Artwalk Singapore is breaking new ground as a fresh, local, street art-focused initiative that seeks to educate the public about our city’s art scene, and is so unfettered, even its founders have trouble putting a label to it.
“It’s an initiative, a project, a start-up, and much more,” remarks artist A’shua Imran, its 33 year-old co-founder. “We’re still experimenting to see what works best for us, whether it’s regarding the daily operations or future projects we’re looking to explore.” he continued.
His 24 year-old business partner, Marianne Tan, agrees. As they speak, a steady stream of staff arrive well past 11am on a Wednesday morning, wandering around the lived-in studio and workspace at Goodman Arts Centre.
Last year, the young pair met at the annual Singapore Art Week, where Tan served as an arts programmer, and came into close contact with Imran, one of the commissioned artists. In addition to having a great work chemistry, both Tan and Imran found their vision for Singapore’s art scene to be vastly similar. And shortly after their participation in SAW 2018, they began working on Artwalk Singapore.
If the name “Artwalk” rings a bell, it’s probably because it’s inspired by Artwalk Little India, the annual tour that takes guests on a guided walkthrough of the district. Yet, Artwalk Singapore differs from the Little India tour, for it provides regularly conducted tours that focuses on street art found around various locations in Singapore. And while the organisation’s name hints at a singular concept, the team is going beyond its recently-launched tours to provide refreshing, new and exciting experiences for art enthusiasts in Singapore.
They don’t claim their idea of offering art tours to be original. In fact, Imran will be the first to tell you that guided walkthroughs like theirs occur globally—from Newtown Johannesburg to East End London. Yet, Singapore hasn’t had a regular street art tour ever, to which Artwalk Singapore is here to rectify.
One of their tours, the Haji Lane Street Art Walking Tour ($15), brings participants around the bugis precinct to check out murals and graffiti, beginning at the iconic, colourful wall near cafe Piedra Negra along Ophir Road. Guests are even given the opportunity to try their hand at spray painting at The Blackbook Studio, where many local graffiti artists work and hang out.
Still a new, developing art project, Artwalk is currently funded by their sister company, Mural Lingo, an art studio and platform founded by Imran in 2014, that works with organisations to develop commissions, workshops, events and CSR activities. Though as projects go, the eventual aim is to garner funding and investments through the new front itself, so the company can be self-sustainable.
As for the near future, the founding duo has their eyes set on honing the artistic skills of local youths and art enthusiasts. In just a couple of weeks, Artwalk Singapore is expected to launch a new series: Sketch Crawl. Another initiative to add to their growing list, the crawl will be somewhat of an art jamming session that takes participants to three scenic locations to be coached on the basics of art.
If you, like us, are eagerly anticipating Sketch Crawl’s debut, why not go on one of their guided tours first; you won’t be disappointed.
Artwalk Singapore is located at Goodman Arts Centre. Find out more about their tours here.