Urban Discovery: Street Arts of Kampung Life
In the midst of the bustling city, art is everywhere to tell you unspoken stories. Thanks to the popularity of Instagram, murals are coming back into the spotlight for everyone to get that Insta-worthy shot. Today, we’ll bring you around Tiong Bahru and Everton Road to spot some art pieces tucked away in the neglected corners of buildings and hidden behind common streets.
1. Home, Yip Yew Chong
Located in front of Tiong Bahru CC, this piece shows what used to be the interior of a HDB flat. This nostalgic mural gave us a glimpse of the kampung-style architecture which reminded me of my grandparents’ home back then.
Chairs are placed to take pictures that will perfectly blend into the image. You may even bring your own props for the gram. Can you spot our Xplorer merch? 😉
2. Pasar & Fortune Telling, Yip Yew Chong
Did you know “Pasar” is the Malay word for market? This may be a familiar sight to the older generations with the bustling of the streets and market illustrations being so different from today.
Based on the artist’s blog, he mentioned he tried searching on social media for the original fortune teller drawn but later came to know of his passing a few years ago.
3. Bird Singing Corner, Yip Yew Chong
What used to be a common sight became a wall mural as hanging bird cages and sipping kopi was a thing in the past. With the hooks still left there awaiting for the return of the birds, the original location is now taken over by a hotel.
Just in front of this mural is a painted picture of a bird cage with a cat sitting just below. Super adorable!
4. Goat, Ernest Goh
Scattered around the Tiong Bahru Market and Food Centre, 3 of these goats can be found on the walls.
They all looked super lifelike with details right down to its fur and realistic eyes painted. Did you know that these were painted in the year of the Goat too?
5. Peacock, Mika Makatron
This 3 story high mural covers one of the walls within Tiong Bahru Market. It is hard to miss with its bright colours to showcase this majestic bird species especially with the orange background.
Just behind this piece is another mural of a peacock feather. The combination of these 2 matching pieces really adds vibrancy to this popular neighbourhood hideout that residents frequently visit.
You can also check out our TikTok to view these Tiong Bahru murals here!
Barber, Yip Yew Chong
Just adjacent to the “Amah” mural is this “Barber” mural where it depicts hair cuts in the past. These makeshift tents were a common scene in the past for village folks to get their haircuts.
There were many cute details spotted such as the can of carnation milk drawn hanging onto real existing pipes as well as the shades detailing of the floors.
The whole mural felt like such an accurate depiction of the scene then!
Amah, Yip Yew Chong
This long piece along Everton Road shows a captured moment of what used to be common back in the kampung days. “Amah” which refers to housemaids, were employed for domestic duties in the household.
The whole mural was completed with rooster details, showcasing some Peranakan-style clothing that was drying.
Provision Shop, Yip Yew Chong
Nearby the other 2 murals previously mentioned, this “Provision Shop” is another long mural that runs just beside Everton Road.
Intricately designed with a different array of traditional dried goods and kitchenware, this place was painted based on a theme verbally described by a house owner who invited him down. Can you recognise the childhood biscuits within the tins drawn?
Don't miss out on this beancurd and soymilk pushcart just beside the “Provision Shop”! If you are lucky enough, you may even spot the real neighbourhood black cat that inspired that painting beside the pushcart.
Source: Yip Yew Chong’s website
Despite being filled with hipster cafes, these places also carry the richest heritage around. It is easy to forget our history as our country continuously advances! Hopefully these walls are here to stay for the future generations to catch a glimpse of what life in Singapore used to be. Have fun xploring these hidden corners with pleasant surprises tucked in every corner!
Happy #XploringtheXtraordinary :D