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.
I have always been a huge fan of well decorated street walls a.k.a. wall murals or wall graffiti so prevalent locally and overseas, and will always make it a point to appreciate the amount of hard work and dedication put in by the artists.
Having been created by the same Colombian artist (JabaOne) of the previous mural, this artwork on the facade of Piedra Negra successfully gives character to the streets of Haji Lane via its striking colours and quirky design.
Zero is the founder of RSCLS. His signature style is mask-life faces and his works revolve around street culture, pop culture and current affairs. RSCLS has a studio at Aliwal Arts Centre and members of the collective can often be found working on the walls behind the building.
TraseOne is regarded as one of the leading pioneers of the local street art movement. He started off by just scrawling his name on the streets. His approach has evolved to creating a more intellectual dialogue of his art that contains subliminal messages.
This gorgeous wall was painted by French artist, Helene Le Chatelier, who has been living in Singapore for the past 10 years.
The paintings on the wall is a mandala that the artist (Bianca Goetz) freehanded and replicated a few times across the wall. Mandalas represent many wonderful things, wholeness, a seemingly endless repetition of patterns reminding us of our relation to infinity. Mandalas are shown to us in all aspects of life, the Moon, the Sun and the Earth, the circle of life. A mandala may be a beautiful visual representation but it is much more than just that. What the artist finds most important is how much peace of mind it brings her. It creates a serene environment and reminds her to just breathe and take it all in.
Cynthia Wang's frames are “windows” from which fairies look out to gaze at the peacocks outside. Within each painting is a maiden emerging from the dark room, in varying poses, in awe of the creatures sitting idly, drunk on their own splendid beauty.
The framed artifact by Veronyka Lau is part of a performance around a ceramic artwork titled, “We have 12 years left”. The title is a 2018 headline from the Harvard Business Review, referring to the time we have left to act before the devastating impact of climate change is irreversible. How the artist has responded to the biggest crisis of our age is the creation of womb-like receptacles that represents, not life, but humanity’s last stand.
Japanese tattoo artist Sei Nishiyama does large-scale tattoos and goes by Sei10 on the walls. This will actually make a pretty stunning tattoo on someone’s skin.
Located along Muscat Street, the back lanes were converted from a dirty bin storage area to a cool outdoor gallery for art lovers.
Being constantly exposed to graffiti since his skating days, it was a natural progression for Has.J to start dabbling in it. What started as a curious exploration back 2011, grew into passionate expedition that is still ongoing till today.
Liyana Farzana is a multidisciplinary artist & designer who lives in Sunny Singapore. Her archive of work is shaped by her interest in graphic design, art direction, advertising, branding, and social media marketing. She loves experimenting with colors and consistently uses it in her work as a tool to inject a sense of energy.
Boogie in the Dark by artists Nicia Lam, Yullis Lam and Novena Angela. The vibrant artwork depicts sea creatures at an underwater disco-themed party.
Boon is a Graffiti/visual artist from Singapore who goes by the monicker ‘BAKED’. He started his exploration into the medium of spray paint in 2012, painted his first wall in ‘Meeting Of Styles’ in Kuala Lumpur in 2016, and has been painting walls around Southeast Asia ever since. He paints personalised styled letters and his Baked character, using walls as his canvas.
Slacsatu's works are influenced by the raw energy of graffiti fused with a twist of abstract flares, into which he injects the raw technical aspects of spray painting with a traditional painterly approach. The 'batik graffiti' series that he has been working on is an example of his diverse approach to the art form.
Hands and marbles by Malaysian artist Andharas. Hailing from Malaysia, Amir Andhar, who specializes in mural art painting, got his start in the art world by picking up basic techniques from his airbrush car painter father. The art piece is a throwback to our simple childhood game of playing marbles on the ground.
Liu Wen Chao's practice at present is expressing his visual and emotional observations with Singapore as a backdrop, through paint. He injects various elements from his own cultural background into his current state of being a foreigner, and weaves it into the fabrique of his painted images.
A district that blends hip modernity with old-world heritage, Kampong Gelam’s charms are self-evident to the first-time visitor — from the majesty of the Sultan Mosque to the mural-bedecked byway of Haji Lane.
A whimsical piece by multi-disciplinary artist PrettyFreakyFantasy, known for his pop culture elements in bright and bold colors. It looks like a stunning fantasy garden that has come to life. His murals and interior decoration pieces can also be seen at Blu Jaz Cafe, Piedra Negra, and Funq.
Liao JunHui is an artist who primarily uses oil paints in his practice. He is inspired by cinema and thus draws heavily on the characters depicted in movies in his current practice.
The above is done by Bridget Tay who is a Singaporean artist and was a recipient of The LASALLE Scholarship in 2013. Her current practices uses painting and clichés as her jump start to whatever interests her in the moment. Her painting is a foray into how she can develop a body of visual dictionary that is interlinked to music as a language.
Wow, looking at all these wall murals really makes me wish I had a talent. Art lovers should really drop by the back alleys of Muscat Street. So next time you’re bored over the weekend and have nothing to do, check out the one and only outdoor gallery in Singapore! I can assure you that you’ll definitely get quite a number of IG-worthy shots.
Check out my street art collection in Singapore for more, or see where else in the world I’ve found amazing street art !