Updated: Sep 6, 2020
Following the three murals in Tiong Bahru by Yip Yew Chong, a Singapore accountant who loves art, I discovered that he has another three masterpieces in Everton Park — a small neighbourhood of pre-war shophouses with hipster cafes and pubs.
I hopped around the cafes in Everton Park quite frequently without realising that there are street arts among the shophouses. So, I went to collect photos of the murals after a cup of coffee.
The Everton Park murals are about village (or kampung) life in the old days of Singapore. The scenes are quite rare in Singapore these days but not totally vanished yet.
The "Amah" (妈姐) mural is a long piece of artwork on a wall along Everton Road. "Amah" refers to a housemaid that is employed to perform domestic tasks in a household.
The mural depicts an Amah washing and drying clothes of a Peranakan family. A cupboard with kitchen wares stood on one end with a rooster and its family roaming around. This scene was pretty common in kampung villages in the old days.
Just around the corner from "Amah" is where the "Barber" is. The "Barber" mural depicts a common scene in the good old days where village folks went for hair cuts on the streets under makeshift shelters.
A closer look at the typical "barber shop". Although there are no longer makeshift barbers like this in Singapore anymore, the settings can still be seen in some older, traditional barber shops in the ethnic quarters like Chinatown, Little India and Kampung Glam.
3. Provision Shop
The "Provision Shop" is another long mural in an adjacent lane.
The first part of the mural shows a provision shop with all kinds of dried goods in intricate details. The man is sawing a block of ice and the woman is grinding coconut, which is usually a pre-process to extract coconut milk.
Beside the shop, a man is selling tofu pudding and soy milk with a trishaw.
The little red mailbox to one end tells some stories too. Apart from providing a title for the artwork and identifying the artist, it also stated the completion date as "Dec 2015". All the three murals are coming to two years in this neighbourhood and they are still in good conditions as compared to the street arts in Malaysia. And the mailbox will tell you why: the colours were from Nippon Paint.
If you like street arts and especially those beautiful artworks by Yip Yew Chong, hunt them down before they succumb to Mother Nature.