PM lends a hand with SG50 art canvases

PM Lee Hsien Loong taking a wefie with residents in his Teck Ghee ward. He added the finishing touches to a canvas painting used to complete an art facade (background) on one of the HDB blocks.
PM Lee Hsien Loong taking a wefie with residents in his Teck Ghee ward. He added the finishing touches to a canvas painting used to complete an art facade (background) on one of the HDB blocks.ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong joined residents in Teck Ghee yesterday to put the finishing touches to artwork used to adorn Housing Board blocks to celebrate Singa-pore's 50th birthday.

The facades of 14 HDB blocks in Ang Mo Kio GRC and Sengkang West are now covered by large canvases depicting well-known landmarks and icons such as the Merlion and Marina Bay Sands.

The canvases were painted by 3,200 residents and artist Fish Jaafar over the course of 16 sessions held on weekends.

Electrical project executive Loke Choon Kit, 39, took part in two sessions with his wife, mother-in-law and two children aged 10 and seven.

"My children like art so it was great fun for the whole family. It's nice to be able to point to a canvas on the block and tell my friends, 'Look, I painted that with my family'," he said.

By the end of August, a total of 105 blocks across the island will be adorned with such canvases, which are being painted by 50,000 residents together with 100 artists.

The artwork will stay up until the end of the year.

Mr Lee, who applied the finishing touches to the crescent moon on a painting of the Singapore flag, was at yesterday's event with fellow Ang Mo Kio GRC MPs Inderjit Singh, Yeo Guat Kwang and Seng Han Thong, as well as Sengkang West MP Lam Pin Min.

They also joined about 2,000 residents in sing-along sessions and later visited booths set up to showcase various creative activities, such as acrylic painting and embroidery art.

Mr Lee spent about an hour mingling with residents, and obliged many who wanted to take a photograph with him. He even whipped out his smartphone a number of times to snap a few shots of his own.

Chong Zi Liang

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 19, 2015, with the headline 'PM lends a hand with SG50 art canvases'. Print Edition | Subscribe