Art from the Streets Invade Singapore

The world’s most iconic street artists tag the ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands on their first showcase in Southeast Asia.

The transience of art is common knowledge – it can be evoked anywhere and transported everywhere in different forms and different devices. This time of the year, all eyes are on Singapore, where the annual Art Week is taking place featuring numerous exhibitions and presentations, one of which being the deferential Art from the Streets.

Banksy (b. date unknown). Untitled, Mural in New York. (Photo: Ian Cox)

The self-explanatory yet awe-inspiring exhibition traces back 40 years into the Street Art ethos – from its counter-cultural beginnings to its extraordinary rise as a major phenomenon in contemporary art. The showcase pays homage to the origin of graffiti – the word being derived from the Italian verb to ‘scratch’ – in prehistoric cave paintings to the tags along the favela streets of Rio in all its glory.

Empress Ngatini by French street artist YZ. (Photo: Marina Bay Sands)

Curated by Street Art expert and gallerist Magda Danysz, the show features the world’s best known street artists including Banksy, Shepard Fairey (aka Obey), Futura, Invader, JR, Blek le Rat, Swoon, and Vhils among others.

“Street Art is one of the most important art movements to have emerged in the 21st century. It is very important at this stage to mark the 40 year history of the movement and recognise Street Art as a coherent and valuable art movement,” says Magda Danysz, a curator and writer based in Paris and Shanghai. Throughout her career, she has written many books about the history of Street Art, and curated major institutional group shows and over 50 solo shows with various artists including some of those participating in Art from the Streets, such as Shepard Fairey (aka Obey), Invader, JR and Vhils.

The Advent of Message portion of the exhibition showcases when the artists shifted to more conceptual designs using icons, logos and well-known faces to make social statements in the 1990s. (Photo: Marina Bay Sands)

Yet, what’s an exposition about the instantaneous beauty of Street Art without some live creation of such masterpieces. Joining the aforementioned legendary street artists are nearly a dozen more iconic names in the field, including upcoming new Street Art sensation, Felipe Pantone from Spain who will be presenting a series of live paintings and installations created on-site. Illustrating the vitality of and diversity of the movement, their works encompass large-scale mural paintings, installations, videos, prints, archival material, drawings, and sketches.

The New Writings section displays how emerging artists at the turn of the millennium began to create their own systems of writing and novel new kinds of typography. (Photo: Marina Bay Sands)

As a major art event occurring in the heart of Asia, the opportunity is being wisely used to highlight the urban art scene in this part of the world as well. The show includes major new works by local and regional artists, including Speak Cryptic (Singapore), Yok & Sheryo (Singapore) and Eko Nugroho (Indonesia).

Beyond the galleries of ArtScience Museum, several artists will be taking their works to the streets. Local artist, Speak Cryptic, has created a stunning moving mural on one of the public buses in Singapore. His artwork, painted directly onto bus SBS 502 will be on the roads till February, travelling between Soon Lee Depot and Downtown Station.

Singaporean Speak Cryptic working on the exterior of SBS Transit bus 502 in conjunction of the exhibition. (Photo: Marina Bay Sands)

Art from the Streets runs from now until 3rd June 2018 at the ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands. Ticket prices range from S$17 to S$46. For more information on the exhibition, please visit

Shepard Fairey (aka Obey) (b. 1970). Obama Vote Poster, 2012. (Photo: Shepard Fairey (aka Obey) and Magda Danysz Gallery)

Featured image: A State of Decline by Speak Cryptic courtesy of Marina Bay Sands.

Vimal Palasekaran

Vimal Palasekaran

Loud laugher. TV buff. Hispanophone.
Vimal Palasekaran

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