Singapore may be a concrete jungle, but as the murals on the streets and charming heritage buildings show us in the recent years, you can find beautiful art almost everywhere in the city. Even our humble HDB flats have been catching our eye more and more lately, boasting all sorts of creative designs from pop art to Medieval-style architecture.
Sometimes a pop of colour is all you need to brighten a place up. Seven HDB flats in the Teck Whye Avenue at Choa Chu Kang estate received an colourful new coat of paint a few years ago. The HDB flats at Teck Whye Ave ditched their old do – bright vibrant colour scheme with teal accents – for eye-catching designs inspired by the famous paintings themed “Composition with Red Blue and Yellow” by Dutch artist Piet Mondrian. Last year, the facade of several HDB flats in Circuit Road at MacPherson Estate have also been painted to the designs inspired by Piet Mondrian.
Piet Mondrian was a 20th-century abstract painter from the Netherlands who is regarded as one of the greatest artists of his generation. Also known as one of the pioneers of abstract art, he was a firm believer of basic forms of beauty and hence discarded “non-essentials” in his work. “Composition with Red, Blue and Yellow” is a product of the Dutch De Stijl (The Style) movement. Many attribute Mondrian for bringing popularity to this rather obscure style.
The surface of things gives enjoyment, their interiority gives life — Piet Mondrian
(a) Mondrian inspired HDB colour scheme at Block 22, 32 & 36 Circuit Road in MacPherson estate.
Being at the site was rather dreamlike. I was virtually teleported to the 20th-century art scene which was arguably the most eventful period in the history of art. It was surreal being “close” to something which was beyond my imagination.
When back to the real world — my search for the allotted blocks made me realise it was in the midst of an old estate. However, adding blocks of primary colours could really put life back into old structures.
(b) Mondrian inspired HDB colour scheme at Balam Road, off Circuit Road in MacPherson estate.
The harmony of the contrasting colours and asymmetries can be seen as the balance of tensions and dynamic forces, as the movement seeks to explore the abstract representation of art and life.
(c) Mondrian inspired HDB colour scheme at Blocks 1 to 7 Teck Whye Avenue, in Choa Chu Kang estate.
I was in for a pleasant surprise - I found a total of three Vincent van Gogh-inspired paintings at the void deck of their Teck Whye blocks.
The second Vincent van Gogh-inspired painting.
The third Vincent van Gogh-inspired painting.
An image of the original Vincent Van Gogh's flower painting.
Since many of the oldest and prettiest buildings have been demolished these past few years, lets don't want to wait till it's too late to treasure the architectural heritage around us. Want to get not just great but unique photos of Singapore? Plan a trail to visit these super camera-ready HDB flats!