On this edition of SEAtizens, we feature Belinda Low of Singapore, who has been prominently keeping the culture and memories of her culture alive through mural paintings.
Paintings are one of the ways that people keep culture and memories alive. Belinda Low does that through her murals around Block 89, 90 or 91 of Tanglin Halt Market in Singapore.
Telling stories of a bygone era, Belinda, the 65-year-old muralist, paints what the old districts looked like. From seven commercial blocks to markets and food centres, the paintings show Kampung’s life in the past.
Belinda is the oldest female muralist in Singapore, and she started painting 12 years ago because she wanted to help her sons who were feeling empty nest syndrome. The first step she took to create pieces using vivid colours and memories as inspiration on canvas helped her become the artist she is today.
And despite being diagnosed with stage one breast cancer three years ago, it didn’t stop her from painting. She shared as well that she’s gone through 10 sessions of radiation and is currently on medication.
“My breast cancer diagnosis made me feel very mortal. I just want to seize the moment. So if there is a wall job, and if I’m still alive, I’ll do it,” she said in an interview with CAN Lifestyle. Each piece is a reminder of where she grew up. The murals become living proof of her memories of a bygone era.
“Labour of Love” is the name of the mural above. It’s one of the 40 paintings Belinda has done in the five years she’s started painting and inspired by a 1960s photo of Singapore. The bicycle signage itself was incorporated into the piece which is an interesting feature since it ties the old and new memories together.
“One thing I feel nostalgic about is moving out of the kampung into flats … So when I paint on walls, I try to create the neighbourliness and the kampung spirit again,” Belinda said.
You can find Belinda Low’s 40 murals around Holland Village and Tanglin Halt Market.
SEA Wave magazine’s SEAtizens initiative is a series of inspiring stories of people in Southeast Asia who champion the human spirit by demonstrating courage, ingenuity, generosity, and selflessness.
To read more about Southeast Asia and pop culture news, visit seawavemag.com.