public art: weblog

Asian Public Art News
Art and similar interventions in public space. Coverage moves outwards from Singapore through Asia to the rest of the world. Like nothing else, the idea of "public art" exposes the contradiction inherent in our ideas of "the public" and of "art".

Recent posts
- Public Art on the cover of IS Magazine
- Have you ever wondered what Singapore would be lik...
- Beta launch -
- The Tree
- Aerosol Arabic in Malaysia
- Intriguing project announcement - (on the invaluab...
- Horse-Head
- Cow Under Surveillance
- Creative Home - an interview with founder of Socia...
- nice capture - some current Singapore graffiti

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Singapore Public Art Database

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Saturday, September 12, 2009
  Beta launch -
Finally decided to upgrade the database of Singapore public art over to its next generation version, at The new site, still a-building, is much more interactive, allowing for comments, voting on works, and group authoring. Also lots of fun integration with Facebook, Google Maps, Flickr and the like. All enabled by the super open-source community/content management system Drupal.

Please come have a look. I really want to make the database less of trainspotter's strange personal hobby and more of an enabler of conversations about Singapore's public art and landscape.

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Sunday, April 01, 2007
  Aesthetic Grounds blogs nusantara - and lots of other great public art sites
Glenn Weiss writes the blog Aesthetic Grounds on public art and public space, forming part of the ArtsJournal collective. This is in part to redress the balance: "the dialogue on public art and public space has almost no American art critics..." (Glenn are you saying Miwon Kwon is chopped liver?). He's put together a posting listing some of the public art websites out in the world, including

Glenn has written public art grant proposals and knows some of the players in the US, so his blog is an excellent place to get an in-depth look at some ongoing public art commissions, and to get a feel for the meeting of architects, landscape artists and public sculptors and others in this process. He's writing some in-depth reviews of pieces, which is a great contribution.

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Saturday, February 24, 2007
  Stamping Singapore
The good people at the Farm Singapore artists collective have been impressing me with their use of web stuff to create an infrastructure for the Singapore art scene. Totally the right idea, and a great use of resources. It's not just web stuff, they do an event series (Rojak), with a particular sensitivity to Singapore's built environment - events are held in a variety of venues, people's flats, empty spaces, artist's spaces, etc. But enough praise - though they deserve more - this is to point to a public program they launched with the URA and SingPost, the privatized version of the Post Office. Called STAMP, the project is an open contest to paint a number of post boxes all over the city. Example here by Tang Ling Nah, who is best known for her large charcoal portrayals of Singapore's urban spaces. Of course I've been too idle to promote this in advance, much less create my own entry, but the winners will be announced on March 2, 2007. A terrific way to brighten up the urban landscape, and kudos to all involved.

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check out this other artist's work, i really like the concept, very clever:
By Anonymous Wouter V., at 6:57 PM  

Saturday, December 30, 2006
  sculpture database in Google Maps

Did you know that Google Maps has a pretty good database of Singapore streets in it? Recently added. I've taken the liberty of adding some of Singapore's public art into an overlay onto Google Maps. Click here to have a look. I'm overlaying a kml file generated from Google Earth, into Google Maps.

Of course the Google Earth version is nicer - for one thing the Google Maps version arbitrarily cuts off the number of artworks included, not sure why. And those of you who are Google Earth fans (you know who you are), Google Earth comes with all that extra fun zooming and panning and tilting and etc. If you are in google Earth, download

See the quick screenshot above. I do intend to keep improving this - cleaning up some of the entries, adding colorcoded icons, probably coded for how old the piece is, or how long it's been in place.

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Sunday, May 28, 2006
  Dan Witz's homepage
I blogged one of Dan's Face projects some months ago. Here's his homepage, with links to lots of fun stuff, including more faces. His "in progress" section includes a series stickers and painted shadows on existing streetscape surfaces. I give you here a little taste of his urban water lilies...


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  The Public Space (and its Discontents) group on Flickr
A wonderful idea for a Flickr pool, and an interesting crowd of urban explorers, architects, public space activists, photographers. density lovers and so on. The pool was started by Knapster.

«This group is interested in how people use, abuse and subvert 'public' spaces. Now that we lead sedentary indoor lives, public spaces are often neglected or strictly controlled and regulated. We are interested in how public spaces can be used for 'unexpected' purposes other than their design or how that are 'supposed' to;

Graffiti, Signs, Stickers, Junk (creative use of 'rubbish'), Street Performances, Local Characters, Eccentric Heros, Weirdoes, Social Malcontents, Protests, Skateboarding, Squatting, Homemade Vehicles and Bicycles, Public Sculpture (and 'vandalism' thereof) , Street Parties, Social Interventions, Witty Adaptations, Interesting Architecture, Decoration and Adornment of Buildings, (more to be added soon)»

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Sunday, April 09, 2006
  spell out "street art" - using flickr images
Kastner has a great use of the Flickr API here - using entries in the various "Single Letter" groups to spell out words. What better way to spell the words "street art" than using images grabbed from the street. Yes, I am interested in this because Flickr is a kind of public space - relating to the public space from which these images were "grabbed".

S burned into woodRadio City RuntitledEOne Letter / TART

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Wednesday, October 12, 2005
  World Interactive Map of Street Art
As one might expect, a mash-up of Google Maps and Flickr... very cool. Two of Killer Gerbil's Singapore stickers already up on the database. I'll try and put a few things up myself. Way to go Mike Oliver! (Now what we need is a time dimension... a slider on the other side...) ((Then that would make Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative obselete?)) Sorry for thinking aloud...

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Friday, August 19, 2005
  art & design of metro stations - from Athens to Zurich
Great site (long time to load!) called Metro Arts & Architecture with photos, descriptions and links to subway/metro lines around the world. Plenty of talk about socialist "palaces of the people", including some intriguing pix of the subway in Tashkent. Inspired, I've uploaded some of my pictures of the Moscow subway to a new flickr set.


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Saturday, July 30, 2005
  a new public art database - in St Louis, USA
Gee, perhaps one day we can have a listing of public art databases around the world. Singapore, St Louis, Taiwan, more are coming up every day. This database is very well put together, even if the size of the pictures is a bit ungenerous. It is a creation of the Regional Arts Council of city and county of St Louis.

I've only been to St Louis once, in 1982 or something, when some classmates and I drove over from New Hampshire for a couple of weeks in the summer. We had a great trip, I remember, debutante balls and river rafting in the Ozarks, all terribly exotic to me. But one of my strongest memories was, wait for it, the Arch, by Eero Saarinen.


A lovely modernist gesture - and a work that was NOT PHALLIC, not in form anyway. Impressive and monumental. In the words of the judges of the contest to choose this monument ""had the inevitable quality of the right solution". To this day when I meet someone from St Louis I tell them how much I like the Arch... A bit crazy, I admit. Anyway, this page of public art in Central St Louis, includes “the Arch”.

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Thursday, July 28, 2005
  Lovely Flickr set on The Iron Men
Lovely set of photos on Flickr (by Lizinha) of artworks (the Iron Men, by Anthony "Angel of the North" Gormley. This installation is on the Sefton Coast (sorry Lizinha, no idea where that is really...). Gormley's work is attracting a lot of i lately. In fact, he's coming to Singapore's Institute of Contemporary Arts later in the year.


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