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.
Painted on Blocks 917, 923, 661, 662, 665 and 667 Hougang Avenue 4 are the Vanda Miss Joaquim, an attap house, a depiction of racial harmony and Singapore's national flag - an apt reminder of Singapore's shared culture and history.
The tree murals look very realistic.
These murals belong to a cluster of four identical blocks that are painted with symbols and pictures representative of Singapore. These include attap houses, public housing, racial harmony, Merlion and the national flag.
The rainbow block has been an iconic fixture along Hougang Avenue 7 since the early eighties. The rainbow mural in Hougang is painted on the very first flats established for farmers and fishermen living in the old kampong at kangpar - present day Punggol Park and Serangoon Secondary School. This spectacular rainbow greets anyone passing by the area, as nothing obstructs the block it is painted on; acting as a constant cheerful reminder for residents in the area.
Murals are appealing because they brighten up a previously dark or dull space and catch the people’s attention. The artists wanted the side of the building to look a little nicer for the people who walk by. In addition to attracting attention, some murals encourage viewers to stop and interact with the art.
As an art and cultural fellow for the city and the increased interest in the arts community as a whole has prompted me to explore more in this area and think more about the long-term what the public art process might look like in our city going forward. For now, I feel that the future should include more murals. I hope that artists can continue to scout more potential alley murals islandwide as part of the city's beautification bond project.
If you are interested to know more about street art, you may wish to read all my other blog posts on street art by clicking HERE to browse the compilation to-date. :)