Recognised for being one of the most rebellious yet creative forms, urban art reflects the core of the very city it adorns. This is what the Aliwal Urban Art Festival is set to celebrate, as live painting, graffiti art battles, exhibitions and performances explode into Kampong Gelam. You can also expect to see the creation of some exciting new murals in Singapore. The one-day festival takes place on 27 January and promises a visually striking gathering of muralists, graffiti artists, performers and more. Here is an insider’s guide to this free art festival in Singapore!
What to see at the Aliwal Urban Art Festival in Singapore
# Watch RSCLS artists live painting new murals
The side façade of the Aliwal Arts Centre is being given a brand new look. Singapore and international visual artists have collaborated to create a mural that pulses with youthful energy and artistic ingenuity.
# GRAFFIGHT X
Featuring graffiti writers from neighbouring Batam, the 2024 season of Singapore’s premier graffiti battle is a live showcase of creativity and battle to see who is the best urban art artist in the finals.
# Urban Sounds
Move and groove to the beats of Singapore’s very own rising stars, YAØ, Khally and Akeen Jahat. Indulge in the fresh vibes and cool rhythms of these music performances curated by LINCH.
# Pop-up Market by The Social Exchange
Browse through the wide variety of merchandise by local artisans and crafters and bring home one-of-a-kind treasures.
# Re:Union Party 2024 by ScRach MarcS
Going back to the roots of street dance and urban culture, this Block Party is back to round up the festivities with music, dance performances and battles, with a chance to groove the night away with the graffiti backdrop of Kampong Gelam.
# RSCLS The 10 Year Series Exhibition
This retrospective exhibition is open from 25 to 28 January and captures the moments and spirit of the urban art movement through the lens of this festival and RSCLS. Make sure to time your visit with live silk-screening demonstrations of new artworks created for the exhibition.
# Family-friendly open classes
Hop in for dance company Chowk Productions’ Odissi classes for both kids and adults and learn more about what they do. Register for free entry!
# Open Studios
The artists residing at Aliwal Arts Centre will be opening the doors to their spaces so you can experience their artistic process.
More about Singapore’s street art scene
In late 2006, RSCLS brought together misfits and outsiders from diverse backgrounds that shared a passion for graffiti, street art and supporting acts of artistic nonsense. We asked artist Zero of RSCLS Collective to give us an insight into Singapore’s street art culture.
What makes this art form unique?
Street art, encompassing the larger graffiti art scene, can only exist in public spaces. While it doesn’t last long, it’s never intended to; it reflects urbanisation and a constant process of removal and renewal for “progress”. It has an agency to address the cultural zeitgeist of the day and is created in sight of its intended audience or as a direct intervention on the streets.
Tell us about the street art scene in Singapore.
The urban art scene in Singapore was essentially started on the backs of artists in the mid-1990s. As one of the pioneers of the street art movement in Singapore, there is an honest reflection that street art no longer really exists in its true sense here.
It has grown healthily over the past decade, like the rest of the world, with lots of commissioned works by commercial entities or government statutory boards. What we see on walls in public spaces in Singapore are murals.
Can you give us a hint about this year’s mural?
Collaboration has always been a key component. This year, we’re showcasing artists from China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and Vietnam.
We will be having nine different artists collaborating to paint murals in Singapore on the walls of the Aliwal Arts Centre. There is no prescribed concept or artistic direction, so it’s a ground-up approach to creation.
When: Saturday 27 January 2024, 12pm till late
Where: Aliwal Arts Centre
Find out more about this art festival in Singapore here.
Looking for more interesting activities in Singapore? Check out our Things To Do section!