Public get car-free view of 40m mural behind Thian Hock Keng Temple

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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.
A parent and her child participate in a rollerblade game during Car-Free Sunday SG at Amoy Street. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR
Cyclists at the March edition of Car-Free Sunday SG. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

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

But on Sunday morning (March 26), 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 Singapore's 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.

People take photos of artist Yip Yew Chong's artwork on the back wall of Thian Hock Keng Temple. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

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

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 the mural on Jan 30 and has spent 21 days working on it. 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 contributions towards the nation's development.

Mr Yip, who specialises in nostalgic heritage scenes, said: "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."

Car-Free Sunday also featured a 1.5km walk by the National Kidney Foundation and a picnic at Telok Ayer Square, among various fringe activities.

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