A SUMMARY OF MY OUTDOOR MURALS IN SINGAPORE
A SUMMARY OF MY OUTDOOR MURALS IN SINGAPORE
A SUMMARY OF MY OUTDOOR MURALS IN SINGAPORE
Venue: Institute of Technical Education, 4300 Ang Mo Kio Ave 5, Singapore 569869
Duration: Completed in 1.5 days
Event Day - March 15, 2019 (4 hours from 7:30 am - 11:30 pm)
Dimensions: 3 metres by 2 metres (3 wood panels of 1 metre each).
It was prepared on the day prior to the Event itself and I spent the entire day ensuring at least 80% of it is completed as we only have four hours the next day to complete it.
When I arrived on the actual day at 7:30 am, I realised that since it’s rotatable, that I decided to paint the other side as well to complete the overall image so the images can be seen from both sides. Understand that it would be used for a road show in early May, and kept in the CDC premises thereafter.
Location: Blk 674 Yishun Ave 4, Singapore 760664
Duration/Period: 1.5 months or 17 full weekend days or 136 hours from Jan 29 (commencement with volunteers in the afternoon) to 15 Mar, 2019
Total number of walls - 10 Number of images = 14 (not counting the Peranakan tiles before the coffeeshop)
To be continued….PART II (remaining 8 more walls)
What a way to start the new year! Memories and people immortalized on the walls in another mega project — this time at the heartlands in the North. I was painting at the Austism Therapy Centre at Hougang in August last year when someone drove up to me and enquired about painting a mural. Come December, I was informed that the project was going ahead and learnt that this person who spoke with me had left the organisation. It was as if this encounter with this person led to the next person and then eventually to the actual thing…I have come across from my past experiences that may seem like coincidences to you regarding projects I obtained and this is what I meant by roads or paths that are opened. There is something ‘spiritual’ about these incidents. I don’t go market myself directly or ‘knock on doors’ per se. I can daresay that when the road is opened, I will take it because I can testify they do lead to something else…I tend to look at the overall BIG picture - of something else although I can’t tell or foresee the future…I base on my instincts, and Trust in the Universe to allow things to happen…I go with the flow and allow nature to take its course. And these projects do not overlap. I always have time to rest after a project before I go on to the next one.
There were somehow always ‘angels’ in the form of volunteers and helpers who stayed throughout with me in my big projects who gave me assistance in terms of transportation, food, drinks etc…I am thankful to them and have made friends for life as a result. The General Manager drove me to and fro, a staff by the name of Mr Lim came over and spent entire Sundays as I was alone and helped with touching up the walls and carrying things etc. Ai Peng, who’s another staff, willingly came and helped with the chinese words on top of the coffeeshop. I would be able to do it myself at a later date, but it so happened they have someone like her to do this — all for which I am truly grateful…
Acknowledgement and thanks to the volunteers from Giken Sakata (S) Limited, Rotary Club of Queenstown, Singapore and the ASH Volunteers Group, and Nippon Paint Singapore for their kind sponsorship of the emulsion paints and materials.
Sometimes, we can’t CHOOSE the path like a specific location we want to work on. Patience is the key here too….and along with it, lot of HARD WORK, DETERMINATION and PASSION that drives me. What surprises me even more was that I was given all the walls available to continue here…:-) . I am taking a mini break now and hope to start on PART II soon.. Thank you for your visit and feel free to leave your comments. I would love to hear from you! :-)
Location: Elbow Room by Drinks & Co, 44 Club Street, Singapore 069421
Duration: 2.5 days Total walls : 4 Period : 26-28 December, 2018
What a nice way to end 2018! A most memorable experience for me. I am truly grateful to the cafe / pub owner for selecting me to do four murals at his premises. Situated right smack in the heart of the Raffles business district at Club Street, it’s a cool place for office workers, bankers, to chill especially on Friday nights where the place really comes alive! The road is blocked specially on this night for the revellers on TGIF! It was my second at an F & B joint and as I was deciding and talking to the owner as to what to paint on the wall, the renowned Yellow Cafe came to mind!
This page showcases some of the indoor walls I did starting with one at the living hall of a HDB apartment. This was done prior to CNY in 2017, Jan/Feb.
