Artist duo Ripple Root’s vibrant murals decorate the streets of Singapore, from Chinatown to Tanjong Pagar to Orchard Road. Made up of Singaporeans Estella Ng (Ripple) and Liquan Liew (Root), the pair first met as colleagues at a design firm and began by making paintings on the side for fun. Soon, they had enough pieces for a show, and after it sold-out they decided to pursue Ripple Root and street art in Singapore full-time.
Characterised by a bright and bold palette, jaunty brushstrokes and plenty of intrinsic movement, Ripple Root’s street art evokes a sense of freedom, whimsy and playfulness that immediately draws the eye. Their creations deal primarily with the themes of nature and wildlife, while their technique borrows from Southeast Asian ornamentation traditions – such as textiles and arabesque tiles.
As part of a campaign by Ink (sponsored by the Singapore Tourism Board) centred on the theme of Resilience, the duo takes us on a personalised tour of Singapore in a special video. From the beautiful and hardy greenery found throughout the city-state to the captivating street art that brightens many corners, the video spotlights defining aspects of Singapore’s identity that have stood resilient throughout – and perhaps in spite of – its rapid development and urbanisation.
Read on for the duo’s guide to the best places to view street art in Singapore.
In Singapore’s bustling Little India you can sample delicious food, check out cultural and religious structures and view some great street art. “You can explore Little India’s rich, multicultural history through its vibrant walls,” Ripple Root says. You’ll find lots of colourful murals along Kerbau Road. Also, look out for DIFF/FUSION, a colourful, conceptual piece by artist Zero inspired by the myriad of spices found in the area, which you’ll find next to the Teng Niah House.
63 Market Street
Located in the heart of Singapore’s Central Business District, Ripple Root’s Market Street mural is over 10 metres high and 20 metres wide, making it one of their largest projects to date. The art was commissioned by CapitaLand and inspired by CapitaSpring, an upcoming integrated development building project that will be one of the tallest and greenest buildings in Raffles Place when it is completed in 2021. The brightly coloured mural depicts office workers in a vibrant universe, offering a technicolour rendition of life in the city’s downtown area.
“Haji Lane has lots of hidden alleys where the street art keeps changing and evolving,” Ripple Root says. Indeed, you’ll find work by some of Singapore’s top street artists along this trendy street known for its buzzing bars, quirky boutiques and charming cafés – and in the larger Kampong Glam area. Check out the large-scale mural by Colombian graffiti artist Didier Jaba Mathieu outside the restaurant Piedra Negra; works by popular street artist Ernest Zacharevic around Kampong Glam; and assorted colourful street art along Subhan Street.
MRT train stations
Singapore’s Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) stations, aside from forming part of the city-state’s impressive and efficient public transportation network, are also surprising sites for art. “MRT art can really surprise you and you’ll find lots of great public art at the stations,” Ripple Root says. Some of their favourites are Clarke Quay, where you’ll chance upon gorgeous murals by painter Chua Ek Kay; Outram Park, which features large muted wall reliefs by artist Teo Eng Seng; and Dhoby Ghaut, which has mosaic art by artist couple Milenko and Delia Prvacki.