fun and kind of high-energy, but the contrast for each geometric painting is a little too much for me. So my foray into painting reminded me why I love painting so much (as much i love travel photography and journaling). I love the imperfect lines and painterly brush strokes and the varied shades of the same few tones. I am a human being after all, not a machine. I allow some humanity to enter into my straight lines and geometric shapes and l discovered that geometry is actually a human value. Precisionism is a philosophy, not an equation.
Do you enjoy geometric coloring pages, rather than having to color in something concrete and formal? If you said yes, I am right there with you.
When many people think of adult coloring books, they think of pictures of flowers, or whales, or mandalas, or inspirational quotes in fancy fonts. But as it turns out, geometric coloring books are actually one of the my most favoruite kinds of coloring books out there. Geometric Coloring Books are coloring books that have geometric patterns of all shapes and sizes. They are the ultimate in meditative coloring.
The thing I love about this Geometric colouring book is that it has 25 unique designs with different degrees of difficulty. This book is perfect for experimenting with colors & explore different color techniques and so create different shades. With these coloring pages, I was able to color however I liked, & made into a truly unique coloring design. I had total creative freedom.
Ever since I was a little girl, Geometric Coloring Sheets have held a special place for me in my coloring time. Even to this day, as an adult, I love to sit down and just color sometimes. On top of the enjoyment simple coloring brings it also develops a vital skill for geometry studies. This is the skill of visualizing a problem. The Celtic art is extra special for this reason, as all of the art at some point 'weaves'. The strands of different colors start to go over and under each other. If a child can learn what is happening, and follow it, they are fine-tuning their spatial sense.
Scroll down to see what I have done for a wonderland of geometric shapes and designs. Color with Fuzzy! Enjoy.
Flip through of what I’ve completed in my geometric art colouring book (size: 8.26" x 11.41" ) !
I have been painting circles because I love circles. Love the serendipity of them. I shared a story on my circle painting journey previously, but if you have missed it and now have a moment, go check it out HERE.
Well, I do love polka dots, spheres, and most any roundish pattern I find (or make), as you might know. And painted circles can be done in a couple of thousand different ways. There is no end to a circle, and I don’t imagine there is any end to the many ways you can vary them. Think about this simple pattern, how it could be varied ad infinitum (forevermore). You can vary this particular pattern in size and color combinations, right? Or you could make it neater, or even messier. You could fill a wall with circles, or a little post-it-note. Thinking about it makes me want to paint all day, every day. Painted circles ad infinitum.
This is a new series I'm currently working on, exploring new techniques and styles in circle art. I have been experimenting a lot with abstract painting. I love painting abstracts in so many ways, and each time I dive in I learn new stuff. New stuff about myself, new stuff about color combinations I enjoy, new stuff about art. I want to share it here, and will try to take more photos of these paintings soon. I have been painting, but not photographing the paintings much. My camera has been resting a lot this year. Too much really due to the current pandemic situation, I can’t travel overseas for the time being. It's actually a rare opportunity to be able to work from home and spend more time at home nowadays to do more things that i enjoy doing, be it painting, journalling, reading, blogging etc.
As such, I've named all of the paintings in this new series that correlate to the term "VITALITY", which has a few definitions such as: the state of being strong and active, the power of enduring and the capability to live and develop. I hope all of you are keeping well at home during this pandemic period, be safe and continue to be connected in the virtual world.
My Photo Essay on Tokyo's Mini Bookstore Morioka Shoten《东京银座森冈书店，每周只卖一本书的书店》Press Publication Dated 30 March 2020
A positive start to a new week! My photo essay under pen name 蓝天游 on Tokyo's mini bookstore Morioka Shoten located in prime Ginza district《东京银座森冈书店，每周只卖一本书的书店》is published today! Special thanks to Lianhe Zaobao, you have made my day! Thank U so much 感谢 感恩. There may be a deferment of travel plans currently due to the global pandemic situation but i do not stop writing about my past travel stories. I hope everyone stay healthy and safe always!
The shape of the hot air balloon is something I am drawn to. I can’t help wanting to draw and paint it. There is so much to love about their generous curves. Like an upside down pear. I love the way they let the air fill them up so completely, no reserved hidden corners
I always like to see hot air balloons. It is just the sort of extraordinary sight in an ordinary day that makes me happy to be alive. Even in the most routine tasks there is the odd touch of whimsy to be found. It makes you breathe a little deeper and a smile a little more. Up in the quiet expanse of blue under a glorious colourful bulb. Staring at those bright generous shapes in the sky you can feel the sense of freedom. Freedom is a state of mind.
Even though I am not a huge fan of heights, there is something a little magical about a hot air balloon. They seem to have an energy of anticipation about them that is so inspiring. For it does take some energy to fill that balloon and get it air bound. All the heat and drama required to lift that balloon is a fascinating contrast to all the peaceful, silent floating.
So true to life. There will be moments of heat and fire. Passion and drama. But there will also be moments of ease and serenity. Perhaps one is not possible without the other. I’m not sure what the collective noun is for hot air balloons, or if indeed there is one. But for me there is only one word that describes them en masse. To see a sky filled with hot air balloons, what else could you call them but a celebration?