SG50 walkway and trail to be lasting landmarks

An artist's impression of the Art Connector along Coleman Street. The permanent 300m walkway will link City Hall MRT station to the National Gallery Singapore, which officially opens next year.

Singapore's 50th birthday will be marked not only with things to do, but also by new landmarks to see that will pay tribute to its people and history.

A commemorative walkway embellished with a mural depicting ordinary Singaporeans and an 8km walking trail that highlights the nation's story will be launched in November next year, said Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong yesterday.

"Many things that we are doing for SG50 are events and activities," Mr Wong told staff and partners at the ministry's second work plan seminar in the Bugis+ shopping mall.

"But (the new walkway and walking trail) are physical landmarks which we can leave behind and remember even for many years to come."

The permanent 300m Art Connector will link the City Hall MRT station to the National Gallery Singapore, which opens officially next year.

The walkway's design will feature the "diversity of our people" in portraits taken from the community.

From next month, Singaporeans will be invited to sketch themselves from a digital photograph for portraits to be incorporated into the design.

These will be made and collected through the Portraits of the People campaign roadshow, which will travel to 50 locations until May next year, and through a microsite, to be announced later.

People whose portraits are used will be able to look for themselves in the resulting large community mural on the Art Connector.

Yesterday, Mr Wong also announced the route for the Jubilee Walk, a walking trail announced earlier this year that aims to connect elements of Singapore's past, present and future.

Highlights of the trail include the National Museum, Padang, Marina Barrage, and a new Jubilee Bridge to give pedestrians barrier- free access between the Merlion Park and the promenade in front of the Esplanade.

There will be trail and monument markers, mobile guide apps, and a mass walk in November next year to launch the trail.

Mr Wong said the ministry has worked on "building a cohesive community" in the past year through infrastructure and programmes in sports, the arts, volunteerism and youth sectors.

Next year's sporting calendar would be busy as well, he noted, with Singapore hosting both the South-east Asian Games and the ASEAN Para Games.

Student Cleavon Tei thought the Art Connector was a creative idea.

"It'd be interesting to walk along that area and see portraits of Singaporeans. It's a different kind of artwork that you won't usually see at an art gallery," said the 15-year-old.

This article was first published on Oct 14, 2014.
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