Graffiti Hall of Fame adds colour to Kampong Glam

Gabrielle Ng, The Straits Time, April 29, 2021

Above: Street artist Didier "Jaba" Mathieu adding the finishing touches to one of the murals along Bali Lane yesterday. Top and left: The 5m-high Graffiti Hall of Fame, a new Kampong Glam landmark, comprises stretches of street art that span nearly 2

Street artist Didier "Jaba" Mathieu adding the finishing touches to one of the murals along Bali Lane yesterday.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

 

The already colourful arts and culture enclave of Kampong Glam has a new landmark - two stretches of street art that span nearly 240m, lining Ophir Road and Bali Lane.

 

Featuring Japanese folklore elements, time portals and larger-than-life pigeons, the 5m-high Graffiti Hall of Fame was created collectively by 17 Singapore-based artists and officially unveiled yesterday.

 

Standalone murals as well as collaborative pieces adorn these massive canvases, which are in fact metal noise barriers erected around construction sites for the North-South Corridor that is slated for completion in 2026.

 

The initiative will "magnify the public space", and was part of efforts to "reverse the narrative" of the impact of construction work on businesses in the area, said Ms Aileen Tan, secretary of precinct association One Kampong Gelam and owner of Blu Jaz Cafe in Bali Lane.

 

Association chairman Muhammad Zaki Maarof added: "Street art helps revitalise dead spaces such as alleys, barriers and backlanes. Kampong Glam has always been vibrant, and the Hall of Fame will invite people to the area so it continues developing beyond just a place to eat at."

 

To avoid obstructing daytime traffic, the artists had to complete their work in the dark at night.

 

The project's largest collaboration takes the form of a 107m piece along Ophir Road. Divided into five segments, The Journey blends five artists' distinct styles and personal memories of Kampong Glam, past and present.

Artist duo Studio Moonchild began The Journey by combining pop culture and textile patterns from various ethnicities to illustrate a child of many cultures, while urban artist Dem depicted flying pigeons as a metaphor for artists and homage to the humble bird species that populates local streets.

A time portal painted by artists KILAS and Boon Baked completes the piece, tying the four murals together in a fictional story of the precinct's past.

 

Street artists ANTZ and Didier "Jaba" Mathieu created standalone murals on the 131m canvas along Bali Lane, in addition to a mural along Ophir Road that they collaborated on with another artist, Hegira.

 

Boon Baked, a graffiti and visual artist, said: "This community of graffiti artists is small but world-class. I hope that through this Hall of Fame, Singaporeans can appreciate graffiti and know that there are good graffiti artists here."

The 5m-high Graffiti Hall of Fame, a new Kampong Glam landmark, comprises stretches of street art that span nearly 240m, lining Ophir Road and Bali Lane.

It was created collectively by 17 Singapore-based artists on massive canvases, which are in fact metal noise barriers erected around construction sites for the North-South Corridor. ST PHOTOS: LIM YAOHUI

 

Visitors can scan QR codes on the murals to find out more about them and the artists.

 

More Singapore and international artists will be invited to add to the murals.

 

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