The multidisciplinary public arts festival ARTWALK has returned to the vibrant streets of Little India and Katong-Joo Chiat from 19 to 28 January 2024. Part of Singapore Art Week, ARTWALK 2024 explores the theme of Decennial to commemorate 10 years of the festival, which has grown to be a beloved staple of the circuit since its first iteration in 2015.
ARTWALK 2024: Decennial will call on artists, audiences and communities to reflect on a decade of ARTWALK, the histories that have been shared and the evolution of these spaces. Festival goers can anticipate a dynamic blend of live music, engaging workshops, captivating performances and awe-inspiring murals.
ARTWALK invites all to reconsider everything they think they know about the cultural districts of Little India and Katong-Joo Chiat and reacquaint themselves with the hidden stories and long-standing communities that have shaped these precincts into what they are today.
ARTWALK is jointly organised by LASALLE College of the Arts (LASALLE) and the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), and supported by the Little India Shop Owners and Heritage Association (LISHA). The festival presents a multisensory experience through artworks and experiences, inspired by and telling the stories of Singapore’s cultural precincts.
Mr Milenko Prvacki, Senior Fellow, LASALLE College of the Arts, said: “We are honoured to be back for our tenth year, and that ARTWALK continues to be a crowd favourite. I hope that visitors join us in celebrating a decade of public art and expression, while learning and drawing inspiration from the stories and heritage of Singapore’s cultural districts.”
Ms Lim Shoo Ling, Director, Arts & Cultural Precincts, Singapore Tourism Board, said: “ARTWALK continues to showcase the vibrancy of our cultural precincts through the arts. As part of Singapore Art Week and held alongside the annual Pongal festivities, we are excited to celebrate the tenth year of ARTWALK with a diverse range of arts experiences, performances and workshops. These offerings will provide both locals and international visitors with the opportunity to deeply immerse themselves in the unique cultural offerings of local communities in Little India and Katong-Joo Chiat.”
The ARTWALK: Block Party draws inspiration from street culture and will showcase an extravaganza of street dance performances, local musicians in the rap and music scene, and a fashion showcase at Katong-Joo Chiat’s Picotin bar and restaurant.
ARTWALK Bazaar will enliven the streets of Katong-Joo Chiat, featuring performances by local musicians as well as a vintage flea market, emphasising that any space can transform into a performance venue where communities can connect. Festival goers can look forward to performances by local talents such as Genesis Keefer, with lo-fi and old-school sounds that promise to soothe both body and soul, as well as Hazel & Haziq, a talented acoustic duo who blend their unique musical journeys to create a captivating performance.
Also featured in the programme is Led Me Here, a unique theatrical tour inspired by local songs and the vibrant murals in Katong. This walking experience, led by performer Shaifulbahri Mohamad, unfolds fictional stories of love. Set against the charming backdrop of Katong’s shops, architecture and murals, the tour prompts reflection on the memories and emotions tied to a place. As audiences take on this theatrical journey, they will consider what is left behind when they depart and what draws them back, sparking contemplation on the essence of return and departure.
Beach Vibes, a new mural in East Coast Road by artist Lee Song Xuan (also known as SONG) captures the essence of a tropical sunset on the beach, featuring kelong-style houses along the shore.
The literary arts will be featured for the first time in the ARTWALK line-up through a thought-provoking poetry workshop. Audiences will have the opportunity to refine their poetry skills and delve into the profound world of words and emotions under the guidance of poet Jennifer Champion.
As participants hone their craft, a unique prospect awaits them—being featured in the accompanying SENSES open mic. This captivating segment of ARTWALK is a spoken word event set in the backdrop of a Haiku-Tree installation by poet-artist Graceful Quills that will provide audiences a platform for self-expression. SENSES promises to be a celebration of language and the artistry of words, highlighting the compelling works of five accomplished poets, as well as showcasing the poetic prowess of the workshop participants.
Fashion Walk will be held during ARTWALK’s opening night on 19 January and Block Party on 27 January transforming the areas into a space for textile and fashion.
Creative producer and director, Joseph Koh and Ryan Lee will work with fashion students from LASALLE to showcase their creations, intricately woven with themes of myth and religion.
