Where to find Street Art in Singapore: Kampong Glam

I’ve talked a lot about street art that I’ve encountered overseas, first in George Town, Penang; and then where I was in Shoreditch, London. Upon doing up these posts, it occurred to me then that while I now knew more about the Penang and London scenes, I actually knew very, very little about where to find street art in Singapore, which is kinda sad!

So I’ve started up a little project on the side to rectify this, I’ll talk a bit more about it at the bottom of this post, but in the meantime here’s a little guide to tell you about Singapore’s street art scene and where to find street art in Singapore. I thought I’d start with one of my favourite places in Singapore where you’re quite likely to see some cool bits of street art: Kampong Glam.

Kampong Glam is the collective name or what used to be the Arab/Muslim quarter in Singapore’s earlier days. You’ll find the beautiful Sultan Mosque there, as well as an entire street filled with cloth merchants along Arab Street and this is an area where you can get great Malay and Middle Eastern grub. It’s probably more well known with the younger crowd for its hipster area Haji Lane, with indie boutiques and shisha, and it’s one of the areas where street art in Singapore was first prominent, even before it started to gain popularity in recent years.

If you happen to be in this area, these are a bunch of places where you’re likely to see some great examples of street art by local and foreign artists. Note that the nature of street art is ephemeral and always changing! Here’s a link to my Google Map collection of these artworks and more, or check it out at the bottom of the post.

Singapore Street Art Kampong Glam Pin

  • Added Oct 2016: Some
  • Added Mar 2016: Now I have an audio version of this walk on Voicemap for just $1.99, check it out!
  • Added Jul 2015: Sheryo and the Yok @ Haji Lane/Arab Street
  • Added Nov 2014: Alice Pasquini + Aliwal Street

Getting there: The closest MRT stations are Bugis (East-West, Downtown Line) or Nicoll Highway (Circle Line) and about 5-10mins walk.

Victoria Street

This stretch became prominent mostly for the commissioned works by Lithuanian street artist Ernest Zacharevic, whose works you’ll probably recognize if you’ve seen them in Penang’s George Town. He has some pieces over in the East at Joo Chiat, but most of his Kampong Glam works are clustered along Victoria Street between Jalan Klapa and Jalan Pisang.

Walk down from Bugis and you’ll see the Girl with Lion Cub first at the Jalan Pisang junction, then go down further and you should see the Kids in Trolleys, as well as the Kids in/on Giant Exclamation Mark on the side of the AMC building at Jalan Klapa. Don’t forget to walk down a little bit further and you’ll see the Boy in Window along a stretch of blank wall before the Jalan Sultan junction.

Singapore Street Art - Girl With Lion Cub
This is quite a huge piece of work! I personally feel her face looks a bit distorted, but the lion cub is cute
Singapore Street Art - Kids in Supermarket Trolley
Very Zachas style, fusing a real supermarket trolley (sawn in 2 and fixed to the wall) with his lifelike drawings
Singapore Street Art -Kid in Exclamation Mark 1
On the side of the AMC building: Look closely at the exclamation mark to spot the kid’s feet!
Singapore Street Art -Kid in Exclamation Mark 2
Look up high to see one of the boys making a break for it
Singapore Street Art - Boy in Window
I actually missed this piece the first time round and had to go back again to check it out, it’s pretty subtle!


Aliwal Street

After you’re done on Victoria Street, cut through Jalan Klapa, cross North Bridge Road and head down Aliwal Street till you reach the Aliwal Arts Centre. This arts centre houses one of Singapore’s more popular artist collectives RSCLS on its second level, with current members including a Young Artist Award winner ZERO to the once infamous SKL0 aka the sticker lady who cause a bit of an uproar back in 2012 with her ‘My Grandfather Road’ graffiti. Pop by their studio or look for their works all around the building – there is a large wall in the alleyway behind the building and a side wall which have works that are ever-changing! Also, keep your eyes peeled for the piece by Italian artist Alice Pasquini which I only spotted quite recently.

*Cross the road to the little concrete clearing next to the Independent Archive and Resource Centre at 67 Aliwal Street and you’ll see some interesting things there too [*Added Oct 2016: The Independent Archive area is being renovated so that whole bit is now gone!]


