Car-Free Sunday a top draw

Artist Yip Yew Chong paints a mural on the back wall of Thian Hock Keng Temple at Telok Ayer Street on Car-Free Sunday SG. The 40-metre mural depicts the voyage of early Hokkien immigrants.ST VIDEO: ARIFFIN JAMAR
Families and friends at play during a roller blade game at the March edition of the Car-Free Sunday initiative in Amoy Street yesterday. Without cars zooming past, participants could also enjoy an unobstructed view of the work of artist Yip Yew Chong
Families and friends at play during a roller blade game at the March edition of the Car-Free Sunday initiative in Amoy Street yesterday. ST PHOTOS: ARIFFIN JAMAR

It may be difficult to appreciate street art when cars are zooming past or parked by the kerbside, especially when it is a 40m-long mural.

But yesterday morning, visitors had the rare chance to soak in an unobstructed view of artist Yip Yew Chong's soon-to-be-finished work.

The art painted on the back wall of the historic Thian Hock Keng Temple in Amoy Street depicts the life of early Hokkien immigrants.

As part of the Car-Free Sunday initiative, the street was among those closed off to vehicles, forming a 5.5km route for cyclists, pedestrians and joggers in the city centre.

Yesterday was the programme's 11th instalment and participants welcomed the view of Mr Yip's work, commissioned by the Singapore Hokkien Huay Kuan. It will be officially launched on April 13 as part of the Singapore Hokkien Festival.


Without cars zooming past, participants could also enjoy an unobstructed view of the work of artist Yip Yew Chong (above), whose 40m-long mural on the back wall of Thian Hock Keng Temple depicts the voyage of early Hokkien immigrants. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

Mr Pierre Chew, 44, an engineer, said: "When you try to take a photo on regular days, cars are always "photo-bombing" your shot. You have to be careful of the traffic too."

Mr Yip, 48, a finance director, started painting it on Jan 30 and has spent 21 days working on the mural. He expects to finish it with another three days of work.

The seven panels showcase the migration of Hokkiens from Fujian, their life and culture in Singapore, and their contribution towards the nation's development.

"Just like me reading from the (history) books, and now presenting it on the wall, (I hope) people learn about the history of this area, which I found very interesting," he said.

Car-Free Sunday also featured a 1.5km walk by the National Kidney Foundation, among other fringe activities.

Adrian Lim

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 27, 2017, with the headline 'Car-Free Sunday a top draw'. Print Edition | Subscribe