Published in TODAY Voices Jul 6, 2010 (following is original unedited article)
Those who have seen the recent MRT grafitti seemed to agree on one thing – that it was done artistically. Even the MRT staff thought it was an advertisement and hence did not report it. And it was done in the dark of the night!
While the breach of security certainly cannot be tolerated, I feel our drab MRT trains and other spaces and public objects around us can have more colours. We want to be a liveable city rich in arts and creativity. SMRT can help to make Singapore more colourful by inviting people to submit their intention to paint the exterior of MRT cabins with their proposed designs. Organise this like a competition and have the designs changed once every few months. This will allow controlled expressions of our creativity.
SingPost attempted a rather unfortunate expression of their creativity in January this year by spray painting on six postboxes that backfired. However, I applaud their effort. Their subsequent attempt was more tasteful. I now have a pleasant looking postbox near my house along Marine Parade Road with nice artwork on it.
Getting our postboxes, MRT trains and even public spaces on streets decorated in a controlled manner will add to a more vibrant city life. I am sure there will be aspiring artists who are eager to add to their portfolio and will apply for these street art projects. Street art is gaining popularity in some cities such as London, Berlin and San Francisco. Why not in Singapore too?
Yee Jenn Jong