Singapore Street Art - Zero Converse
In the back alleyway of Aliwal Arts Centre. This work was done by ZERO, I love the vibrant colours! (these walls change frequently)
Singapore Street Art - RSCLS
This work was a collaborative work involving folk outside of RSCLS, though the RSCLS people did tidy it up at the end (these walls change frequently)
Singapore Street Art -Antz
I saw ANTZ do this live, and it was pretty amazing how fast and efficiently he worked! It even has a concept which is impressive considering he seemed to have thought up the idea quite spontaneousely – graffiti being the voice that is only heard in the alleys… (these walls change frequently)
Singapore Street Art - Jac
If you’ve been following on Instagram, you’ll know that the R was done by me! And beautified tremendously by the talented DEM
Singapore Street Art - Alice Pasquini Close up
In an unobtrusive corner of that same alleyway above an electrical box sits this little Alice Pasquini work, done when she was in town to do a work at the La Salle College of the Arts over at 9 Winstedt Road in 2013
Singapore Street Art - Alice Pasquini
Just to give a bit of context to the size and location of this work – it was blocked by a large construction container previously when I was in this alleyway!
Singapore Street Art - Aliwal r
Over in a clearing by the Independent Archive & Resource Centre (just behind this wall) – not sure what this huge r stands for, just that it’s pretty large!
Singapore Street Art - Aliwal Street Air Con
A little more subtle are these works – stand underneath the metal frames that once held air-conditioning units and look up to see these intriguing messages. Better still if you come on a sunny day in mid afternoon, you’ll get to see the shadows projected onto the surrounding wall so you don’t have to crane your neck like what I’m doing here
Singapore Street Art - Aliwal chickens
Also for some reason, chickens on top of the air con unit. Who knows why?
Singapore Street Art - Stuttgart Blackforest Tree Close up
Not quite on Aliwal Street but along Jalan Sultan that runs parallel to it, close to the Beach Road end. Cross the road towards the Keypoint building and look back to see this on the wall of Stuttgart Blackforest Express. No idea whose work it is but I like that it looks like a treehouse!

Sultan Arts Village

This rather obscure little building is easy to miss, a tiny enclave just a few roads down from Aliwal Arts Centre in front of the Malay Heritage Centre. Go check out The Black Book, a shop run by a graffiti crew ZincNiteCrew (aka ZNC), which sells spray paints and apparel. They also run the occasional graffiti battle here, so keep checking out their practice walls. Also look for art on the walls behind the shop, as well as around the front and sides of the Sultan Arts Village building for more awesome street art – can’t confirm if they are all done by ZNC folk, but it is a fun place to explore nonetheless.


Singapore Street Art - Sultan Arts Village Slacsatu
This beautiful piece is by Slacsatu, one of the founders of ZNC. I love how it’s so evocative of batik.
Singapore Street Art - Sultan Arts Village
It says Sultan Arts Village – there are plants in front of it so this was the best angle I could manage
Singapore Street Art - Sultan Arts Village Dancer
Around the side of the building are more paintings, this one of a traditional dancer
Singapore Street Art - Sultan Arts Village Face
And another one of a face. I suspect these are all ZNC works but can’t be sure
Singapore Street Art - Sultan Arts Village Dancer Face LR
*Added July 2015: This is a rare time where no cars were parked in front of the wall so you can see the full work in all its glory!
Singapore Street Art - Black Book
This picture is actually a throwback to 2012 when I first stumbled upon the place, but it still looks more or less the same now, except the boards behind are always changing! You’ll always see fresh works here


Sultan Gate

[Added Oct 2016] Down the road from Sultan Arts Village is a little alleyway where you can find this mural called Coffee Story by Yip Yew Chong aka Yip YC. It was commissioned for the coffee house A.R.C. located on that corner and depicts various ways you can get your coffee in Singapore, from the traditional to the modern.

Singapore Street Art - YipYC coffee story
Full view of the alleyway next to 29/31 Sultan Gate – ARC coffee is just behind this wall
Singapore Street Art - YipYC ARC now
Closer look at the right side of the mural which shows modern coffee brewing methods
Singapore Street Art - YipYC ARC sock
The center portion is a more old school Chinese style kopitiam uncle at work
Singapore Street Art - YipYC ARC tarik
And on the left hand side is the Teh Tarik man pouring the tea from cup to cup. Note the little cat around the corner!

