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Yip Yew Chong
Photograph: Yip Yew Chong

Yip Yew Chong's latest work is a monumental three-storey mural in Chinatown

It is an ode to the area where the artist used to live

Dewi Nurjuwita
Written by
Dewi Nurjuwita

Singaporeans would be familiar with Yip Yew Chong's murals scattered around heritage neighbourhoods like Tiong Bahru, Little India and Chinatown. In fact, this year has been an incredibly fruitful one for him – from his first ever solo exhibition in January to an ambitious 50-metre acrylic painting of 1970s Kreta Ayer.  

Now, the artist is ending the year on a massively impressive note after finishing a monumental three-storey mural on 30 Temple Street in Chinatown, where he used to live. In it, Yew Chong painted a coffee shop amongst the lively market place. The coffee shop is named '順成茶室', after the artist's dad. 

"My mum said my dad would be very happy if he sees this mural. I think he sees it," Yew Chong shares in his Instagram post. 

The artist, who is famed for being able to paint vivid details from his memory, also painted his mum twice in the mural. In it, she runs a food stall inside the coffee shop – an ode to her helming various jobs in real life, including in a rubber factory, sewing clothes, pantry and cleaning, and making Sushi at Yaohan.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Yip Yew Chong (@yipyewchong)

And of course, what's a Yip Yew Chong mural without its intricate details? Look closer and you'll find details like a lizard crawling and rubber bands hanging on the wall. There are also characters on a pillar which means 'coffee and tea,' derived from a Hokkien phonetic that's also commonly written by other dialect groups. Then, look up for a splashing cup of tea being poured from the third storey. 

Pictures can't do Yip Yew Chong's works justice, so keep your eyes peeled for this epic mural the next time you're in Chinatown and grab a photo or two. 

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