16 January 2018

ARTWALK Little India mixes something old, and something new

Source: ARTWALK Little India. Izzad Radzali Shah, Festival, ARTWALK Little India 2018, LASALLE College of the Arts, 2018. Photo: Ng Wu Gang.
Source: ARTWALK Little India. Izzad Radzali Shah, Festival, ARTWALK Little India 2018, LASALLE College of the Arts, 2018. Photo: Ng Wu Gang.

Multidisciplinary arts festival ARTWALK Little India, jointly organised by LASALLE College of the Arts (LASALLE) and the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) with the support of Little India Shopkeepers and Heritage Association, returns for its fourth edition in January 2018 as part of Singapore Art Week

Themed Urban Mythology, the event marks the first of a renewed three-year partnership between STB and LASALLE, following a successful first three years between 2015 and 2017. Visitorship grew from 74,000 in 2015 to 140,000 visitors in 2017. 

In total, there are seven new murals, one visual art installation, and three performing artists at ARTWALK 2018, in addition to fringe activities. The programme spans 10 days and features new hands-on activities such as dress-a-puppet workshops and aura photography readings. 

This edition of ARTWALK sees several artists return to resurrect tales of Little India. Master storyteller Kamini Ramachandran, a participant since 2016, will be telling stories of the supernatural variety. Eunice Lim, artist of ARTWALK Little India murals Cattleland and Cattleland 2, is also back to honour Singapore’s longest-running Tamil bookstore, Siyamala Bookstore, which imports publications directly from India. Leow Wei Li, a student volunteer on Lim's mural in 2017, has decided to take part in this year’s ARTWALK together with Dominic Khoo to form art duo sobandwine. Their mural is an homage to the marigold flower in Indian culture.
To further draw out the collaborative nature of the festival, business owners within Little India have been invited to play a more engaged role in ARTWALK 2018. For the first time, corporate sponsors who have businesses within the area have jumped on board. These include main sponsor Corwin Holding, a joint venture between Lum Chang Holdings and a fund managed by LaSalle Investment Management Asia and developer of the new mixed development project at the former The Verge; plus co-sponsors Nippon Paint and Wanderlust Hotel. Four organisations also came on board as programme partners: Monster Day Tours, Indian Heritage Centre, Artgrain, and Audace Bar & Restaurant.

“We wanted to ensure that everyone involved felt like they have a stake within the neighbourhood and festival. Our end goal is all about celebrating the rich diversity and history of Little India, and with the personal investment of these individuals, many of whom came up with very creative ways to amplify the theme of this year’s ARTWALK; we believe 2018’s edition adds new layers to an already exciting and on-going dialogue of Little India,” said Hazelina Oh, a BA(Hons) Arts Management student of LASALLE. ARTWALK is managed by a team of seven BA(Hons) Arts Management students from LASALLE, with guidance from artist and LASALLE Senior Fellow, Milenko Prvacki. 

ARTWALK Little India has played a key role in injecting vibrancy into the precinct and making Little India and its rich heritage relevant to a younger generation. It has also made the tourist experience in Little India more immersive,” said Kenneth Lim, Director, Cultural Precincts Development, STB.


ARTWALK Little India 2018 runs from 18–27 January 2018, with programmes and activities happening on Thursdays to Saturdays, 6pm – 9pm. 

The festival guide is available for download and can also be picked up at the Indian Heritage Centre or Clive Street POLI site.

Sign up for guided tours by Monster Day Tours

Self-guided tours can be accessed via the Locomole app on mobile devices, downloaded on both the App Store and Google Play store.