View of Arles from the fields - My version of the one done by Vincent Van Gogh's Vue d'Arles in a living room which also doubles as the dining room. Never one to just sit around and do nothing. My mind is always busy thinking and wanting to do something with my hands and I must also be in the right mood and be inspired to do at that point in time. But once I start, I do not stop. This took me just two days to finish over one weekend. It's doing them quickly setting a target timeline for myself that is adding to my confidence and I dare say I am a speed painter (LoL). This kind of practice and exercise is good whenever I have back to back projects or when I am given short notice to complete the work.
Location: 1 Lorong Batawi, Singapore. Duration: 5.5 days
Dates: August 9, 10, 11, 12, 18, 19 Year : 2018.
Dimensions: Wall A= 9m x 2m, Wall B= 8.3m x 2.4m, Wall C = 15m x 0.8m, Wall D=1.85m x 0.8m.
When I was first asked to do this, I felt compelled to do it cos I am first and foremost, a mother and knows how parents feel when a child has such special needs. I went down and saw the wall and decided to do not one, but continue onto the next and realised there are actually three and a half walls in total -- the second runs continuously toward the smaller road which leads to the entrance of the building.
Both brother and sister wanted to open another venue for parents and their children providing them with therapy, help the child be trained, get an education as they could not fit into the 'normal' schools and eventually, be able to fend for themselves when they become adults. As there are not many such private institutions where there are experienced teachers, the opening of this school speaks volumes of the want and necessity. I do not have the figures of how many children there are in Singapore but I really wanted to do my part this way and as best as I know how.
Besides children, he also rescued two abandoned dogs and an old retired police dog. Hence their faces on the third wall.
I chose images that are endearing and display a mother's deep love for her child regardless...their love is truly unconditional. These are images that speak and shout of Hope, Support and Perseverance, and never ending Love.
The owner's love for the dogs is unconditional, and so is a parent's love for their child. This wall has many metaphors that are meaningful to the owner as well as me. There are just too many things that happened during the days that seem miraculous, unexplained and not mere coincidences. As you browse the pictures, you will see what I mean...Below are a few and they are not in order of occurrences...Not sure if they can be considered as miracles but it's just the timing too for some of these happenings that seem to fall into place and somehow looks as if it's meant to be...The coming together of all into these 5 and a half days! Hard to believe but true and I had to quickly put these down to words before I forget.
1 - Good, fine weather with no rain throughout the 5.5 days from Aug 9-19 except that it rained for just 10 mins on Aug 18 and I was praying to the One up there to hold it till after the project. On the last day, August 19 - it started to rain only AFTER we finished in the early evening.
2 - Samaritan #1 - Mr Lee, the contractor who provided the big umbrella as shelter cos the sun is just too hot and I nearly got sun burnt in both shoulders. It's hard to view the references under the hot sun too.
3. Samaritan #2 - Karen -- one of many friends I made -- who bought us cooling drinks and snacks which serve as a good respite for a short while.
4 - This building sits right smack at the cross road giving it lots of attention and exposure to the public and traffic. Each time I paint on the first wall, I hear cars honking asking those in front to move cos it's really a traffic stopper seeing me in action!
5 - The timing of the Chinese program 'Morning Express' coincided with the commencement of this project and the crew came down and started filming for three days.
6 - One of the ladies who walked by on Sunday morning happened to have the same Chinese name as my sister Poh Gek and what's funny is she has the same Chinese name as me ie. Poh Choo! Now how often do you get this type of coincidences?
7 - Brandon's ex-colleague lives a few houses away and Lawrence, her father came by and talked to us earlier. It's been some time since they kept in touch!
8 - On Day 1 - there is this lady who came and bought us and the crew egg tarts! There was a feeling of community or kampung feel as the people gathered around and created a buzz as this is probably the first time they encountered a mural. She is known as the 'egg-tart' lady. We met her again on Day 2 and 3 again as she was passing by. She said she had to stop by the wall each time she walks by.
9 - Day 1 - the first passerby was interviewed by the crew as she was appreciating the work on the tree on second wall. I was inspired to paint the leaves downwards from the tree which is believed to be a mango tree (but no fruits). I was wondering what to add on the wall and as I looked up, it seemed the leaves were talking and telling me to paint them! Wisdom from above!
10 - Sunflowers were also ad hoc and painted there and then giving a message of Hope. Hope for him, for them, for me, for all of us... It was also Vincent Van Gogh's favourite flower and yellow was also his fav color. There are hints of impressionism here featuring his works. I also subtlely added swirls to the clouds.
