Walls of fame: Colour meets culture in Ang Mo Kio

Vibrant murals have been commissioned to reinvigorate this older residential estate which was developed in the '70s.
PHOTO: Biddylow.com

"Walls Of Fame" is a series on Wonderwall.sg that throws the spotlight on murals all around our LIttle Red Dot that bring our neighbourhoods to life, and the stories behind the art and the artist(s).

ICYMI, we kicked off the series with a focus on the works of probably the most prolific muralist in Singapore, Yip Yew Chong - in particular, the murals in Chinatown.

We've also journeyed through the vibrant, eye-catching and Insta-worthy supersized works in Little India and Haji Lane, and thrown the spotlight on one of the leading pioneers of the local street art movement, TraseOne.

In this edition, we head north to take a closer look at some of the coolest wall art in Ang Mo Kio (AMK), a town that began development in 1973 and was completed in 1980.

1. The Merlion, Durian-eating Mona Lisa, and more

Ang Mo Kio Mona Lisa 都爱吃榴莲和我一样! #FMZ #张发霉 #MouldyZhang #amktowncentre #amkcny #myamk #singapore #ilovesg #angmokio

Posted by Zhang Fa Mei on Tuesday, January 14, 2020

AMK Town Centre has been reinvigorated with a visually spectacular series of street art and murals that breathe new life into the urban landscape.

Inspired by Singapore’s history, culture and food, the murals are mostly created by local artists, 54-year-old Barry Yeow and 57-year-old Abu Jalal Sarimon, with creative input from art therapist Jennifer Lim. These are some skilled laojiaos, who have had multiple showcases and garnered many awards.

Most of the murals were commissioned by the AMK Constituency Merchants Association to rejuvenate this older residential estate and attract more shoppers, and they certainly have made the busy town centre even more lively and colourful.

Expect renditions of the Merlion, a durian-eating Mona Lisa, and even an artwork that's the length of six football pitches - in 2019, it broke the Guinness World Record for being the longest drawing. We really #SGboleh lah!

Located at: AMK Town Centre

2. The 3 R’s

PHOTO: Biddy Low

Reduce, reuse, recycle. We’ve all heard of this phrase – it’s just been made even more visually appealing in the form of a mural by local artist Biddy Low (@illgirldraws on Instagram). You can find two wall murals at Blk 528 where the Ang Mo Kio Town Council office is, depicting habits of the 3 R’s in the past and present.

Located at: Blk 528 Ang Mo Kio Ave 10, Singapore 560528 (map)

3. Reminiscing Old Ang Mo Kio (parts 1, 2, and 3)

This was a project by the Public Art Trust (of the National Arts Council) to bring arts to the heartlands back in 2018, and who else to commission but arguably Singapore’s most prolific muralist, Yip Yew Chong, to execute it.

This entire project is a trio of murals that aims to reminisce memories of the Old AMK and intertwine its rustic old world charm with its present day buzz.

Located at: Part 1 at Blk 341 AMK Ave 1 (map), parts 2 and 3 at Blk 226 AMK Ave 1 (map)

ALSO READ: Walls of fame: Those IG-worthy murals in Haji Lane

4. Wayfinding Project

Not many know this, but the Alzheimer’s Disease Association started this Wayfinding Project to use murals for a practical purpose: They transformed the Kebun Baru neighbourhood into a dementia-friendly neighbourhood by painting distinct, brightly coloured objects on select void deck walls of each block in Kebun Baru View and Kebun Baru Heights.

Alhamdulillah, murals painting project at selected blocks of Kebun Bahru Constituency has started. The results are...

Posted by The Chapal Malay Dementia Community on Monday, March 16, 2020

The murals assist those with dementia (and their caregivers) in easily identifying their location and finding their way around independently.

They’ve used retro objects like the tingkat carrier for takeout, saucer and teacup from a coffeeshop as well as food like satay and ang ku kueh which the older folk would recognise. The colours chosen help older folk see them more clearly.

Located at: Blks 102 to 116, Ang Mo Kio, Ave 4

5. Mayflower Market and Food Centre murals

The murals at Mayflower Market and Food Centre date back to a 2015 project for Singapore’s 50th Jubilee celebrations by the National Environment Agency.

Tour of Art Work at Mayflower Market & Food Centre.

Posted by National Environment Agency (NEA) on Saturday, April 4, 2015

The “NEA Our Hawker Centres – An Art & Heritage Project” saw students from AMK Primary and ITE College Central paint six murals for SG50. The murals mainly reflect major landmarks or historical events that took place in Ang Mo Kio – see how many you can recognise!

Located at: Mayflower Market is at Blk 160 Ang Mo Kio Ave 4, and Mayflower Food Centre is beside it at Blk 162

This article was first published in Wonderwall.sg.