Audio Version Available

Never underestimate art. It can relax you, spark emotion, grow your worldview – and for these neighbourhood art exhibitions on display in this year’s Singapore Art Week, bring communities together.

There are over 130 events in this year’s Singapore Art Week, which ends on Jan 23.

While it features new works by artists locally and globally, our very own neighbourhoods have inspired local art events right in Singapore’s heartlands, each revealing their own unique flavour of the community they represent.

The exhibitions are set up right under HDB blocks, in heartland malls or at community centres across the island. Residents are encouraged to interact with and contribute to these community works of art.

Here are some neighbourhoods that are getting creative for Singapore Art Week. Read on to find yours!

Bukit Panjang Tourism Board

Bukit Panjang Tourism Board
The Bukit Panjang Tourism Board documents common sights in the neighbourhood with photographs. Pictured here are two pond cleaners at Pang Sua pond, netting up leaves and twigs from the water. Source: Instagram/Bukit Panjang Tourism Board

Do you live in Bukit Panjang? The neighbourhood’s tourism board needs your expertise – the Bukit Panjang Tourism Board is an art project that collects stories from its residents.

If you have a place in Bukit Panjang that you’re nostalgic about, you can visit its headquarters at Greenridge Shopping Centre on your next grocery run.

Pick a place and share why you find it special, and the Board would offer to take a portrait of you and your loved ones at the location.

You can mark your location on a big map with coloured stickers and share your story at the Singapore Art Week 2022
Once you’re at the exhibition, you can mark your location on a big map with coloured stickers and share your story. Source: Instagram/Bukit Panjang Tourism Board

Submissions close on Jan 22, which afterward you can pick up a free map featuring the places shared by your fellow neighbours.

neighb.OURS

Senior resident from Tampines performing in a dance film that’s part of the neighbourhood exhibition for Singapore Art Week 2022
A senior resident from Tampines performing in a dance film that’s part of the neighbourhood exhibition. Source: Youtube/neighb.OURS

If you’re familiar with Tampines Ave 9, you might have come across the Lions Befrienders Active Ageing Centre branch at Block 499C. Unlike other senior citizen centres in HDB estates, this one has an artful addition to its surroundings.

An exhibition by its seniors, titled neighb.OURS, is just a stone’s throw away from the centre.

It features the seniors in a digital dance performance, which they created together after going through a six-month contemporary dance workshop last year. The video tells the story of ageing gracefully in a close-knit community.

Alongside the online film, there are public art installations around Block 499C that are on display till Jan 31.

The installation symbolises communal strength through hard times; despite being exposed to the winds of life, its beauty lies in people coming together, much like the mesmerising display
At the rooftop garden in MSCP 499, windmills gracefully spin with the wind. The installation symbolises communal strength through hard times; despite being exposed to the winds of life, its beauty lies in people coming together, much like the mesmerising display. Source: neighb.OURS

These works were co-created by residents and seniors in Tampines, and are the result of its creators reflecting on bonds formed with neighbours on shared strength, support, and intimate secrets.

See Nee Soon

The Singapore Art Week 2022 invites residents, hawkers and visitors to jot down their favourite memory, pin the location on the map with a sticker and exchange stories.
The exhibition invites residents, hawkers and visitors to jot down their favourite memory, pin the location on the map with a sticker and exchange stories. Source: Facebook/See Nee Soon

Who would know a neighbourhood more intimately than its residents?

See Nee Soon is a community art project that documents the North from the eyes of those who grew up here.

If you live, work at or visit Nee Soon often, stop by Yishun Park Hawker Centre on your next trip to submit a photo with your story – be it a smashing sunset, good food, or anything else of the neighbourhood that you hold dear.

Singapore Art Week 2022, Singapore Art Week 2022: Art goes to the heartlands
Submissions by residents will be featured on See Nee Soon’s Facebook page too! Source: Facebook/See Nee Soon

Submissions close on Jan 30, after which the stories submitted would be incorporated into a visual exhibition and a performing arts showcase.

Tending to Tomorrow

Singapore Art Week 2022, Singapore Art Week 2022: Art goes to the heartlands
Located near Ci Yuan community centre, this pop-up garden invites residents to donate their plants, stories, time and knowledge about growing potted plants in HDBs. Source: Instagram/Tending to Tomorrow

Much like practising an art form, gardening is an activity that requires patience and a keen love for nature to cultivate beautiful plants.

A pop-up garden in the Hougang neighbourhood, Tending to Tomorrow, is calling for green-fingered residents to contribute and adopt each other’s plants from now till Jan 30.

Head down to admire plants grown by your fellow neighbours and learn the stories behind their horticultural practises.

If you’re a plant lover who lives in Hougang (or if you don’t mind travelling a little further!), you can inspire others to walk in your footsteps by contributing some of your plants for display, or borrow a book to hone your gardening skills.

Singapore Art Week 2022, Singapore Art Week 2022: Art goes to the heartlands
A resident contributing her house plants for display in the garden. Source: Instagram/Tending to Tomorrow

Tending to Tomorrow hopes to keep the gardening spirit alive by encouraging gardeners to exchange information with each other and aspire towards a sustainable and greener future.

As part of the display, those who want to try their hand at gardening can collect seeds, plant cuttings, soil, and other plant-growing equipment from the pop-up garden.

Water as Resilience – Tales of Punggol

Singapore Art Week 2022, Singapore Art Week 2022: Art goes to the heartlands
Residents in Punggol drawing stories on wooden oars in classes led by local artists. Source: Instagram/Water as Resilience

As Singapore grappled with the pandemic, two local artists, Justin Loke and Arrvinraj, aptly drew an analogy from the north-eastern residential neighbourhood and its vibrant water parks: No matter the container, water always manages to take its shape.

To document the stories of living ithrough n the pandemic, the artists conducted online and in-person classes with Punggol residents last year and guided them to illustrate their stories on wooden oars.

These oars are now on display in SAFRA Punggol till Feb 15, leaning against The Boat – a boat art installation that symbolises each unique resident in the neighbourhood uniting to move forward in the pandemic.

Follow us on Telegram

Follow us on Telegram

If you like what you read, follow us on Twitter and Google News to get the latest updates.

Other stories you might like