11 - The third wall where the dogs are - also added there and then and again, inspiration hit me and something tells me to do a French landscape with Arles as a reference and adding the cypresses making me go back to when I was last there this April. Missing the tranquility and peace the place offers...
12 - Samaritan I#3 - Brandon Liu owner of Autism21 - he made sure I had enough water to hydrate and constantly checked on me and also assisted with the washing of the brushes, filling of paint onto the palette, etc. He also transported me on the first day with all that paint, and even provided lunch.
13 - Meeting Heizi the German Shepherd who was brought over and seeing him up close made me felt a bit emotional as I tell myself that even for animals, they do have feelings and they feel the pain of old age. Likewise for humans, we grow old too and he is fortunate to have his owner take care of him. When I first saw him on the floor, I was awed by this beautiful animal.
14 - This Indian art teacher whose son is ADHD and was walking by and she remarked she could use this place for such kids too.
15 - Last but not least, I was amazed that I was able to accomplish this within a week! I thought at first with two walls, I estimated to finish in two days and with 3.5 long walls, it stretched a little longer than targeted. I am grateful for health, strength, support from all, and wisdom!
I see images of love and more love each day and this will forever be etched in my mind...
I hope the viewer will feel the same way and a sense of not only a mother's love but love for all including animals too from this work and their hearts touched. I trust this brings them back to the time when they were young and when their parents were still around. And for those whose parents (and pets and those dear to them) are still around, treasure them and spend time with them whenever and wherever you are. We never know how much we missed them until they passed on.
Life is indeed fleeting and another message from the wall is to always remember to express our love to our family members not only in action but in words too.
Much love and peace to all families.
Location : The Living Fisher Village, Pulau Ubin (otherwise known as Ah Kok's house)
Duration: 1 month
It was my second time there but FIRST in really going over to the house where the resident lives. This visit last year was a collaboration with Artsolute which runs a community project in line with Pesta Ubin to give awareness to the mainlanders and outsiders of the beauty of this island that still has its old kampong charm. As I just finished my project in Chinatown, I figured the timing was right for another project and had always been curious about this island.
The wall was not originally the intended project but as we went along talking with the residents that Terence Tan (who is the head coordinating this project) mentioned to me that I could do the wall at Ah Kok's house which was about 20-30 minutes walk from the entrance of the island and roughly about 8-10 minutes by bicycle.
As I had not ridden on a bike for some years since the accident, I told myself I just had to get on to riding it again. There were helpers who assisted to meet me at the entrance on Day 1 and also sweet Jodie who helped carried my haversack on her bag. We settled for the duo bike as I wasn't confident enough to ride on my own.
When I started with the wall, I realised then I had to ride on my own on days when there was no one around and I did not want to depend on anyone for help. I then resolved and picked up the courage and rode the bike on my own the remaining days I was there till the end of the project. Without this experience, I won't know when I would be able to ride the bike again and I am thankful that this happened.
Period: September / October 2013
Total number of walls = 5
Location: Pipit Road, around Blk 56 (MacPherson)
My second wall project after Clarke Quay was right here in MacPherson/Pipit area where it was named and touted as the Van Gogh Town of Singapore. Not many residents know of this place as it's in the heartlands and they had to take the MacPherson Circle Line to reach this place. The entire place was filled with Van Gogh works done by volunteers. When the CEO of the mural company saw my work, he gave me these walls to paint after VG style but with a local twist. I am truly grateful for the opportunity without which I won't be able to build my portfolio...I noticed many cats in the area and it was my first encounter with them that I would paint them at more walls in Holland V and other places.
Thank you for visiting! Your comments are welcomed!
Location: Tunnel at Clarke Quay (directly to the right exit from Clarke Quay MRT) in collaboration with various artists
Total walls = 8
Year: July / August 2013
It was my first time painting on such a large 'canvas' when I drew the lion. I felt exhilarated. It was a feeling that can't be described and I felt so happy during the process. Never would I have thought I would come this far as I never intended to do murals. After all, they are not small and takes a lot of physical work and bearing the weather etc to do them. But it seems this was the path opened to me since. From thereon, there was no stopping...You get passersby walking and the traffic was good. There was a busker who would take up position and sing in the night. According to one artist who stayed late, there are drunks walking by too. I would come by in the evenings after work to help out.
Duration - 6 months from Sep 2014 to March 2015
Total: 14 walls (individualised and dissected)
Location: Kreta Ayer People's Theatre and Chinatown Square
This was done in collaboration with 600 volunteers from PriceWaterHouse Coopers. They adopted Banda Street and had been involved in different community projects for the past 7 years in aid of the residents who live mainly alone in one-room flats.