Celebrating ARTWALK’s return to the streets with a bang, crowd favourite Damaru Singapore will be back as part of the festival’s programme with a series of engaging performances. Other highlights include sessions with storyteller Kamini Ramachandran, a long-time ARTWALK favourite, who will lead a cultural tour and experience around Little India.
OBSCURA, an evocative exhibition by street photographer Vimel Devdas (also known as G) is meticulously crafted to shed light on the hidden heritage and diverse individuals residing in Little India.
Audiences can also look forward to a series of new murals and installations in the area. The Street Tailor at 102 Dunlop Street showcases the quiet charm of a neighbourhood hero, while artist Shah Rizzal’s graffiti-inspired floor mural Buffalo Road is inspired by the vibrant clash of colours and prominent structures on the stretch of road.
Along Lembu Road, visitors and passers-by can participate in the making of a rangoli installation led by renowned rangoli artist Vijaya Mohan. Visitors can also enjoy Momento Fatality Error, a mesmerising projection installation by artist Urich Lau which hopes to add vibrancy to the bustling streets of Little India.
Full details of this year’s programme can be found on the ARTWALK website at https://artwalkfest.sg, which includes digital retrospectives of past editions dating from ARTWALK’s inception in 2015.
Audiences can also visit ARTWALK’s official social media platforms on Facebook and Instagram, and LASALLE’s TikTok page. ARTWALK is held in conjunction with Singapore Art Week 2024.
Led Me Here
By Mohamad Shaifulbahri Bin Sawaluddin
Sun 21 & 28 Jan 2024, 5:15pm – 6:45pm
284 Joo Chiat Road (427538)
Led Me Here draws inspiration from the songs Girl from Katong by Serenaide and P. Ramlee’s Nak Dara Rindu, Malay idioms, as well as murals found along Katong. Led by performer Shaifulbahri Mohamad, the theatrical walking experience will reveal fictional vignettes of love – lost, found, and ever elusive.
These stories, spanning decades, are set against the backdrop of shops, architecture and murals of Katong. It is a meditation on our memories of a place, exploring what we leave behind and what draws us back, sparking contemplation on the essence of return and departure.
If These Walls Could Speak
By Kamini Ramachandran
Sat 20 & 27 Jan 2024, 5:30pm – 7:00pm
15 Hindoo Rd (209111)
In commemoration of the 10th edition of ARTWALK, storyteller Kamini Ramachandran will revive some of the artworks that no longer exist on the walls of Little India. Some have been painted over and erased, others have become a canvas for newer artworks, and Kamini’s walk will incorporate a selection of current murals as well as some that have vanished.
If These Walls Could Speak pays homage to the artworks that used to be a part of the place, just like some of the long-forgotten histories of the place. The walking experience is suitable for newcomers and visitors who wish to learn more about Little India and the Indian community in Singapore through the symbolism and metaphors contained in the selected murals. References will be made to the harvest festival of Pongal as well as Thaipusam since these significant celebrations fall during the ARTWALK period.
Damaru Singapore: Traditional Indian Drumming
By Damaru Singapore
Fri 19 Jan 2024, 7:00pm – 9:30pm, Open Space at Lembu Road Open Space (208450)
Sat 20 & 27 Jan 2024, 3:00pm – 5:00pm, 22 Campbell Lane (209895)
Damaru Singapore reprises its role with three distinctive performances. X Tandava on 19 January will feature a harmoniously blended ensemble of Indian drums hailing from diverse ethnic origins, enriched by songs accompanied by backing tracks.
Parai on 20 January resurrects Damaru Singapore’s iconic multifaceted performance that incorporates dance, songs and drumming. This year’s rendition features the Parai Maestro Manimaran of Buddhar Kalai Kuzhu, India, and his two sons. They will delve into parai’s evolution over the past decade. Audiences can also participate in a short hands-on session, with a highlight segment involving 50 drummers synchronising their beats in a powerful ensemble.
Damaru will introduce Nasik Dhol Tasha on 27 January — a Maharashtrian street drumming art form renowned for its thunderous sounds and regal presentation. Audiences will be invited to choose from 10 different grooves, invoking the rhythm at any moment, prompting performers to dynamically respond and bring the selected beats to life.
