Canvas for road artwork and society, Daily life Information & Best Tales

The point out of Haji Lane probably provides to mind its stylish bar and cafe scene, and a wide variety of eclectic independent shops. But a lot a lot less talked about is the Kampong Glam neighbourhood’s wealthy background and thriving city arts scene.

I get up early a single Thursday morning to go on a Road Art and Graffiti tour of the space – my very first neighborhood strolling tour.

It chronicles Kampong Glam’s history by discovering its previous as an ethnic enclave, up to its present as a canvas of vivid road art. Participants can also search ahead to acquiring their hands filthy in a spray-painting workshop right after the tour.

Tour guide Jan Chow, who is in his 40s, commences the tour on the corner of Bali Lane, interspersing historical specifics with recollections of his personal.

The a lot of double-storeyed shophouses lining the streets of Kampong Glam constitute the conservation space heralded because the 1990s and preserve the nostalgia of the cultural web-site.

He claims: “If you want to stop by my major or secondary school now, you cannot because they are all long gone. So shophouses are extremely endearing to me for the reason that they tell age-aged tales.”

Our up coming switch sales opportunities us into a familiar extend – Haji Lane – exactly where retailers that flank the narrow alley showcase their personalities in uniquely adorned storefronts.

Mr Chow claims the shophouses have been employed as lodging for Hajj pilgrims from the 1800s – providing rise to its title.

It is tough to think about a pathway packed with travellers planning for their onward journey given that Haji Lane is now much better recognized to youth and travelers as an Insta-deserving spot.

En route to the future halt, our notice is brought to properties protected in colourful graffiti art. We master that street artists have to leap by way of hoops to have their artwork exhibited on these slabs of wall. The approach usually takes months and consists of submitting multiple programs and style drafts.

The remaining stop is what Mr Chow calls “the jewel of Kampong Glam” – Sultan Mosque.


  • WHAT A strolling tour of Kampong Glam, performed by Discova Singapore, with a concentrate on heritage and avenue art, and consists of a spray-painting workshop

    ADMISSION $110 an grownup, SingapoRediscovers Vouchers approved

    Information Tour runs for 3 1/2 hrs on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9.30am to 1pm. Speak to the business for substitute preparations. Go to

Steeped in heritage, it has been preserved because 1824 and gazetted as a nationwide monument in 1975. Much of the mosque’s design and style was influenced by the Indo-Saracenic fashion, which melds classic Islamic features with European architectural details.

He dives into a tale from his childhood about his friend’s grandmother, who contributed to creating the mosque by donating glass bottles as uncooked resources and for use as ornamentation for the duration of construction.

Following some scrutiny, we place a black belt of glass bottles looping the foundation of the biggest golden bulb-formed dome.

This enjoyable very little recreation finishes the heritage phase of the tour and commences the little bit on street art.

We satisfy our upcoming tour manual, city artist Adam Wang, who goes by the moniker Dem, at Sultan Arts Village, a gap-in-the-wall compound housing artwork and retail spaces.

Possessing been in the road art scene for a long time, he states however graffiti nonetheless has a destructive connotation, there is considerably magnificence in the artwork.

Like most art forms, graffiti is also an expression of individuality and creativeness. And over and above its stereotype as vandalism lies a variety of community art that reflects diverse avenue cultures and improves the aesthetic price of areas.

On the wander from Sultan Gate back again to Bali Lane, we go a various array of artworks unfold throughout walls acting as canvases.

Pointing out the murals, Dem shares that pioneer graffiti artist Slacsatu will work with vivid artsy flares in a style acknowledged as “alpha batik” whilst painter Yip Yew Chong’s functions function brushstrokes depicting Singapore’s yesteryear.

Graffiti art can consider times to months to end, based on the element of the artwork.

But in Singapore, wherever authorized spaces for avenue art are so restricted, I master that illustrations can also merely alter overnight as artists paint more than the exact same canvas.

The remaining section – a palms-on graffiti workshop – leads us to a studio in Aliwal Arts Centre.

We are guided by way of the workings of a spray-paint can in advance of we have a go at it ourselves.

Our follow canvas is a wall already lined in an elaborate mural. We are all amazed, to say the minimum.

Nonetheless, there is a specific thrill to spray-portray a wall in general public – even passers-by cease to check out us.

Controlling the device is no quick feat, so we take our time getting utilized to it, doodling squares and lines numerous situations.

As aspect of the workshop, a compact square canvas is provided to each participant. A couple of places and splatters later on, beautified by Dem’s expert hand, we every have our personal spray-painted masterpiece to get house.

The tour finishes on this high be aware and I depart Kampong Glam with a lot more information of the tradition-abundant district. But possibly much more thrilling is the chance to leave my abstract – but creative – strokes on a wall that will now be a section of the spirited arts scene below.

• Feeding on Air is an occasional series on area excursions. For extra stories on discovering Singapore, go to the SG Go Where web-site (

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