Get creative with this epic mural in Chinatown, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Get creative with this epic mural in Chinatown

This article is more than 12 months old

Chinatown has just got a three-storey mural that cries out for viewers to get creative with it.

It is the work of Singaporean artist Yip Yew Chong, 52, whose other murals include smaller ones in Boon Keng Road and Lorong Ah Soo.

His latest effort, completed last month, is at 30 Temple Street. It is not only filled with authentic details of what the area used to be like, it has whimsical, humorous touches too. See that giant teapot and what goes on below.

Now that it is finished, it offers many possibilities for creative posing. But it also drew a lot of attention while it was being done.

Mr Yip, who works fast, expected to finish it in just three weeks, but with rain interruptions, it stretched to four. People, including children, would gather to watch him. And now he has some teasers that should get viewers even more interested.

The artist, who grew up in Chinatown, said he had painted himself and his mother into the mural.

“My aunt once told me that when my dad was a little boy, he would use chalk to draw on the street (floor) around Chinatown. He drew mainly opera actors and actresses. People would crowd around him to watch him draw,” Mr Yip wrote on Instagram.

“I believe he loved art, but never had the chance to pursue (it). He was a shipyard fitter most of his life. I am thankful I am able to do art.”


The coffee shop in the mural is named after his father.


Mr Yip, who has worked in finance for multinational companies, quoted his mother as saying his father would have been very happy to see his work.

“I painted her twice, just like I painted myself twice…” He follows that with a “guess where” and laughing emojis. But he points out where his mother is - running a food stall inside the coffee shop, and helping out at the cashier counter.

“In real life, she did various jobs, including in a rubber factory, sewing clothes, pantry and cleaning, and her last job was making sushi at Yaohan,” he wrote.

He said some people had asked him “if the government paid me to paint multi-racial elements in my paintings”. But that wasn’t the case at all.

“I am nurtured to love diverse cultures. Naturally, this love flows into my artworks. I am very happy it is reciprocated by the diverse communities enjoying the artworks… I hope this post makes you feel proud of our multi-cultural society!”

People of various communities try out poses with Mr Yip's mural.YIP YEW CHONG / INSTAGRAM

There is also a video of Mr Yip at work. Watch it here: