Singapore Street Art Chinatown Amoy Food Centre Ceno2 Samsui Woman

Where to find Street Art in Singapore – Chinatown

In Singapore, Street Art by Jaclynn Seah0 Comments

Singapore’s Chinatown is better known as a Chinese ethnic enclave in Singapore, especially festive during the Chinese New Year and Mid-Autumn Festival period. But amidst its cultural landmarks and preserved shophouses, you can find a surprising number of street art works, a perfect mix for those who want to see one of Singapore’s most popular districts while hunting down some street art.

If you enjoy your street art with a mix of local ethnic heritage, how about checking out Little India or Kampong Glam as well, or head on over to Bugis-Bras Basah near the museums instead? Check out my full list of street art guides from around the world for more, or head on over to @singaporestreetart on Instagram for more.

Use the menu to help you navigate quickly, and as always there’s a handy Google map as always to guide you, and I’ve added in some suggestions of nearby attractions so you can make sure you get some sightseeing in as well.

Pin it: Where to find Street Art in Singapore Chinatown

Spots for Street Art in Chinatown, Singapore

Handy Google Map for you for all the Singapore Street Art – look for the Chinatown tab

Street Art Projects

Some of the major street art projects that contributed to the art works in this area – I never realised that most of these works took place in 2015 in time for SG50, Singapore’s 50th year of independence.

50 Bridges

50 Bridges was a part of SG50OZ, a joint collaboration between Singapore and the Australian High Commission in celebration of 50 years of collaboration as well as Singapore’s 50th jubilee. One part of the celebration as 50 Walls, that saw 50 street art works created by artists from both countries in various neighbourhoods around the country. See more about 50 Walls.

NEA Our Hawker Centres – An art and heritage project

This was also another SG50 celebration, this time helmed by the National Environment Agency where they had 50 murals painted in hawker centres around the island. Many of these were social murals that involved students and the community coming together to paint, others were artist led. See more about NEA Our Hawker Centres and flip the e-book.

Colouring Banda Street

This was also an SG50 project, driven by auditing company PriceWaterhouseCoopers in collaboration with the Kreta Ayer Residents Committee that depicted scenes of Singapore from past and present and was meant to spruce up this older housing estate. Head here for more about Colouring Banda Street.


NEAR CHINATOWN COMPLEX

Chinatown refers to quite a large area, but this section is what I call ‘downtown Chinatown’ and where you can find the pedestrian streets and all the action takes place during Chinese New Year.

  • Chinatown Complex
  • Banda Road
  • Ann Siang Hill
  • Amoy Street
  • Attractions around the area

Mosque Street

Location: 48 Mosque Street

This artwork belongs to the Porcelain Hotel situated on the side of the shophouse row, an extension of the hotel’s decor which revolves around porcelain designs. It’s such a beautiful intricate piece, pity I couldn’t find any info on whether any artist was involved in putting up this piece.

Singapore Street Art Mosque Street Porcelain

Very eye catching white and blue design

Chinatown Complex

Location: 335 Smith Street

Chinatown Complex has a pretty great hawker centre on its second floor – there is a huge variety of local street food to choose from, and it even has a craft beer and draught beer taps right in this hawker centre, quite a rarity in Singapore. You will find several murals on the ground level which also consists of a market.

Singapore Street Art Chinatown Complex Thomas Civil

The Path by Tom Civil. Located at the entrance facing Smith Street

The Path is a work by Australian artist Tom Civil, one of several works that he created in Singapore as a part of 50 Bridges The colours are a callback to Chinatown’s colour scheme. Can you spot the one special man with the dots around him to the right of the pillar?

Singapore Street Art Chinatown Complex BruceLee

Bruce Lee Rocks Chinatown by TP. Located at the entrance facing the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple near the junction of Trengganu Street and Smith Street

Prosper in Wealth, Huat ah! is a mural by Temasek Polytechnic School of Design students for the SG50 government initiative by NEA’s Our Hawker Centres. As with Chinese artworks, this has a lot of red in it and you can see lots of symbols which are references to Chinese culture and Singaporean heritage. Also, the eponymous Bruce Lee with a durian in hand, of course.

There are several murals from NEA Hawker Centres around the first floor of Chinatown Complex, though none quite as big as these 2 featured here – see how many you can find. Here’s one more to get you started

Singapore Street Art Chinatown Complex LionDance

Chi He Wan Le by Singapore Polytechnic students for NEA Our Hawker Centres

Banda Street

Around the area near Chinatown Complex is Banda Street, which has a pretty colourful history as both a hotspot for late night hawkers as well as the haunt for Japanese brothels back in the pre-war era. These days, it’s home to many older folk who live in the HDB rental blocks here. The murals here are largely due to the Colouring Banda Street project and feature scenes of Singapore back in its early days.

There are 13 murals in total, have some fun seeking them out.

Singapore Street Art Banda Road Samsui Stairs

The Samsui women were immigrants from China and worked as manual labourers, usually dressed in a typical blue outfit with a large red cloth hats

Singapore Street Art Banda Road Samsui Women

More Samsui women – this is closer to the Buddha Tooth Relic temple

Singapore Street Art Banda Road MBS

Right next to it is a mosaic of the Marina Bay Sands and its iconic 3 towers

Singapore Street Art Banda Road Bridge

On the other side of the stairway is this water under the bridge mural

Ann Siang Hill

Location: 4 Ann Siang Hill

Ann Siang Hill and Club Street are the hip and happening areas – shophouse rows filled with trendy bars and restaurants, this place is bursting at the seams especially on Friday and Saturday nights, where the roads are blocked off to traffic and the crowds spill out onto the street.

Singapore Street Art Ann Siang Hill Jaba Chicken

Ayam Goreng by Didier Jaba Mathieu. This is at the alleyway right above Lorna Jane and connects the parallel Erskine Road

This is a work by Colombian-born artist Didier Jaba Mathieu aka Jabaone (whose works you can also see in Kampong Glam and Little India) for the Coconut Club Singapore, a hipster joint dedicated to local coconut-based foods Nasi Lemak and Cendol. He called this piece Ayam Goreng which translates as Chicken Rice, and that’s not quite the same thing as Nasi Lemak, though the latter often comes with Chicken Wings.

Amoy Street

Location: 7 Maxwell Road, Amoy Street Food Center Level 1

This series of 5 panels line the inner walls of Amoy Street Food Centre – there is a slightly raised area near the back of the hawker centre. They are a collaboration for NEA Hawker Centres by local street artist Ceno2 (whose works you can also find in Kampong Glam) and the students for Anglo Chinese School (ACS) in celebration of SG50 called ‘Then and Now‘.

Singapore Street Art Chinatown Amoy Food Centre Ceno2 Samsui Woman

My favourite one is quite classic Ceno – the portrait of a laughing samsui woman who’s throwing up a handisng which shows off that classic extra long pinky nail. The background pattern also reminds me of old school plastic bags.

Singapore Street Art Chinatown Amoy Food Centre Dragon

I really like this dragon too. The chinese characters on the lantern say Ping An or peace

Singapore Street Art Chinatown Amoy Food Centre Food Cart

Also cute is the Makan tricycle – back in the days before hawker centres, we had street food carts like these

Singapore Street Art Chinatown Amoy Food Centre Door

And of course this one is a throwback to the ACS school beginnings at 70 Amoy Street

Location: Opposite 96 Amoy Street, back side of Thian Hock Keng Temple

This Thian Hock Keng mural was painted by heritage muralist Yip Yew Chong and can be found on the back walls of the Thian Hock Keng temple – the front entrance is located along Telok Ayer Street, but the back walls are along Amoy Street. The oldest Chinese temple in Singapore dedicated to the sea goddess Mazu/Matsu used to face the sea, though that land has now all been reclaimed and all you see are office blocks. This 44m long mural has scenes of what the area used to look like, as well as the lives of early Hokkien immigrants from Southern China. Check out his website for closer views of the artwork, it’s hard to take good photos with the cars and the sheer length.

Singapore Street Art Chinatown Amoy Street YipYC River

Can you imagine that the land all those buildings in the background were once actually part of the sea?

Singapore Street Art Chinatown Amoy Street YipYC Pano

Here’s a really long pano, I know it’s hard to see the detail!

Nearby Attractions

Here are some of my recs on highlights to check out nearby, so you can swing by and see some street art while you go see the sights of Singapore’s Chinatown.

  • Downtown Chinatown is especially nice at night when the streets are lit up. They have pretty red and yellow lanterns, but during Chinese New Year and Mid-Autumn Festival, this area is extra festive.
  • Nights are nice at Ann Siang Hill and Club Street which is quite the hipster hangout with bars, cafes and eateries galore. Be warned that it is absolutely packed on Friday and Saturday nights with office workers who just wanna hang loose after a long week of work
  • Eat at the famous Maxwell Hawker Centre, Amoy Street Food Centre or check out Chinatown Complex Hawker Centre on level 2 for your local food cravings.
  • Popular food souvenirs to bring back: Bak Kwa or BBQ-ed meat from Bee Cheng Hiang, egg tarts from Tong Heng,
  • Buddha Tooth Relic Temple is a beautiful building to photograph and has Buddhist relics you can check out, or the Hindu Sri Mariamman Temple. Telok Ayer Street where Thian Hock Keng temple is on is also home to the Musical Box Museum as well as the tiny Fuk Tak Shi Temple, which opens up into the Amoy Hotel – more on that in my article on quirky museums to check out in Singapore.

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NEAR KEONG SAIK ROAD

Keong Saik Road was a notorious former red-light district and a rather dodgy gang turf to boot. Gentrification has turned it into one of the hip happening areas to be in Singapore, so much so that Lonely Planet named this area a top 10 of its 2017 Best in Asia destinations.

  • Keong Saik Road
  • Teo Hong Road
  • Neil Road
  • Duxton Road

Keong Saik Road

Location:  1 Keong Saik Road

This mural is by local artist duo Ripple Root for collaborative workspace The Working Capitol in 2016. A little alleyway connects Keong Saik Road to the back of the shophouses – both walls on either side are lined with exuberant abstract shapes and colours.

Singapore Street Art Keong Siak RippleRoot 1

One long stretch of wall

Singapore Street Art Keong Siak RippleRoot 2

It’s also where motorbike parking is located, so hard to get an unblocked shot

Singapore Street Art Keong Siak RippleRoot 3

This wall is on the side of Loloku and where the Working Capitol space is

Teo Hong Road

Location: 1 Teo Hong Road

It’s a short walk from Keong Saik Road to nearby Teo Hong Road, where you can find the Swis Ling Bak Kut Teh Seafood Restaurant. I’ve never eaten there, but I like the cartoony lion dancers you can find on either side of its side entrance

Singapore Street Art Teo Hong Road Swis Ling

No idea who the artwork belongs to

Neil Road

Location: 74 Neil Road

Along Neil Road is a little hipster heaven of a cafe called Botanist – I have yet to visit it properly, but I love the swirly art on its side walls, which is also a very instagram-friendly spot that I first noticed because it kept popping up on my feed.

Singapore Street Art Neil Road Spirals

No info on who the artist is, let me know if you know!

Singapore Street Art Neil Road Spirals Plants

Cute little plant detail

Duxton Road

Location: At the junction of Duxton Road and Craig Road

This area I jokingly call the Korean Wedding district for the sheer number of Korean restaurants and wedding shops along this stretch. Again, more unattributed works which are somewhat strange by eye catching.

Singapore Street Art Duxton Road Olden Tech Close

These ancient Chinese ladies are all carrying modern devices like ipads and phones or branded bags. It’s kinda cute but I’m wondering who actually did this.