Holland Village - Location: Blks 12, 11 and 13 (6 walls), wet Market at Blk 45-47, Junction at Chip Bee Garden and Holland V, and the Senior Citizens Corner (2 walls). Duration = 6 months Jan-Jun 2016
Commonwealth Dec 2016 Duration = 4,5 days Location: entrance of Long John Silver. 2 walls
Junction of Chip Bee & Holland V end July 2017 - 3.5 days on at the larger 'parrot' wall outside Chip Bee Garden.
Total = 12 walls
This series started after the Banda project in Chinatown, and it's upon the request of Member of Parliament Mr Chan Chun Sing who graced the official opening at Banda that he asked if I was keen to color and paint some blocks at Zone D in Holland V which is his constituency. I answered unequivocally with a Yes! not knowing the extent of the project...
I explored the entire place from Blocks 12, 11, and 13 one day and selected the largest walls on both sides of each block making it a total of 6 walls with Block 12 as the most prominent one facing the main road and not far from where Cold Storage is. It's a bohemian neighbourhood where expats live side by side with locals most of whom had been living there for 40 years... I studied a bit of the history as I always do before I do any walls that maybe special for that constituency. I realised that the name Holland was named after a Dutch architect who lived there and there were expats with their children studying in schools in the past where the present day Chip Bee Gardens blocks are.
My first wall at Block 12 was a gate that I painted live at Fort Canning and thought that it would blend in with the seats and chairs by the wall making it look like a park. As the wall is just by the Senior Citizens Corner that I had included a grandfather with his grandchild (which is a metaphor or me really as a child with my grandpa whom I hardly knew as he passed on when I was just two).
The Biggest Wall Yet...
Dimension:approx. 30m x 12m
Location: SLNG 6 Meranti View, Jurong Island
Start date: February 3, 2018. Date completed: 24 March 2018
Duration: Approx 125 hours
Never would I have dreamed that I will be doing such a mega project. I guess I am lucky that the CEO is someone who appreciates art especially on walls and to be exact it's fine art on terminal walls!
They sent me for a 1-day safety Work and Height training (WAH) which is compulsory if you are doing walls that are more than 3 metres high. There is a total of 6 levels even tho the Wall is technically only three storeys high. This is so I don't have to stand on ladders from second level up. It's all about safety. Each time I had to work from the second level that I have to wear the protection gear, with helmet, boots and harness.
As at 10 March, we are into the second month and the second last weekend. I am on track and target to finish the last level ie the ground floor by next weekend. I was a bit concerned and apprehensive at first about being able to finish but I focused and set target timelines for myself.
The first month was spent populating the wall wth large sea animals especially giant groupers, mahi mahi, dolphins, whales, tortoises, and rays to fill the space and also included smaller fishes.
The second month was spent mostly texturing the walls as they look kind of 'flat' and I had to add a lighter blue versus a darker blue to show the contrast in the water.
The weather is a thing to factor as each time, there is a Cat 3 announcement re lightning that we MUST stop work and get indoors. I got a bit flustered whenever black clouds loomed ahead and kept checking at the weather forecast for the island. There was one weekend where we had to vacate the building and spent only 3 hours. Whenever there is rain like this - the Chinese call it 'Long life rain' where it rain all day, there is no point in staying. The workers left the premises and so we called it a day, BUT made it up the very next day when it was cloudy which I made it a productive and fruitful one by doing as much as I could!
This experience is another lifelong learning one where character building is concerned. It taught me to Learn to WAIT....Each time the rains stopped, I rushed to finish whatever is needed.
Another thing about this place is that the island is like a no man's land. You need a pass to enter as security is super tight. They had to apply for a permanent pass for me to expedite each journey there. Going there and going home - the staff had to make separate arrangements each time if they don't want to wait till 7:30 pm to catch the company transport out.
18 March 2018 The positive side of this is I got 'chauffeured' sometimes by the staff in charge of this project. I am grateful to her for lending me a hand at varnishing the two top most floors today. I feel blessed that I was able to hitch a ride back with her when she leaves. The rule is someone HAS to accompany me whenever I am there. As I hold a full-time job, I can only come in on weekends and she had to take time from family just to be around the terminal.
I also got to make friends with the security and the construction workers. There was one particular guy by the name of Sarti who assisted me on day 1 by helping me to bring my stuff up and down. I treated him like a son.
