There’s a common misconception that Singapore doesn’t have much of an art scene. In fact, often times, Singapore is noted for being nothing short of a concrete jungle. However, this can’t be further from the truth. In recent years, the art scene in Singapore has evolved to become much more prominent and introspective thanks to the artists that have dedicated their time and talent to keep the creativity buzzing in certain areas of the city. With the use of mural art, these artists have turned the ordinary streets of Singapore into extraordinary works of art. If you have just moved the country and looking to discover these pieces firsthand this is your chance. Read more and learn about the artists behind these visual stunners.
Singapore’s Street Artists
Gone are the days when street art was seen as an act of delinquency or vandalism. With the ever-expanding art scene, Singapore has become a hub brimming with creativity, all thanks to the creative minds behind some of these masterpieces.
Since 1999, Anthony Chong, who is also better known as ANTZ, is a veteran to the enigmatic art scene of Singapore. His canvas? The streets of Singapore of course! By combining elements of Chinese culture, dialect, identity and mythology in his masterpieces, ANTZ has transformed ordinary spaces into larger-than-life visual treats. Needless to say, the artist’s portfolio is impressive, to say the least. He has worked with renowned clientele such as OCBC, Facebook, Esplanade, Sentosa and more. His latest project, Tiger Beer’s Air-Ink, has garnered popularity for the unique tool employed to create his art. The project utilises the world’s first ink manufactured from air pollution. Conceptualised by Graviky Labs and supported by Tiger Beer, the project has gained so much traction that it went global.
Yip Yew Chong
If you have visited Tiong Bahru, you might have come across the life-sized heritage murals. The artist’s works of art can also be found at Everton Park, Amoy Street, and more. Most of Yip Yew Chong’s artworks are inspired by his memories of Singapore in its yesteryears. With over 30 murals under his belt, the artist captures his own experiences through videos and photos and then translates them into thought-provoking paintings and sketches. By transforming sounds and sights into motionless murals, he has imbued them with a new lease of life. Although he has painted a significant number of murals in various parts of the country, he is still a part-time artist who works as an accountant full-time. His diligence and dedication are apparent in the fact that he utilises his weekends and even his lunch hour to create amazing pieces of art.
Saying that this talented artist has a keen eye is an understatement. Most of her work combines a juxtaposition of ideas and elements of surrealism and realism. She utilises the hidden beauty of everyday life, people and sights that we are so familiar with. Her ability to transform real places and people into almost works of art that can be passed off as photographs is truly a sight to behold. What’s more, she relies on contemporary and traditional methods to bring her work to life. Tiffany has a significant number of works under her belt in both the commercial art and design world.
You might know Ceno2 from the massive monochromatic mural that covers the facade of the Singapura Club bar at Haji Lane. The artist, Azlan Ramlan, who is more famously known as Ceno2, combines the art of spray painting with Western fine art to create masterpieces. Often, these masterpieces are inspired by artistic techniques such as surrealism, realism and cubism. In the past, the artist worked on a mural in Popular Bookstore (Bras Basah Complex) and was invited for an international graffiti event in Chicago in 2012. His works are featured in the Somerset Skatepark, the Galaxy CC Observatory, Serenity Spanish Bar and Restaurant and many other places. Ceno2 has made a name for himself, not only in Singapore but also in New York, Chicago and Germany’s Hyatt Regency Mainz.
Zulkarnaen Othman or Zero is the founder of the urban art collective known as RSCLS. They are better known for their works around Aliwal Arts Centre and the Bugis-Bras Basah district. Noted for his detail and composition, the artist has been commissioned by countless festivals and exhibitions both locally and internationally. With the intention to pass on his expertise and knowledge, Zero has committed his time and talent to mentoring budding artists with the purpose of continuing and contributing to the street art scene of Singapore.
The Bottom Line
Singapore may not seem like it has much of an art scene at first glance, but explore the back alleys of Haji Lane or drop by the skate park in Somerset and you will see Singapore in a different light. It goes without saying that Singapore’s evolving art scene can be credited to the talented and budding artists who keep the street art scene in Singapore alive.