9.00am: Meet your friendly guide at Telok Ayer MRT station Exit A.
Our first stop is the Thian Hock Keng mural which was painted by heritage muralist Yip Yew Chong and found on the back walls of the Thian Hock Keng temple.
We next make our way towards Mohamed Ali Lane. Along the way, we will stop at the remaining well that used to supply water for the residents in Chinatown.
MOHAMED ALI LANE
Just off South Bridge Road is the little lane that is home to some Yip Yew Chong murals done in October 2018. These are 4 different works that represent scenes or trades that were once commonly found in Singapore’s Chinatown area.
On top you have ‘The Window’ with a Chinese and Malay families hanging clothes and sundry out the traditional way – love the cat and pigeon! Below is ‘Lion Dance Head Maker’, featuring a man who makes the giant puppet heads used in Lion Dance – the 2 boys are banging on little versions of the drums used in Lion Dance. On the right is ‘Mamak Shop’, usually run by an Indian man or mamak and selling all sorts of random sundry, Yip YC’s ‘Paper Mask and Puppet Seller’ shows a man selling these items on a tricycle –He is being watched by 2 Samsui women, or women labourers in their classic headgear.
We make the short trek to Temple Street where Yip YC’s impressive Cantonese Opera mural is found.
Chinese opera was once a popular form of street entertainment. Performers with painted faces and elaborate costumes used to mesmerise the crowds. The spirit of these performers lives on at Temple Street in a mural by Yip Yew Chong. Eager kids and adults watch the performers on stage. There are also glimpses of the backstage action while street vendors flank the Chinese Opera stage, adding liveliness to the scene. We next make our way to Smith Street where several of Yip YC’s more recent street murals are found.
Eager kids and adults watch the performers on stage. There are also glimpses of the backstage action while street vendors flank the Chinese Opera stage, adding liveliness to the scene.
We next make our way to Smith Street where several of Yip YC’s more recent street murals are found.
My Chinatown Home
Smith Street has three murals by Yip Yew Chong. After Detective Conan, the next one can be found in an alleyway between Smith Street and Temple Street. It depicts scenes from inside a Chinatown shophouse.
The Letter Writer
The third Yip Yew Chong mural along Smith Street is located at the other end of the street Painted on the wall of New Bridge Centre, it depicts a letter writer plying his trade. Letter writers played an essential role when the population was illiterate. They enabled those who had come to Singapore to work to maintain links with relatives back home.
11.00am: End of the tour.
Telok Ayer Green, a short 5 minute walk from Telok Ayer MRT station.