I didn’t expect to find graffiti in Singapore. Given the harsh penalties, I assumed there was enough of a deterrent to keep people from spray painting shit on walls. I was wrong. But most of it is simple tagging. I scratch my head and wonder of the artists: you risked a caning for that?
I found some murals, but they were of the sanitized disneyfied variety at the Somerset Skate Park. Since there are other skate parks on the island, I imagine there are also other sanitized disneyfied murals.
Then again, none of this is surprising. There’s an awful lot of Singapore that feels sanitized and disneyfied. It goes in for shopping and spectacle, malls and monuments. In the downtown, there’s little that isn’t for show. But it feels like an H.G. Wells novel. Visitors see the smiling Eloi who play all day in the sun. But we know that somewhere underneath lurk the Morlocks who keep things running. I wasn’t there long enough to figure out where the Morlocks live, but I suspect that’s where the real graffiti is.