By Dink Collective & Graceful Quills
Sat 27 & Sun 28 Jan 2024, 6:00pm – 7:00pm
EXP, 340 Joo Chiat Road (427592)
SENSES is an open mic and spoken word event that fuses the written word with the concept of the senses, highlighting the nuances that people pick up through practicing art. Held at EXP Art House, Dink Collective and Graceful Quills will liven up the space with their captivating performances and installation.
By Joseph Koh & Ryan Lee, in collaboration with students from LASALLE’s BA (Hons) Fashion Design and Textiles programme
Fri 19 Jan 2024, 7:00pm – 9:30pm, Lembu Road Open Space(208450)
Sat 27 Jan 6:00pm – 10:00pm, Picotin, 382 Joo Chiat Road (427622)
Porcelain is a fashion showcase featuring garments made by LASALLE’s Year 2 BA (Hons) Fashion Design and Textiles students, directed and styled by experienced stylists, Joseph Koh and Ryan Lee. Catch fashion models showcasing the garments as they take the centre stage at ARTWALK’s Opening Night and Block Party.
This showcase eloquently underscores the fragility of heritage preservation in today’s digitally dominated landscape, emerging as a testament of how culture can remain resilient and adaptable in the face of technological flux.
Fri 19 Jan 2024, 7:00pm – 9:30pm
Lembu Road Open Space (208450)
The ARTWALK 2024 opening event will enliven the precinct of Little India as it features an array of showcases by various participating artists. Audiences can also expect performances by Indian drumming group Damaru, Poncho Group, Genesis Keefer, Bear The Remedy and Hazel & Haziq.
The event will end off with a fashion showcase Porcelain directed and styled by experienced stylists Joseph Koh and Ryan Lee, featuring garments meticulously crafted by students from LASALLE’s BA (Hons) Fashion Design and Textiles programme that are intricately woven with themes of myth and religion.
Sat 27 Jan 2024, 1:00pm – 9:00pm
The streets of Katong-Joo Chiat come alive in this outdoor market featuring small businesses selling vintage apparel, tarot readings and more. A dynamic line-up of local musicians will also take to the stage, filling the afternoon with good vibes and chill beats.
This outdoor bazaar emphasises that any space can transform into a performance venue to showcase various musical concepts and for communities to connect.
Block Party @ Picotin
Sat 27 Jan 2024, 6:00pm – 10:00pm
Picotin, 382 Joo Chiat Road (427622)
ARTWALK’s Block Party is not your usual party. Showcasing street dance performances, local rap and hip hop musicians as well as a fashion showcase, Block Party will bring street culture to Katong-Joo Chiat bar and restaurant Picotin.
Poncho Group will ignite the crowd with an electrifying performance. The familiar beats of Danny Phantom and No Face No Case will fill the air over at Picotin. Rekker, the group’s skilled DJ, will be spinning hip-hop tunes to have everyone bobbing their heads in unison.
Youths as young as 15 years old representing the street dance academy, Artistate, will be bringing an exciting street dance performance to the tunes of R&B and hip-hop. These passionate young dancers will be sure to impress.
Audiences can also catch the fashion showcase Porcelain directed and styled by experienced stylists Joseph Koh and Ryan Lee, featuring garments meticulously crafted by students from LASALLE’s BA (Hons) Fashion Design and Textiles programme that are intricately woven with themes of myth and religion.
SENSES Poetry Workshop
By Jennifer Anne Champion
Sat 20 & Sun 21 Jan 2024, 5:00pm – 6:00pm
EXP, 340 Joo Chiat Road (427592)
Jennifer Anne Champion will be hosting a spoken word poetry workshop at EXP Arts House, and participants will have the opportunity to showcase their work during the SENSES open-mic session on 27 and 28 January 2024.
This workshop is beginner-friendly and suitable for attendees interested in learning poetry and creative expression through art and poetry.
The Street Tailor
By Didier ‘Jaba’ Mathieu
102 Dunlop Street (209421)
In The Street Tailor, Jaba showcases the quiet charm of a neighbourhood hero – the street tailor. Ignoring fashion or trends, this everyday hero is all about helping out, fixing things and tweaking those little details that baffle most of us. It is a tribute to those who stick to a timeless craft, gracefully navigating life’s twists without getting caught up in passing judgments or trends.