Haji Lane

This lane is more famous for its hipster shopping, shisha joints and attracts photographers looking for a colourful yet rustic backdrop; it is one of the spots in Singapore which has had street art for quite a long time before it got hip. You’ll see more works by ZNC here, and quite a lot by JabaOne concentrated at the buildings on the Beach Road end leading up to the alleyway linking Arab Street and Haji Lane. Some of the other shops have got into the act as well, with artwork on their shopfronts, it’s definitely a visually exciting place.

Singapore Street Art - SlacMyowAsno
It’s not quite Haji Lane, but the alley linking Arab Street to Haji Lane – there’s a large wall which has a work by ZNC’s Slac, Myow and Asno on one side…
Singapore Street Art - Jaba Merdandy
And work by Jaba on the opposite side
Singapore Street Art - sheryo-theyok 1
Added June 2015: this recent work by Sheryo and The Yok is further down from Jaba’s work above and opposite the Slac/Myow/Asno piece is a part of SG50oz
Singapore Street Art - sheryo-theyok 2
The inspiration was the fabrics from around the area – Arab Street is lined on both sides with fabric shops, so it’s a nice call out to the area
Singapore Street Art - JabaOne Piedra Negra
Jaba has a huge collection of works in this area, covering all sides of the restaurant Piedra Negra on the Beach Road end of Haji Lane – remember to go all around the building!
Singapore Street Art - Merlion LR
Hidden amidst the trees is this funky merlion by Aussie street artist Mistery
Singapore Street Art - Button Figures
These random button figures are opposite Jaba’s work, no idea who they are by… (Added Oct 2016: this wall is empty right now)


Singapore Street Art - ZERO-KILAS Straits Records
Ok not quite Haji Lane either, but the neighbouring Bali Lane – the famous Straits Records facade is done by ZERO and KILAS


Of course as you wander around the area, you might across more than these artworks I’ve listed here – I’ve spotted several other pieces, but these are the main spots you’re likely to see more works, if you do find new areas to highlight, do let me know!

As you can see, I’ve been looking at Singapore’s street art scene a little bit more closely and started a side project to start documenting the locations and artworks so that people visiting Singapore know where to go and whose work they’re looking at. Street art is only starting to catch on, and it’s still illegal if you do it on public property without permission, but many building owners are starting to become more open to the idea of urban art on their buildings. Also, there are some spots which are legal for street artists to practice, like *SCAPE and the Rail Corridor at Commonwealth viaduct.

Do check out Singapore Street Art at singaporestreetart.tumblr.com and on instagram @singaporestreetart – it aims to document all past and present street art in Singapore, so do send over any snaps you might have!

If you are walking around on your own, do check out the audio tour that I’ve created with VoiceMap for the Kampong Glam area!

Looking for more street art? Check out my other street art related guides:

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24 comments to Where to find Street Art in Singapore: Kampong Glam

  1. Thanks for the great streetart guides for Singapore. I’ll be there in a few weeks time and looking forward to using them. Has saved me a lot of research on Instagram.

    • Glad you found it helpful and I hope you have a great time! Check out instagram.com/singaporestreetart which is my side instagram account specifically for awesome street art works around Singapore ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. There’s one in an alley off serangoon road between lavender street and 7eleven/shell. North side of serangoon street… The alley has a Chinese style gate.
    It depicts a bar scene with a rock band.

  3. Hi Jaclynn! Thanks for this article! I’m a huge fan of street art too and have started to notice recently that Singapore has had more street art murals popping up on obscure walls! This is a fantastic guide to start exploring with (:

  4. Hello Joan,

    My name is Richard Tassart,I’m French and live in Paris. You certainly know Paris is an important city of street art. I write in a local blog posts on street art. Like a critic I try to analyse the works.
    Thanks for your blog ( my future daughter in law who lives in Singapore told me that street art does not exist in town.She gave me the link of your blog).
    The blog I write is Canal street (I sign Richard)

    My son and his wife will live in Songapore soon. I go in Singapore for the wedding on October.


    • Bonjour Richard and thanks for leaving a note, merci beaucoup! ๐Ÿ™‚
      I haven’t seen the street art in Paris, though that’s probably because I only got more interested in it recently.
      Congratulations to your family and I hope you enjoy your time in Singapore

    • thanks Joan! There are more spots emerging though, the harder I look! I hope that the new SingaporeStreetArt project makes it easier for people to stumble upon these gems ๐Ÿ™‚

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