SINGAPORE: The iconic mural along Punggol Waterway is set to bid farewell as the National Parks Board (NParks) has announced its decision to paint over the beloved artwork.
The mural has been a local landmark and a source of community pride for years.
Its quirky design and once vibrant color have graced the area, adding a touch of artistic flair to Punggol’s waterway landscape.
However, NParks claims that the mural has suffered from the ravages of time, with the colors deteriorating and fading over the years. Thus, the decision has been made to repaint the mural, matching it to the color of the adjacent flyover.
Mural is one of Punggol’s hidden gem
Sonny Liew, a comic artist and illustrator who played a part in painting the artwork, took to his social media platform to reveal that he had received an email from NParks, informing him of their plan to repaint the mural.
The email stated, “Over time, the mural’s colors have deteriorated and faded. We wish to inform you that we intend to paint over the mural to match the color of the flyover.”
In response, Sonny Liew wondered why NParks did not opt for a renewal instead.
The mural at Punggol Waterway Park was created in 2012 as part of the LAVA project, a public service initiative aimed at engaging audiences through art installations inspired by literary works.
This mural served as a visual representation of the poem “Accident” by local writer Gilbert Koh, with many calling it as one of Punggol’s hidden gems.
Sonny Liew was just one of the talented individuals who contributed to this project.
Others who played vital roles in its creation include Nik Tao, Xu Mingjie, Alan Leong, Reuben Ashley, Pang Xueling, Chanel Kang, Cassie Koh, Chan Shiuan, and Khoo Siew May.
Netizen disheartened, suggests contacting NParks for renewal
In light of the decision, online commentators have suggested reaching out to NParks to inquire the possibility of renewal.
They believe that losing the mural would be a shame.
A user suggested bringing up the idea of renewal with NParks, considering the possibility that they might not be aware of this as a feasible option.
Sonny responded by saying that he will give it a try.
The Punggol Mural has been a testament to the local art scene and has provided inspiration and enjoyment to residents and visitors alike.
One user fondly remembered the occasion when she unexpectedly encountered the mural, expressing that she will feel its absence.
Additionally, Sonny Liew had mentioned in his post that he had reached out to NParks about the issue of renewing the mural, but as of the current moment, there have been no updates on this matter.
User believes there should be more discussion on “conserving public art”
The mural upcoming transformation is sure to evoke emotions and spark a debate about the preservation of public art in Singapore.
A user commented on the issue, stating, “A real shame. There needs to be more conversation about conserving public art,” while referencing a “subscriber-only” article from The Straits Times on the subject.
In the article, artists and art enthusiasts believe there is a need for an organization dedicated to safeguarding public art from destruction or disappearance.
As the Punggol Mural prepares to bid farewell, it leaves behind a legacy of artistic expression, community bonding, and a dash of whimsy.
Whether it will be remembered as a cherished memory or as a missed opportunity for renewal is yet to be determined.