The multidisciplinary public arts festival ARTWALK will return to the vibrant streets of Little India and Katong-Joo Chiat from 19 to 28 January 2024. Part of Singapore Art Week, ARTWALK 2024 will explore the theme of Decennial to commemorate 10 years of the festival, which has grown to be a beloved staple of the circuit since its first iteration in 2015.
ARTWALK 2024: Decennial will call on artists, audiences and communities to reflect on a decade of ARTWALK, the histories that have been shared and the evolution of these spaces. Festival goers can anticipate a dynamic blend of live music, engaging workshops, captivating performances and awe-inspiring murals. ARTWALK invites all to reconsider everything they think they know about the cultural districts of Little India and Katong-Joo Chiat and reacquaint themselves with the hidden stories and long-standing communities that have shaped these precincts into what they are today.
ARTWALK is jointly organised by LASALLE College of the Arts (LASALLE) and the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), and supported by the Little India Shop Owners and Heritage Association (LISHA). The festival presents a multisensory experience through artworks and experiences, inspired by and telling the stories of Singapore’s cultural precincts.
Mr Milenko Prvacki, Senior Fellow, LASALLE College of the Arts, said: “We are honoured to be back for our tenth year, and that ARTWALK continues to be a crowd favourite. I hope that visitors join us in celebrating a decade of public art and expression, while learning and drawing inspiration from the stories and heritage of Singapore’s cultural districts.”
Ms Lim Shoo Ling, Director, Arts & Cultural Precincts, Singapore Tourism Board, said: “ARTWALK continues to showcase the vibrancy of our cultural precincts through the arts. As part of Singapore Art Week and held alongside the annual Pongal festivities, we are excited to celebrate the tenth year of ARTWALK with a diverse range of arts experiences, performances and workshops. These offerings will provide both locals and international visitors with the opportunity to deeply immerse themselves in the unique cultural offerings of local communities in Little India and Katong-Joo Chiat.”
The ARTWALK: Block Party draws inspiration from street culture and will showcase an extravaganza of street dance performances, local musicians in the rap and music scene, and a fashion showcase at Katong-Joo Chiat’s Picotin bar and restaurant.
ARTWALK Bazaar will enliven the streets of Katong-Joo Chiat, featuring performances by local musicians as well as a vintage flea market, emphasising that any space can transform into a performance venue where communities can connect. Festival goers can look forward to performances by local talents such as Genesis Keefer, with lo-fi and old-school sounds that promise to soothe both body and soul, as well as Hazel & Haziq, a talented acoustic duo who blend their unique musical journeys to create a captivating performance.
Also featured in the programme is Led Me Here, a unique theatrical tour inspired by local songs and the vibrant murals in Katong. This walking experience, led by performer Shaifulbahri Mohamad, unfolds fictional stories of love. Set against the charming backdrop of Katong's shops, architecture and murals, the tour prompts reflection on the memories and emotions tied to a place. As audiences take on this theatrical journey, they will consider what is left behind when they depart and what draws them back, sparking contemplation on the essence of return and departure.
Beach Vibes, a new mural in East Coast Road by artist Lee Song Xuan (also known as SONG) captures the essence of a tropical sunset on the beach, featuring kelong-style houses along the shore.
The literary arts will be featured for the first time in the ARTWALK line-up through a thought-provoking poetry workshop. Audiences will have the opportunity to refine their poetry skills and delve into the profound world of words and emotions under the guidance of poet Jennifer Champion. As participants hone their craft, a unique prospect awaits them—being featured in the accompanying SENSES open mic. This captivating segment of ARTWALK is a spoken word event set in the backdrop of a Haiku-Tree installation by poet-artist Graceful Quills that will provide audiences a platform for self-expression. SENSES promises to be a celebration of language and the artistry of words, highlighting the compelling works of five accomplished poets, as well as showcasing the poetic prowess of the workshop participants.
Fashion Walk will be held during ARTWALK’s opening night on 19 January and Block Party on 27 January, transforming the areas into a space for textile and fashion. Creative producer and director, Joseph Koh and Ryan Lee will work with fashion students from LASALLE to showcase their creations, intricately woven with themes of myth and religion.
Celebrating ARTWALK’s return to the streets with a bang, crowd favourite Damaru Singapore will be back as part of the festival’s programme with a series of engaging performances. Other highlights include sessions with storyteller Kamini Ramachandran, a long-time ARTWALK favourite, who will lead a cultural tour and experience around Little India.
OBSCURA, an evocative exhibition by street photographer Vimel Devdas (also known as G) is meticulously crafted to shed light on the hidden heritage and diverse individuals residing in Little India.
Audiences can also look forward to a series of new murals and installations in the area. The Street Tailor at 102 Dunlop Street showcases the quiet charm of a neighbourhood hero, while artist Shah Rizzal’s graffiti-inspired floor mural Buffalo Road is inspired by the vibrant clash of colours and prominent structures on the stretch of road. Along Lembu Road, visitors and passers-by can participate in the making of a rangoli installation led by renowned rangoli artist Vijaya Mohan. Visitors can also enjoy Momento Fatality Error, a mesmerising projection installation by artist Urich Lau which hopes to add vibrancy to the bustling streets of Little India.
Full details of this year’s programme can be found on the ARTWALK website at https://artwalkfest.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 and Instagram, and LASALLE’s TikTok page. ARTWALK is held in conjunction with Singapore Art Week 2024.
Image: The Street Tailor by Didier ‘Jaba’ Mathieu