The mural, the first for a Singapore footballer, can be found at the Somerset Skate Park.
He has served Singapore football with distinction so far and is a trailblazer.
From holding the record of being the youngest Singapore national men’s football team player, to his exploits of captaining Malaysian giants Johor Darul Ta’zim to a seven-year trophy-laden spell, Harris Harun is widely regarded as an iconic figure in Singapore football.
And now, Hariss can lay claim to becoming the first Singapore footballer to have his own mural.
Artists from local creative collective, DPLMT (pronounced as diplomat), have paid tribute to Hariss as he makes his return to domestic football with the Lion City Sailors in the Singapore Premier League. Led by Mohd Iqbal, the artists created a mural measuring 9m by 1.9m at the Somerset Skate Park.
The mural features Hariss and his number 15 Lion City Sailor jersey along with the Sailor’s creative director, music artist Kevin Lester, who performs under the stage name THELIONCITYBOY.
Iqbal said the mural was done as a surprise for Kevin, who Iqbal is friends with, and the Sailors.
“I love football… so when I found out [Kevin] was the creative director of the Lion City Sailors and that Hariss is back in SIngapore, it felt like everything aligned and I thought, why not do a mural as a tribute to them?” Iqbal shared with Youthopia.
“I feel like the football fraternity needs a little bit of a boost and some encouragement. This is not just for the club, but for the whole football community.”
The mural was completed by the six artists from DPLMT, including Iqbal and Raihana Abdul Rahman, over Jul 1 and Jul 2. The sextet spent five hours over both days at the Skate Park completing the mural and even had help from some members of the public.
“We usually call these paintings as spray paint jamming – it’s for us to just practice [our craft] and use it as a sort of release from the stress of the day-to-day grind at work,” explained Raihana.
“The best part of this was that when we were painting the murray, a lot of the kids at the Skate Park were interested, so we let them try out as well. Who knows, it might help them cultivate an interest in painting, or even check out the athlete and the sport as well.”
Hariss had found out about the mural last week and, together with Kevin, arranged to meet Iqbal and Raihana at the Skate Park on Thursday (Jul 8) to thank them for the gesture.
Describing the mural as “wonderful” and “beautiful”, Hariss said: “I feel that I look even better in the mural.”
Jokes aside, Harris said he was really appreciative of the effort by the DPLMT team.
“It’s a wonderful way for them to show their appreciation for Singapore football. It’s really wonderful and it caught me by surprise how beautiful and amazing it looks,” said Hariss, who is likely to make his competitive debut for the Lion City Sailors when the Singapore Premier League restarts later this month.
“I want to do my best on the field for the team and for the fans. Hopefully we can give them something to cheer about at the end of the season.”
The chance to meet Hariss in person and learn about how appreciative the footballer was, made the effort worthwhile for Iqbal. While Iqbal had watched Hariss strutting his stuff on the pitch live previously, it was the first time he had met him in person
“To actually meet and talk to him in person, I’ve realised he’s quite a cool guy and he’s quite chill. Meeting the person I’ve just drawn, it’s quite surreal,” shared Iqbal.
“With the SPL returning soon, I wish the Lion City Sailors and Hariss all the best. Hopefully they can win the title this year and in doing so, bring the Singapore football scene up a notch.”
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