Singapore Street Art Duxton Road Olden Tech

It’s a very long stretch

Singapore Street Art Duxton Road Coloured Dots

On the empty wall next to Crucycle (68 Duxton Road) are these random coloured dots. Why and who, again I have no idea. This reminds me of a Twister board

Nearby Attractions

  • Keong Saik Road is a place to eat. Check out this guide by The Finder SG for recommendations.
  • The Art Deco Shophouse facade of Dong Ya Building is pretty iconic. Stalwart Tong Ah Eating House nearby makes for a good place to fuel up on local snacks, but those who want something more modern, Potatohead is the place to be.
  • Duxton Road is home to Singapore’s highest HDB flats – The [email protected], which the public can visit its sky bridges on 26th and 50th floors for a small fee

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NEAR EVERTON ROAD

The Everton Road area is perhaps a little more Outram than actual Chinatown, but it’s close enough that you can just cross Cantonment Road and walk over to this area that is much quieter and less touristy than downtown Chinatown. Lots of lovely shophouses around here to check out.

  • Everton Road
  • Spottiswoode Park Road

Everton Road

Location: 39-40 Everton Road, close to Asia Gardens apartment

Muralist Yip Yew Chong has around 30 murals at this point in time, but Amah and Barber have the honour of being his first street art pieces painted back in late 2015. His murals tend to show lots of nostalgic detail about Singapore related to the surrounding area, and this is no exception.

Singapore Street Art Everton Road YipYC

This is the corner where you can see both works. Amah (right) faces the HDB estate while Barber (left) faces Asia Gardens

Singapore Street Art Everton Road YipYC Amah

The Amah is the name of a Chinese housemaid – this one is doing the laundry of a Peranakan household, which you can see from the laundry hung out to dry. Love the little details of animals and food to the right

Singapore Street Art Everton Road YipYC Barber

Barber is the scene of an old school barber shop which can usually be found in the alleyways such as this one

Location: Junction of Spottiswoode Park Road and Everton Road

This 3rd mural by YipYC is called Provision Shop and painted a few months after the other 2 works. This brings back lots of nostalgia. I love the life sized scooter and the pushcart hawker with his cat and mailbox (yup that’s not real) on the right.

Singapore Street Art Everton Road YipYC Provision

Go right up and check out the detail of the artwork to learn a bit about Singapore’s history

Spottiswoode Park Road

Location: 64 Spottiswoode Park Road, junction of Blair Road and Spottiswoode Park Road

Art Porters is an art gallery and while I have yet to visit properly, I am enjoying the artwork that you can find on its back side. This beautiful piece by Alexface from Bangkok – you can spot his work at Bugis-Bras Basah as well – of his signature cute little monsters is adorable.

Singapore Street Art Spottiswoode Park Alexface

Loving the Chinese and Peranakan detail subtly weaved into the artwork. The act of growing what looks like green beans makes me think it’s a callback to Singapore’s reputation as the Garden City

Singapore Street Art Spottiswoode Park Cat

Right next to the Art Porters entrance is this beam of light – fun fact: the cat and the tiny dragonfly underneath the sign were a rather guerilla addition by Yip Yew Chong, but the beam of light and the gallery name were not painted by him

Singapore Street Art Spottiswoode Park Fish

Just a bit further down is this random red luohan looking goldfish

Nearby Attractions

  • Everton Park is also quite a hip enclave for the brunch and cafe crowdNylon Coffee Roasters or Strangers Reunion are good places to start for coffee lovers, or see some other recs
  • 66 Spottiswoode Park is supposed to have the oldest intact painted shophouse facade in Singapore. There is a lot of lovely tile work and architecture to admire around here
  • Plant lovers might enjoy checking out the rare Binjai Tree which has heritage status and is a call back to this area’s past as a nutmeg plantation
  • You are not too far from Tanjong Pagar Railway Station which would be a great place to check out for its architecture and they often hold interesting events there, but sadly it’s currently under redevelopment and will only reopen in 2025.

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Other Street Art Spots in Singapore

Spotted any other works I missed out? Drop me a comment here and let me know. Street art is always evolving so some of these works might disappear while others may pop up, I’ll update this as regularly as I can.

If you love hunting street art in Singapore, make sure to check out my side instagram account @singaporestreetart for more updates on new works. There are also more detailed area guides on the blog for:

Head on over to the street art page for a full list of all my street art guides from around the world.

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