Happy Chinese New Year Singapore! We are welcoming the New Year with Cuturi artist, Didier Jaba Mathieu's, larger than life mural on the wall of no. 65 Aliwal Street!
This stunning mural with its vibrant colours is rich in cultural history by incorporating ships and the Orang Laut which acts as an important reminder on how "the Beach Road waterfront before reclamation was the focal point of trading and shipping services that thrived on the arrival of Bugis ships and traders. Kampong Glam probably derived its present name from the gelam tree. The bark of the gelam tree was used by the Orang Laut to make awnings and sails". (Kampong Glam History, Urban Redevelopment Authority, Singapore.)
Born in 1974 in Armenia, Columbia, Didier “Jaba” Mathieu moved to Liege, Belgium to further his studies in Illustration at St. Luc Institution of Arts. Didier Jaba Mathieu or widely known by his moniker – “Jaba” painted murals around the world for more than 25 years. He exhibited widely in art galleries around Europe and South America before relocation to Singapore to join Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), a division of Lucasfilm Ltd where he worked as a concept artist and digi-matte painter on feature films such as Transformers, Iron Man and Star Trek.
Futurism, alphabetic constructivism, and facial cubism constitute the work of Jaba. He continues to practise on multidisciplinary levels and participates in countless graffiti performances all over Europe, South America, Africa, and Asia. As an extension to his enthusiasm and energy for illustration, Jaba also lectured at Nanyang Polytechnic, Singapore, focusing on Matte Painting, Environment, and Character Design. He has just published ENEMIES, a graphic novel released in 2015 with Ankama Editions France.
Happy Chinese New Year from the Cuturi Family! We all wish you a properous Year of The Ox. We look forward to seeing you at the gallery after the break. This mural is definitely something you have to experience in person!