The first month in Feb was good in that there was no rain at all and I thought it will stay that way. Then the rains started to come last weekend. But it always ended and I had some time to at least do a little...To get to the island you have to take a cab and only Comfort not Uber not Grab...To get into the island, you also need to have a permanent pass which is way faster than getting a temporary one each time you visit.
All in all, I am truly grateful that this project is coming to an end and I had done this singlehandedly except for the few half days where there was another staff who wanted to dabble a little on the wall and I let her concentrate on the ground floor with the corals and stuff. I had to mostly return to touch these up when I take over.
10 & 11 March - As this is fine art on walls, I had to texture the background on each level. I was afraid I might get carpal tunnel syndrome at one point. The background was kind of flat and I really wanted them to look more like the sea. It was a good workout for me as I got to climb up six floors if I want to reach the top and down. I went all the way up and painted clouds on the top 2 levels. Enlarged Marina Bay Sands and the Singapore Flyer, and painted the sea from the shoreline.
Apart from the weather, the other downside was I had my encounter with the crawlies the first two Sundays I was there and I kinda freaked out, and had to buy Baygon for preventive measures...
17 & 18 March - Into my last weekend which I have to finish the second level when I suddenly felt a sharp pain on the left side of my back after climbing up onto the scaffold and carrying a bag of paint tubs. I don't know what exactly happened but I had to stop moving for like half a hour before I could slowly get back slowly into movement again...I was feeling quite frustrated as I couldn't do anything. The staff who was there readily came up in her PPE gear and helped me paint a little under my guidance and supervision as I was unable to even bend down to get hold of the brush and paint!
After nearly 45 mins, we both managed to add some more small fishes onto the second level and then I went down to continue on the last level which is the ground floor. That was a wake up call for me to respect my body more and to be aware and be more careful when carrying heavy stuff and especially climbing up and so on. It could happen to any one, young or old, and it's another lesson for me. I guess I have to stretch every day and especially before I climb up to paint...
20 March Tuesday - they will finish varnishing all the walls up except for round level as well as bring the entire scaffold down this week. I will get to see the finished product when I go in this weekend to finish the last level.
24 March 2018 Last day I spent about 5 hrs touching the ground floor level and it felt so good not wearing the PPE and safety boots and harness...I got a good suntan too. The rain came right after I stopped.
I don't know what the future lies ahead after this...but will take a break to France mid April and hopefully, something else will happen....Looking forward to new projects...
Location: Lions Home for the Elders, Bishan Street 13
Duration - 11 days
30 Sep-18 Nov 2017
Dimension- approx 20 m x 8 m
The wall at the Lions Home was the second largest I had done so far. They provided me with a scaffold which I used for the very first time as all the other previous walls - I merely used the long pole as if it's a giant brush to paint.
The theme was heritage and I decided to take up the challenge even tho I never thought of how I was going to reach the top seeing that it was actually two storeys high.
In addition to the height, I had to withstand the water coming in when it rained as there was no cover from both ends of the entrance to the building.
The spot at the top left hand corner was the hottest and I had to bear the brunt of getting the sun at its hottest in the morning. As the platform is not barricaded and the size of it was only halved the entire space of the platform, I had to be careful and my movement was restricted as I had to make space for the paints.
As it was my first time climbing up on the vertical ladder, I had to manoeuvre myself around getting on top with a sure footing. Come to think of it, it was pretty scary and dangerous as I wasn't in protective gear...
But the time to myself was a blissful one as I spent to be exact 5.5 weekends ie. 10.5 days ie. 8 hr full day like a working day each time I am there from 10 to 6 pm with a deadline to finish by end October. The opening launch was the first weekend of November with MP Josephine Teo being the Guest of Honor. I had to return when one side of the wall cracked and had to redo after the launch 1 weekend later. That was when I added more children symbolising my cousins.
I made friends with the guards, the chef and the kitchen staff. I had lunch served to me from the kitchen as I work non stop and they just want to make sure I eat. I felt quite a home each time I spend a few weeks or months at a place.
Just wanted to share that the world is a very small one especially in a small country like Singapore. I also wanted to share that I got to meet old friends. On my very first day, I saw someone I recognised from like more than 10 years back and he is now a resident at the Home. A few weeks down, I met my ex-colleague who is an active volunteer.
This wall is a memorable one as It resonates very much memories of my childhood.