What to expect at Singapore Art Museum’s 2 new public art trails

These two art trails are part of SAM’s long-term public art initiative, The Everyday Museum.

Maisy Phua

Self-proclaimed fashion icon, pomeranian mom and Paris Hilton fan.

Published: 19 April 2023, 4:07 PM

The Singapore Art Museum (SAM) will launch two new public art trails on Apr 29.

Named Port/raits of Tanjong Pagar: Encounters with Art in the Neighbourhood and Singapore Deviation: Wander with Art through the Rail Corridor, the trails feature newly commissioned public artworks that will be on display till Mar 9, 2025. 

They are also part of SAM’s long-term public art initiative, The Everyday Museum.

First launched in July 2022, The Everyday Museum presents contemporary art projects and programmes across Singapore in collaboration with art practitioners, partners and communities to weave art into the island’s urban landscape and inspire interest and curiosity in art.

Here are some of the immersive sculptures, installations and murals visitors can look forward to on the two trails.

Port/raits of Tanjong Pagar: Encounters with Art in the Neighbourhood

Beginning at SAM’s immediate neighbourhood, the first of the two public art trails will explore the Tanjong Pagar district, an area that has seen dramatic transformation over the decades to become one of the largest seaports in the world. 

Featuring art by six contemporary practitioners, Port/raits of Tanjong Pagar explores the histories, identities and aspirations of the Tanjong Pagar district. 


As visitors embark on their journey along the trail, they can look forward to works inspired by the respective sites of Duxton Plain Park, Everton Park, Tanjong Pagar Plaza and Tanjong Pagar Distripark. PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTHOPIA/MAISY PHUA


At Tanjong Pagar Distripark, visitors can marvel at Malaysian artist Grace Tan’s installation, Sea of flags

Cascading down the side of Block 39 at Tanjong Pagar Distripark is an array of fluttering flags, which are a collection of hundreds of material and colour swatches drawn from the area’s landscape and architecture.


Grace Tan, the creator of the large installation, is a 44-year-old multidisciplinary artist and designer with an interest in geometry, material and construction. PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTHOPIA/MAISY PHUA


Over at Everton Park, visual artist Divaagar’s Everfowl Estate examines placemaking through the evolution of housing developments from the unconventional lens of the estate’s free-roaming junglefowls. 


Divaagar is a 31-year-old visual artist who creates installations, performances, and


The whimsical series of miniature avian-sized homes are modelled after various types of housing one can spot around Tanjong Pagar. 

In the later half of the year, there will also be a new commission by environmental artist Zen Teh, coming to the neighbourhood.

Titled Rattan Eco Sprawl: Manifesting the Forest, the rattan installation will reflect on the entanglement of nature and urban development against the backdrop of a fast-changing Singapore landscape.


Zen Teh, the artist behind Rattan Eco Sprawl: Manifesting the Forest, specialises in photography, sculpture, and installation art. PHOTO CREDIT: SINGAPORE ART MUSEUM


While the forest remains partially earmarked for the development of a new MRT station, the work will serve as a vessel for “sonic encounters”, embracing both man made noise and the serenades of nature.

At Duxton Plain Park, visitors can view two sculptures by 28-year-old artist Aki Hassan, Grounding Points: Settled and Grounding Points: Settling In.

These sculptures mimic the forms of existing structures within the vicinity from the nearby Indian Rubber trees to the exercising tools found in outdoor park gyms. 


Aki Hassan is a visual artist who works primarily across sculptural installations and printmaking. PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTHOPIA/MAISY PHUA


Inspired by the “invasive-supportive” parasitic, interdependent nature of the Indian rubber tree, Grounding Points reflects on supportive exchange and mutuality between ecological bodies and their surrounding systems. 

Also sited at Duxton Plain Park is {still} life by design studio Space Objekt, an installation comprising mirrored surfaces that reflect images from different vantage points, inviting curiosity of one’s built environment.


Space Objekt, the creators of the installation, is a Singapore-based boutique design studio that aims to connect audiences with the physical world through its immersive, large-scale installations. PHOTO CREDIT: SINGAPORE ART MUSEUM


The strategic placement of these mirrors encourages audiences to pay greater attention to their surroundings, where they may discover nuanced visual elements as they engage with the work.

At the last site of the trail, members of the public can view painter Isabella Teng’s Little Islands, an anamorphic series of murals inspired by Singapore’s historic island landscapes at Tanjong Pagar Plaza.


Isabella Teng Yen Lin is a 33-year-old artist working across painting, drawing and


Engaging the community in the process of creation, one of the murals is co-created with residents and presents lush views of an island.

Singapore Deviation: Wander with Art through the Rail Corridor

The series of new public art installations along Singapore’s iconic Rail Corridor features three artists who pay homage to the Rail Corridor’s histories in each of their installations. 

Named after a revised alignment of the original Singapore-Kranji Railway in 1932, Singapore Deviation references the Rail Corridor’s history as a colonial railway, expressing the site’s relevance to today’s communities as an urban and community leisure zone. 


With the artworks located at sites tangential to the Rail Corridor like Kampung Bahru Bus Terminal and Wessex Estate, visitors are encouraged to ‘deviate’ from the trail and explore its surroundings. PHOTO CREDIT: SINGAPORE ART MUSEUM


Beginning at Kampung Bahru Bus Terminal, visitors can take a look at film-maker Tan Pin Pin’s art installation entitled walk walk (Singapore Deviation version). The work comprises video and text installations exploring the gesture of walking – a commonplace activity along the Rail Corridor.

The work is situated at Kampong Bahru Bus Terminal along Spooner Road, serving as a terminating point for bus routes in the city since 2018. 

In the terminal’s National Transport Workers Union (NTWU) canteen, an LED text installation of the common parting phrase, “慢慢走” (walk slowly) imparts well wishes to the bus captains as they embark on their daily journeys.


Tan Pin Pin’s films tend to question the national identity of Singapore. PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTHOPIA/MAISY PHUA


With this location also marking the start of the Rail Corridor’s southern tip, walk walk (Singapore Deviation version) dives into the seemingly mundane act of walking in Singapore, where it is carefully shaped by public agencies and private developers, while simultaneously highlighting the act as an expression of the freedom to move.

After a trek along the rail corridor, visitors can find a series of billboard-sized prints by local artist Hilmi Johandi staged along an open path at Wessex Estate.

Titled Stagecraft: Landscaped Grounds, the work is constructed from fragments and collages of early 20th century travel advertisements of the Federated Malay States Railways (1901–1948).


Hilmi Johandi works primarily with painting as a medium and explores
interventions with various media to pursue ideas of image-making. PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTHOPIA/MAISY PHUA


The artist taps into the collective memory of the Rail Corridor, connecting the historical representations of sophisticated living with the site’s adaptation to a recreation space today. 

Also at Wessex Estate is 46-year-old artist Sookoon Ang’s Moonlight, a sculptural installation that explores the liminal space between the constructed world and unkempt wilderness. 


Sookoon’s work is underpinned by existential anxiety and addresses the relations between the physical and metaphysical world. PHOTO CREDIT: SINGAPORE ART MUSEUM


As visitors encounter the work, its bronze-cast form appears as a mirage, inviting them into the territory of the sublime and timeless, where Ang makes use of the site’s rich and complex ecological backdrop to blur the boundaries between physical phenomena and metaphysical projections.

To celebrate the launch of the new public artworks, SAM will be presenting a series of public programmes from Apr 29 to 30 featuring guided art trails, artist talks, live music performances, nature walks and an outdoor film screening. 

More information about the two new public art trails and the public launch programmes is available on The Everyday Museum’s website.

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