After seven successful years in Little India, the iconic ARTWALK event will expand beyond its home ground for the first time to include Katong-Joo Chiat.
The eighth edition, which runs from 14 to 22 January, will centre around the theme of Looking Back, Going Forward. Milenko Prvacki, Senior Fellow, LASALLE College of the Arts, said: “ARTWALK has always been about telling the rich stories of Singapore’s heritage, and Katong-Joo Chiat has an amazing treasure trove of new stories which can be told through art. We are very happy with how ARTWALK has enlivened Little India since it started. Bringing the festival to a new precinct is a fantastic opportunity to continue the great work of our artists and the student organisers from LASALLE.”
Ms Lim Shoo Ling, Director, Arts & Cultural Precincts, Singapore Tourism Board, said: “We are pleased to welcome ARTWALK back in 2022, this time with an expanded reach into Katong-Joo Chiat. We hope ARTWALK will continue to excite visitors with its rich stories of Little India, and look forward to visitors exploring Katong-Joo Chiat and experiencing more of its distinct character and heritage, through this year’s line-up of programmes.”
Part of Singapore Art Week, ARTWALK is an annual multidisciplinary public arts project organised by LASALLE College of the Arts (LASALLE) and Singapore Tourism Board (STB), supported by the Little India Shopkeepers and Heritage Association (LISHA). Through artworks such as wall murals, workshops, music and performances, artists bring to life the history and traditions of Singapore’s cultural precincts through a multisensory art experience.
This year’s festival is presented in a hybrid format, with one of ARTWALK’s most popular events, guided art tours by Monster Day Tours, making a return in-person. There will also be five new murals this year across Little India and Katong-Joo Chiat.
Other highlights include sessions with storyteller Kamini Ramachandran, a long-time ARTWALK favourite, who will bring visitors on a virtual tour of the Indian Heritage Centre and Katong Antique House, two iconic institutions within the cultural precincts.
Visitors to Katong-Joo Chiat can look forward to new murals by Didier ‘Jaba’ Mathieu and Boon ‘Baked’, with their works entitled Jalan Jalan at 357 Joo Chiat Road and The Phoenix at 321 Joo Chiat Road respectively. Jalan Jalan celebrates Katong-Joo Chiat’s heritage through colours inspired by Peranakan ceramics, with brightly coloured cats proudly wandering the precinct. The Phoenix pays homage to the namesake phoenix that is used as an auspicious motif by the Peranakans, and represents the continuance of life in the flames of change brought on by the pandemic.
Budding artists and heritage architecture enthusiasts can also join in Peranakan Shophouse Sketching workshops by Straits Enclave or the Eurasian Craft Workshop and Gallery Tour by the Eurasian Association.
Participants who prefer to tune in from home can look forward to Test Your Tastebuds, a video series which introduces traditional dishes from Peranakan, Eurasian and Indian cuisines. The series follows a pair of strangers connecting over a meal at Rumah Bebe in the Peranakan edition, and a father-daughter duo at Quentin’s in the Eurasian edition.
Adding to the line-up of Little India’s murals this year are artists Shah Rizzal, Lee Wan Xiang and Chanpard Chandramohan, and Slac Satu. Find Shah’s work, Windows, at 1 Dunlop Street, Wan Xiang and Chand’s work The Sun Beaming at 109 Rowell Road, and Slac’s The Bird of Paradise at 72 Syed Alwi Road.
Pink Gajah Theatre’s documentary series Forgotten Corners will bring audiences on another immersive journey, this time through the eyes of residents in Little India and Katong-Joo Chiat. LASALLE will also present a textile exhibition at the Creative Cube foyer in its McNally campus, showcasing Peranakan, Eurasian and Indian cultures through a range of textiles and artefacts.
Virtual performances include a dynamic exploration of the Tamil folk dance karagattam by Meenalochani from Makoolam Kalaikoodam, which will be available on YouTube and Facebook Live. Audiences at home can also tune in to a lively sound-painting journey by Brahmastra, while those looking to experience ARTWALK in-person can head down to Tekka Place for Iswarya Jayakumar’s Fusion Dance workshop or try their hand at Western Indian Warli Art with Stroke Arts Studio’s Kumuda Krovvidi. In another instalment of Test Your Tastebuds, catch a pair of friends exploring the depths of Indian cuisine together at Podi and Poriyal. ARTWALK rounds off with a shower of tunes courtesy of VarshaSG premiering on YouTube and Facebook on 22 January 2022 at 8.30pm.
Full details of this year’s hybrid programme can be found on the ARTWALK website at artwalklittleindia.sg, which includes digital retrospectives of past editions dating from ARTWALK’s inception in 2015. Audiences can also visit ARTWALK’s official social media platforms on Facebook or Instagram.
Image: The Phoenix by Boon ‘Baked’