When you think of street art, Singapore is unlikely the place that comes to mind. Singapore has established a reputation for cleanliness, including the ban of chewing gum and fines for littering. Street art doesn’t sound like it would be conducive to a Singaporean lifestyle. But you are in for a treat!
When you think of Singapore you think of modern and 1st world technology. You think of the spectacular Gardens by the Bay experience that Singapore has created. Mixing nature in a modern setting, including a light show at night. But don’t miss the best of street art in Singapore!
The first time I had heard of Singapore is when I was a young child. The first Singaporean story I remember is about an American teenager who had been caned for creating street art in Singapore. Caning for a crime was just as foreign to me as Singapore. I knew very little about this country. Fast forward many years and now having visited the city-state a number of times I find it to be very pleasant.
Although graffiti is still illegal in Singapore there is a flourishing legal art scene in Singapore. More and more store owners are opening their blank walls to let the local and international artists create beautiful and cultural murals. But you are here to find the best street art in Singapore! So let’s talk about the best street art in Singapore.
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If you think Singapore might be a little too stale or boring you should head to the vibrant district of Little India. This area of Singapore has been home to Indian migrants for generations. Besides stopping to take some Instagram photos of the street art, don’t forget to pop into one of the local Indian restaurants for some authentic and delicious Indian food. Little India is anything but boring.
Steet art of Little India
Little India is home to many street art murals in Singapore. You need to spend some time wandering down allies and through the main streets of this area. Here is a downloadable PDF walking map and guide to many of the main street art murals in Little India. Take this along with you.
Sri Veeramakaliammman Temple
One of the best places to start is at the Sri Veeramakaliammman Temple. This is a stunning Hindi temple and dedicated to the goddess Kali. This is one of Singapore’s oldest temples and places of worship. The temple houses statues that even survived bombings from World War II. From here you can easily make your way to House of Tan Teng Niah.
House of Tan Teng Niah
This vividly colorful house sits in the heart of Little India. Although it was the home of a businessman, Tan Ten Niah. Built as a gift to the businessman’s wife, this home was completed in 1900. The vibrant yellows, blues, and green make for some colorful pictures and a bonus on the street art tour of Singapore.
Here are a few other places to discover street art in Little India.
Best places to discover street art in Little India
- Alive@CLIVE by Traseone: This vibrant and most colorful mural depicts a traditional dancer in Little India. Located on Dunlp St. This mural is easy to spot.
- Katharka by Didier Jaba Mathieu: Also another India dance the artist uses a wide array of colors to depict the vibrancy of this dance. Located on Upper Dickson Road on the UCO Bank wall.
- Daily Delivery by Didier Jaba Mathieu: The mural depicts the daily life of Little India of old. The man carries tiffins and other items from the past. The vehicles and cars hover above the ground. Located on Serangoon Road, on the ally side of A1 fashion.
Here are some art murals that we couldn’t resist but to share.
On your street art tour of Singapore, continue to discover some of the historical places that Singapore has to offer. These great sites should definitely be on your list of places to visit while you’re in Singapore. Singapore has diverse cultures and history, offering some unique places, and you might not expect a Catholic church to be apart of this in a land of predominately Buddhist, Muslim, and Hinduism religions.
~Pro-tip: Singapore is hot year-round! Don’t forget to pack a rechargeable hand fan like this one on Amazon. Trust me it will help!
Church of Our Lady of Lourdes, Singapore
Meet the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes, Singapore. This is the first Tamil Catholic church in Singapore. This stunning church was built in 1885. Built to resemble the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes, in France. Today the church is still worshipped in by Tamil Catholics, and other multiracial nations are welcomed. Masses are held in Tamil, Sinhalese, and English.
Located just outside little India on Ophir road. It makes for an easy walk as you continue to discover street art in Singapore.
Kampong Glam & Haji Lane Street art
Kampong Glam and Haji lane Singapore is electric! You’ve probably seen some street art from Haji Lane. The murals are large and difficult in the tight lane filled with hipster shops to get the full spectrum of some of the murals. The most famous and interesting pieces of street art are in the Kampong Glam area. Walking around this area is about 2.5 kilometers or about 1.5 miles. You can easily walk this in an hour or two.
While you walk down Haji Lane you will want to pop into the quirky shops, artisan cafes, and fun bars. Haji Lane is home to famous artist Didier Jaba Mathieu. Mathieu’s mural known as the “el lío” and is located on the back of Piedra Negra. This is a delicious Mexican restaurant, on the corner of Beach Road and Ophir Road.
Haji Lane is fun and quirky. You will enjoy your walk down this street. Don’t miss Waterloo Street Murals. These are more of a throwback to old Singapore or respectively Malaysia. They are like a snapshot back in time.
Chinatown Street Art Singapore
Singapore’s Chinatown well known for its hawker center. Hawker stalls are open-aired areas used to prepare local food.
These are common in Asian countries but Singapore has one of the most famous and thousands come here to try local delicacies.
Thian Hock Keng Temple Mural
Thian Hock Keng Temple mural is by artist YC Yip (Yip Yew Chong). The mural tells the history of the Hokkien community in Singapore. This is a 40 meter-long mural that shares that Chinese heritage and application for Chinese architecture.
More street art murals by YC Yip
These murals are to represent YC’s very first-ever home. He states on his website that it is the most intimate mural ever painted. His family was a tenant on the second story, just above a funeral parlor on the ground floor.
They rented it from an Arab landlord. In 1983, his family moved out of this home. The entire street was slated for demolition as part of the big Chinatown cleanup.
I love how these murals represent his home life. This is a glimpse into a typical home life of Singaporeans during this time. I love how simple the memories are, very much like my own childhood memories.
Clarke Quay Mural & Coleman Bridge
Clarke Quay was the 2nd governor of Singapore from 1873 to 1875. Close to Merlion Park, you will find the Mural of Clarke Quay.
Coleman Bridge tunnel
Just a short 3-4 minute walk from the Clarke Quay mural you will find the Colman Bride tunnel. Take the Coleman bridge over the Singapore River for a spectacular display of street art.
The walls are covered with paintings as you cross the river. These awesome pieces of artwork are featured in this tunnel. This street art rivals famous paintings that you’d typically see in a museum.
Just outside The Singapore Club off Dunlop Street is one of my favorite murals. This mural is by graffiti artist Ceno. It is of an old indian man drinking his tea. I find the detail of the man’s facial expression to be very profound. This mural is large and sits on the upper part of the wall making it easy to see and admire.
Wrap up on the best street art in Singapore
As you can see the best street art in Singapore is impressive and not to be missed. Singapore is on of the most magnificent countries that I have ever visited and the street art only adds to the ambience in this already spectacular city.