SINGAPORE: A 60-meter panoramic painting depicting Singapore in the 1970s and 1980s attracted not just art aficionados but large crowds of all ages at the Raffles City Convention Centre, Channel News Asia reports.

Artist Yip Yew Chong created the masterpiece and named it “I Paint My Singapore”. According to the report, Mr Yip meticulously crafted the piece using his memories of the old Singapore and completed it after a year and a half.

“I Paint My Singapore”

Spanning 60 meters, the enthralling artwork portrays 27 distinct scenarios of Singapore’s constantly evolving terrain, ranging from an island of kampongs to the contemporary city the Singaporeans now call home.

Mr Yip said that hearing tales from visitors about the old Singapore has inspired him to create more meaningful artwork in the future.


Photo: IG/jieyongggzzz

Presented in a semi-circular configuration, all scenes are seamlessly connected.

Photo: IG/jieyongggzzz screengrab

Some noteworthy scenes in the painting include the seafront Padang encircled by a collection of public buildings, the bustling Change Alley, and the famous Singapore River with its bumboats.

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Photo: IG/jieyongggzzz screengrab

Accounts of Mr Yip’s memories of the places were also placed below the painting. For example, his description of the Singapore River in 1970 read:

“As a child, I was awoken by pungent smells from the Singapore River as my school bus passed it by. Each morning, I saw the river teeming with boats, cranes, and workers. Nearby, skyscrapers sprouted, each growing taller by the day. But alas, the last phase of the river’s clean-up started in 1984, changing this scene forever.”

Photo: IG/jieyongggzzz screengrab

Prior to the event, Mr Yip said that even though there was only one piece of art in the exhibition, he hoped that everyone in Singapore would come to see it. He stated that it was his most significant painting to date and an expression of his love and tribute to Singapore.

Painting garnered praise from Singaporeans

On Instagram, many Singaporeans posted and praised the 60-meter painting.

User tanbrian2017 said, “Amazed with the intricate details of iconic buildings, people’s lifestyles and habits of years gone by. A pictorial social commentary of the developing years of Singapore. Evoked much nostalgia. A masterpiece indeed.”

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While user jieyongggzzz said, “@yipyewchong ‘s 60m long, 1.1m tall canvas titled ‘I paint my Singapore’ is truly one of a kind! The immaculate details captures vividly the Singapore of yesteryear according to Mr Yip’s own personal memories of travelling all around the island in the 1970s and 1980s!”

User o.d.e_to_j.o.y also stated, “The artist drew many nostalgic scenes of Singapore! Mum was touched by the familiarity of the scenes and reminisced with me about the disappearing landmarks…”

Photo: IG/jieyongggzzz screengrab

In an interview with CNA, Mr Yip hoped the painting would be re-exhibited.

“I hope to be able to find a buyer who will be able to help me to conserve the painting and in time to come, also re-exhibit it for the public to see it again, or even the world to see it again,” he said.

The exhibition started on Nov 30, 2023, and ended on Jan 1, 2024.