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Residents bring 105 HDB blocks to life with art

SINGAPORE — To celebrate National Day and the nation’s jubilee year, neighbourhoods are being transformed through vibrant art pieces.

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SINGAPORE — To celebrate National Day and the nation’s jubilee year, neighbourhoods are being transformed through vibrant art pieces.

In the upcoming weeks, large art canvasses will be draped over the parapets of 105 Housing and Development Board (HDB) blocks islandwide, compared to only two blocks last year in Clementi West and MacPherson.

These facade art pieces are part of the PAssionArts Festival, returning for the fourth year for residents to use the arts to celebrate National Day.

And with more seeking to create art pieces — from 18,000 participants last year to 50,000 in this year’s pre-festival workshops — the People’s Association (PA) has increased the scale of the event.

Mr Muhammad Safiudin Rasol, 21, who painted a canvas facade art piece for the first time, said: “I’m usually involved in the performing arts side in (the) Nanyang Community Arts and Culture Club, but this is a different thing for me to do to bond with the residents.”

Besides the art display on apartment blocks, residents helped create other large art installations, such as ground, sky and water artworks that will be exhibited in 63 festival villages in various constituencies.

In the North-East district, Tampines’ Community Arts and Culture Clubs will celebrate SG50 with a sky-art installation: Doves created from recycled bottles will fill the sky.

In the Central Singapore district, the Kolam Ayer division will set paintings done at the workshops afloat onto the Kolam Ayer ABC Waterfront — the first time the festival is venturing into water-art installations.

In the South-East district, Bedok will have a ground installation of a “Hut of Hearts” for one to experience artistic meditation.

Condominium residents such as those in Floraville at Yio Chu Kang also played a part by painting a facade art piece along the condo’s perimeter.

To ensure artistic quality, community and professional artists facilitated the process of creating the visual art installations.

“The professional artists will raise the standards of the artworks, (while) the community artists will bring in the ground engagement (of the community),” said PA chief executive director Ang Hak Seng.

“It’s not only about a piece of painting, but it is of good quality to capture the heart of Singapore.”

The exhibition will be held over the course of eight weeks, from Sunday to Aug 30. An array of performing arts and interactive activities will also be organised in some of the festival villages.

For example, in the South-West district, there will be busking performances, percussion music and Indian traditional music in the Yuhua constituency. In total, the PA aims to reach out to 250,000 residents with PAssionArts Festival 2015.

It is important for residents to look back and feel proud of how far Singapore has progressed as a nation, not forgetting the confidence the community should have for the future, said Mr Ang.

“Many of these (activities) will bring people of different races together and help them to better understand each other’s culture,” he added.

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