Petition Closed

Do not remove street art in Haji Lane

This petition had 202 supporters

Thank you for the impassioned support and for showing your stance on art in Singapore! Good news! In light of the recent article dated September 28th in page A34 of The Straits Times by a representative of the URA which has clarified the URA's intentions and the follow-up article the same day in page B9, we are closing this page and the petition.

The URA appreciates that the artwork characterizes Haji Lane and as such has elucidated that the guidelines for the shophouse facades are not exhaustive, or in other words, one-size-fits-all.

We are happy about the decisions that have been made and we are grateful for the little changes in Singapore's consideration of art, which will hopefully set her off on her march towards becoming a global arts hub.


News of the URA disapproving of the graffiti works can be found here: (

Over the last few years, with the burgeoning of the entrepreneurial spirit among Singaporean youths, many independent stores have mushroomed along Haji Lane. These shops promote and embrace artistic creativity and such an aspiration shows in both the products on sale and also, on the exterior of the shops.

Haji Lane, much like Singapore herself, is an unapologetic fusion of the old and the new. The characteristic architecture that is reminiscent of our traditional heritage is painted with ideas and colours that reflect the youth and vibrancy of contemporary Singapore. The two opposite aesthetics come together beautifully, accentuating the evolving culture in Singapore while simultaneously preserving memories of our past. The wall murals naturally came to be and the artwork in Haji Lane is a physical manifestation of the growing love for art in our urban community. Regrettably, removing the artwork in Haji Lane is removing the fruit of a local artist’s hard work and on a larger scale, removing a public symbol of our nation’s love for art.

Painting over the artwork with more palatable shades of pastel in the name of preserving local heritage is ironic, because such an act is precisely denying the local culture that has naturally come to be. Singapore is a new nation and instead of embracing the infusion of the new into the old (such as the graffiti artwork on old shop-houses), we insist on containing a clinically pure “traditional” aesthetic. Aren’t Singaporeans encouraged to be receptive towards change? Aren’t we welcoming the arts?

In recent years, the government has so graciously promoted the importance of art among Singaporeans. There should not be any room for speculation that such a change in footing is only for economic gains. Singapore is not a soulless country and it is not one that should support rolling paint over a piece of Singaporean art.

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