Singapore Contemporary Young Artists

Playing With & For The Community

Toa Payoh’s Firsts – Ground and Facade Art (Updated)

Toa Payoh hailed as the center of many of Singapore’s firsts. It was where ground-up effort Residents’ Association pioneered, where the neighbourhood police system was first employed, where the first cooperative supermarket in Singapore, NTUC Welcome, laid its groundwork, where the first Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) station was built, where places of worship were first erected, amongst others.

The town represented the foundations of what Singapore has developed itself to become what she is today.

This project focuses on recalling memories when Toa Payoh was rising as one of the pioneer satellite towns.

The town was developed based on ‘The Neighbourhood Principle’, which groups several neighbourhoods around a Town Centre. The aim of this project was to engage the community to remember through the drawing and painting of the diverse people that first populated Toa Payoh.

Places of worship were also needed to meet their respective religious needs, and industrial estates and factories were required to provide for more employment opportunities. These needs gave a purpose for the government to develop many of Singapore’s firsts in Toa Payoh. These images were meant to spur a sense of pride in the community and to help them recognize these efforts through the drawings and paintings of these buildings.

Our drawings of pioneers included Samsui Women, Kampung Neighbours, Farmers, Gambier Plantation workers. We set them amongst the backdrop of the drawings of pioneer buildings such as the HDB housing estate, places of worship, factories, and the stadium, among others.

The residents were asked to come for the drawing and painting workshops which were conducted over a few sessions.

In the first session, residents were introduced to the Pioneers of Toa Payoh and given samples to use as reference to draw on. Our artists were on hand to teach drawing skills.

In the second session, residents were introduced to (Modern) the HDB, Temples, Buildings, Stadium, Playground, which they then drew and painted.

In the third session, our artists scanned and recreated the resident’s works from paper into computer and format it on the computer for printing it onto large canvas pieces, with a transition from Old to New concept.

After this final session, the artists will then to send the digitalized artwork to the respective canvas printers and People’s Association arranged for contractor to hang the art pieces thereafter.



On 14 June 2015, about 40 to 50 residents turned up at Toa Payoh Central Atrium to participate in our Toa Payoh Façade art project. They drew on the templates created by SCYA. Everyone came and had a great time, senior citizens, families, grandparents with their grandkids.

In August, a presentation will be held to showcase the beautiful art work created by the students and residences of Toa Payoh.


About scyablog

Singapore Contemporary Young Artists Project (SCYA) is a non-profit Art Society that highlights Contemporary Art by Young Artists in Singapore through several platforms in exhibitions, websites, talks, workshops & commissioned services. SCYA was initiated by Jacquelyn Soo who is an artist, curator and director for SCYA. SCYA has over 10 members in the society contributing ideas, activities to support the organisation. SCYA represents up to 70 Singaporean/PR Artists in their works. SCYA launched their first project in Nov 2008 with a website collaboration with FIVEFOOTWAY that featured 23 Contemporary Young Artists Portfolios on an interactive website. Since then, SCYA have had several collaborations and events organised with corporations, government institutions, NGOS and education institutions, Please visit our website for more details: Like us on Facebook! Thank you!

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This entry was posted on May 29, 2015 by in Workshops and tagged , , , , .

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