The Street Art of Little India

Messy. Colourful. Vibrant.

These are 3 words one would use to describe Little India. Together with Kampong Glam and Chinatown, this trio make up the heritage hotspots of Singapore’s cultural precincts. 

Ah, lively Little India… This area where Generation Coffee has called home since we put down roots in Tekka Centre almost a year ago now.

Wow, time DOES fly, doesn’t it? 

With its picturesque blend of heritage and modern buildings, Little India provides the perfect canvas for street artists to capture and express the uniqueness of this heritage enclave. Let us share our top favourites with you.

Note: Prepare to have your eyes feast on a kaleidoscope of colour.

Cricket and Classical by Ts1 and Haha 

What do India and Australia have in common? 

Hint: It’s not an insect!

The answer is *drumroll please* ... Cricket

Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between 2 teams on a field. It is simultaneously India’s most popular sport and Australia’s de facto national sport.
(Told you it wasn’t an insect.)

Street artist Ts1 and Haha captured this favourite pastime on the columns at the carpark near Tekka Centre. They used colours and drawings of animals to incorporate both cultures together. 

To further tickle your knowledge, you’ll be happy to know that Ts1 is a local street artist and Haha, you guessed it, is an Aussie. Both brilliant artists in their own right.

Traditional Trades of Little India by Psyfool

Ever wondered how the OG entrepreneurs of Little India earned their keep?

This mural by Psyfool may give you a rare glimpse into the daily setting of merchants in the olden days. Literally walk down memory lane as you take in this piece, spanning the entire alleyway leading to the back of Belilios Lane.

A ride through Race Course Road: A Community Art Project by Jaxton Su with help of migrant workers and students 

As the name implies, this street art can be found along Race Course Road. No bonus points of correctly guessing what this area was known for in the past.

Measuring 20m long, this mural depicts a conflicting encounter between a horse racer and a garland maker.

It’s hilarious for us looking at the scene from the outside, but imagine the racer shouting, “Hey, it’s not my fault my horse was attracted to your beautiful garlands!” while galloping away.

Leaving the garland maker in the dust, unsure whether to feel enraged by the horse or flattered by its rider.

Madam Mogra, Jasmine of the City by Nadiah Alsagoff 

Singapore's development isn't possible without our migrant workers. 

This street art depicts pure white jasmine flowers blooming in the Singapore sun. It’s perfect as a tribute to the longing for the comfort of their fatherland, yet are determined to better the lives of their families back home.

Think about it, we as humans sweat under the sweltering heat. But flowers, they bloom, they thrive, they flourish.

A perfect tribute.

Mayura by Boon aka BAKED 

Mayura is Sankrit for “peacock”, one of the sacred birds in Hindu mythology. 

This mural is aptly named, since it features this wondrous bird the world has come to love for both its “pea”uty and cockiness. 

Decorating the entire stretch of alleyway behind Aqueen Heritage Hotel, the row of peacocks will take your breath away with their sheer size and majesty.

Kathaka by Didier Mathieu aka Jaba 

Kathaka is one of the major forms of classical Indian dance. This piece of street art captures Kathaka dancers in their iconic poses. Using vivid colours and confident brush strokes, street artist Jaba brings to life the vibrancy and sharp movements of this dance.

Boy with a $100 dollar bill by Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic

A playful piece of street art located outside Perak Hotel.

Don’t worry the boy is safe. We’re more concerned about your safety crossing the road while staring awestruck at this life-like painting.

Tempting passers-by with a realistic $100 bill hanging at the end of the fishing line, this particular piece definitely calls for some street posing. It’s almost like it’s calling to you, “Come get the moolah (and a photograph too).”

Daily Delivery by Jaba 

Another colourful piece by Jaba, 'Daily Delivery' shows the traditional tiffin business where food is kept and sold in stacked metal containers, or what we lovingly like to call “tingkat”.

Located along 212 Serangoon Road, this piece of work is humongous! Surely you won’t miss it.

Low walls mimicking the colour scheme of Tan Teng Niah House

The historical Tan Teng Niah House was built in 1900.

While this piece of street art only came by much later after 1900, the source of its inspiration is apparent. The iconic colour scheme of Tan Teng Niah House can be found along the walls of the drop-off point at BLK 668 Chander Road. 

Each wall shows a different window, offering us a sneak peek into what possibly goes on inside the quaint houses at Little India. 

No prying into people’s houses though!

Village Curry by Yip Yew Chong

Easily overlooked because it’s part of an outdoor dining area, ‘Village Curry’ hides in plain sight of an eatery at 20 Kerbau road. This street art shows traditional cattle farming, curry and prata making. 

You wanna keep your eyes wide open to spot this one. 

Hey, might as well grab a prata and support a local business too while enjoying the art. After that scrumptious meal, how about dropping by Tekka Centre for a quick cup of Generation Coffee? *wink*

Loops of the Precious by Priyageetha d/o Diayalan 

'Loops' is an artwork inspired by Priyageetha's grandfather. The work is sparked by memories of gold smithing, a traditional trade popular amongst the Indian community. 

To find this masterpiece, traverse the streets of Little India to an alleyway near the junction of Serangoon Road and Upper Dickson Street. We’re keeping this like a treasure hunt so you’ll feel all the more accomplished when you discover it. 

Try not to be hypnotised by the intricate and unique detailing of each mesmerising loop.

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So there you have it! A collection of some of our favourite street art around Little India.

We did warn you that it will be colourful, right?

If you do choose to venture out to behold these works of art for yourself, we hope you’ll drop by our Generation Coffee stall at Tekka Centre to show us the memorable photos you took! More importantly, we hope you have fun and got to know our lovely sunny island a little better.

 

Reference: https://theoccasionaltraveller.com/street-art-singapore-little-india/#race-course-road