Sim Chi Yin’s work, a new mural for Tanjong Katong MRT (subway) station in Singapore has been unveiled (21/05/2024)

“The waters are blue

Yet I pine for you”*


Sim Chi Yin's mural work spread over three floors of Tanjong Katong MRT (subway) station in Singapore met with passengers. Sim Chi Yin’s mural for Tanjong Katong MRT (subway) station in Singapore collages memories and complex histories of the part of Singapore’s reclaimed eastern coast where the station sits. Using archival images, family photos (including her own) and pictures she’s made, the collage contains vignettes of the area’s past: the iconic Big Splash; Tanjong Katong as “Brighton of Singapore” replete with coconut groves and sandy beaches during colonial times; local swimming clubs with pagars (enclosures) that were once in the sea; Kampong Amber where Malay fishermen and Peranakans lived; now-endangered Katong (Javanese for leatherback sea turtle). With a whimsical, hand-cut aesthetic, the mural makes speculative associations and asks whose narratives are obscured in the telling of history. The artwork is commissioned by the Land Transport Authority Singapore. 


*The title is taken from the first stanza of the popular folk song Di Tanjung Katong. As translated by Alfian Sa'at.

Base image by The Straits Times veteran photographer Tan Suan Ann, October 1977.