ST+art and Singapore Tourism Board partnered once again to present one of the tallest mural ever undertaken in Singapore on the façade of the 7-storey Broadway Hotel as part of Little India ArtWalk festival 2021. This unique creation brings together the creations of Bhajju Shyam, one of the primary living exponents of Indian Gond art and Sam Lo, a young and renowned Singaporean urban artist, combining the symphony of traditional and contemporary visions that are vibrantly displayed in the mural titled 'Dancing in Unison'.
'Dancing in Unison' is a result of many months of virtual collaboration between Indian artist Bhajju Shyam and Singaporean artist Sam Lo, made possible through the curation of ST+art India Foundation, a non-profit organisation based in India that works on public art projects in partnership with Singapore Tourism Board’s regional Office in India, and presented as a key highlight for ARTWALK 2021. One of the tallest in Singapore standing at seven storeys tall on the façade of Broadway Hotel in Little India, the mural embodies the idea that respect for nature and the environment at large is what will guarantee our co-existence. Every feature in the work extends on this idea of the necessary dance between our urban living and nature.
The tree - an iconic element from Gond art designed by Bhajju – engulfs the urban environment of human dwelling (personified by the windows of the building) becomes a metaphor for the universe where everything is interconnected from the land to the air. Its branches host vibrantly coloured sparrows, an element which reoccurs in Sam’s work, as a symbol of freedom, being one of the most common birds in India and Singapore.
Sam's deer, a revered animal in India serves as a tribute to Gond art, which in this gentle appropriation manifests our contemporary interconnection where elements from different cultures are seen blending together in our globalised and accessible world. Sam further reinforces this idea by designing a red ribbon, another common element in their work, as a reminder of an omnipresent energy that connects us all, and one which connects Sam’s beliefs with those of Gond Art.
This extraordinary effort by the two artists resonates with the theme of ARTWALK 2021 – “In Spite Of” - where artists overcome limitations and geographical boundaries to come together to realise their creations, made possible by their passions and hopes for harmony for the future.
Step into any of the ethnic precincts to find Insta-worthy urban artworks adorning the walls in the many side streets and back lanes. Be it checking out the more than 20 works of street art that have been added to Little India through the past 6 years of Little India Artwalk festival, murals that are influenced by Van Gogh’s revolutionary style in Chinatown or the eclectic and funky series of works in Kampong Gelam, it is worth the effort and time to embark on a mural hunt and be enchanted.
This unique partnership between Singapore Tourism Board and ST+art is a multi-disciplinary collaboration that encompasses street art, site-specific installations, experiences and a participative programming complete with screenings, performances and workshops. We bring you back to 2017 at the Singapore Weekender at the Sassoon Dock Art Project in Mumbai which featured Singaporean artists Tan Zi Xi and Yok & Shreyo among the many others. The Arjan Garh Metro Station in Delhi was given an artistic makeover in 2017 by Singaporean artists Sam Lo and Soph Oh. At the Lodhi Art Festival in Delhi in 2018/19, a “Singapore Lane” of interactive street gallery was created by 6 of Singapore’s best known artists (Sam Lo, Yip Yew Chong, Brandon Tay, Eugene Soh and Knuckles & Notch). In 2019, some of Singapore’s works made their presence felt at the immersive urban art experience F(R)iction at Kona.
An annual celebration of visual arts, Singapore's ArtWalk 2021 will take place in the cultural precinct of Little India with the theme In Spite Of between the 22nd of January to the 6th of February. Through artworks such as wall murals, workshops, music and performances, artists bring to life the history and traditions of Little India through a multisensory art experience.