Lee Song Xuan (also known as SONG)
150 East Coast Road (428837)
Beach Vibes, SONG’s mural in Tanjong Katong, captures the essence of a tropical sunset on the beach. The artwork features kelong-style houses along the shore, accompanied by a local sitting in a Peranakan-style chair, savouring a hot coffee while basking in the golden hues of the sunset. The mural also pays homage to sea turtles and other beach-dwelling animals, creating a captivating scene that invites reflection during this magical golden hour.
664 Buffalo Road (210664)
This floor mural captures the vibrant clash of colours as well as prominent structures on Buffalo Road.
The graffiti-inspired painting style conveys the spontaneity of the people and environment in and around the area. Even though Little India’s shophouses are smaller than the surrounding massive buildings, it is their vibrant colours which draw people to the district as colour always wins.
Installations and exhibitions
By Vimel Devdas (also known as G)
Thu 18 Jan (preview night) to Sun 27 Jan 2024, 10:00am – 6:00pm
Indian Heritage Centre, 5 Campbell Lane (209924)
OBSCURA is a street photography exhibition that shines a light on the usually unseen heritage and people of Little India. By utilising the art of street photography, the artist aims to showcase the obscure elements of the streets of Little India so that audiences may experience the beauty of the place and its people through a different perspective.
The Wishing Tree
By Grace Siu Wei (also known as Graceful Quills)
Sat 20 to Sun 21 Jan 2024, 5:00pm – 6:00pm;
Sat 27 to Sun 28 Jan 2024, 6:00pm – 7:00pm
EXP (Level 2), 340 Joo Chiat Road (427592)
Inspired by the venerable Chinese tradition of the ‘wishing tree’, the installation serves as a contemporary reinterpretation of the sacred ritual. Attendees are invited to engage in an interactive experience – weaving their hopes, dreams, and affirmations for 2024 into the fabric of the installation.
By Vijaya Mohan
Fri 19 Jan to Sun 28 Jan 2024
Lembu Road (208450)
This rangoli installation at the heart of Little India invites audiences and passers-by to participate in its making. As a pioneer of the craft with over 55 years of experience, Vijaya aims to educate audiences on the history of rangoli and its significance from its origins to the practices here in Singapore.
Momento Fatality Error
By Urich Lau
Fri 19 Jan to Sun 28 Jan 2024, 7:30pm
22 Campbell Lane, (209895)
Momento Fatality Error is a projection installation which hopes to add vibrancy to the bustling streets of Little India.
LASALLE College of the Arts
Asia’s leading contemporary arts and design institution.
LASALLE College of the Arts is the highest ranked specialist arts institution in Singapore and joint top in Southeast Asia for art and design (QS World University Rankings 2023).
The College offers 35 Diploma, BA (Hons) and postgraduate programmes in fine arts, design communication, interior design, product design, film, animation, fashion, dance, music, theatre, arts management, art histories, curatorial practices, arts pedagogy and practice, arts and cultural leadership, art therapy, music therapy, creative writing and arts and ecology.
LASALLE provides a nurturing, interdisciplinary learning environment to inspire the next generation of forward-looking, globally engaged artists, designers and leaders of creative industries. Its faculty is led by a community of award-winning artists, designers, educators and researchers, and their practice-led research sets LASALLE apart as an international centre of excellence.
Founded in 1984 by the late De La Salle Brother Joseph McNally – a visionary artist and educator – LASALLE is a non-profit private educational institution. The College receives tuition grant support from Singapore’s Ministry of Education. LASALLE is a founding member of the University of the Arts Singapore.
Singapore Art Week
As Singapore’s signature visual arts season, Singapore Art Week (SAW) represents the vibrant arts community in Singapore.
From 19 to 28 January 2024, SAW will present an array of over 150 art events featuring new works and transnational collaborations across the island and online. In its 12th edition, the ten-day celebration of the visual arts will showcase two dynamic art fairs, S.E.A. Focus and ART SG; the Southeast Asian premier of The VH Awards exhibition; a diverse range of practices that will present new ways of living and sharing; as well as a vibrant Light to Night in the Civic District.
SAW is a nexus for creative collaborations and audiences can look forward to an exciting line-up of art experiences at our museums, galleries, independent art spaces and public spaces, and enjoy enriching discussions, talks, walks and tours.
SAW 2024, a celebration of Singapore’s visual arts landscape, is helmed by the National Arts Council (NAC).