Experience Art on the Go: NAC and LTA Partner to Bring Public Art to Commuter Spaces

National Arts Council of Singapore,
08 January 2024, Singapore

The National Arts Council (NAC) and Land Transport Authority (LTA) announced a three-year partnership to bring the arts closer to the public in land transport spaces and public transport commutes, through commissioned works by Singapore artists and arts organisations.

The partnership kicks off today with the launch of the themed train and stations in support of Singapore Art Week 2024. The two agencies are also working on enlivening under-utilised spaces below viaducts with local artworks. These initiatives are to deepen collaborations between NAC, LTA and other stakeholders to bring more of the arts into public transport nodes and commuting experiences. The launch of the collaboration was attended by Ms Low Yen Ling, Minister of State, Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth & Ministry of Trade and Industry.

Ms Low said, "This partnership forms a part of our broader vision to transform Singapore into a distinctive city with many accessible spaces for people to enjoy the arts wherever they are. Aligned with Our SG Arts Plan (2023 – 2027), this initiative will bring the arts to commuters on their daily travel. Besides refreshing their journey, the artworks will create a greater appreciation for local talents as commuters enjoy art on the go. The public showcase will enable artists to reach and grow new audiences through a wider platform. By bringing the arts to commuter spaces, we enhance the vibrancy of these common areas and brighten the quality of travel and daily life for many Singaporeans.” 

Mr Low Eng Teong, Chief Executive Officer, NAC, said, “Forging strong partnerships is one of the key strategies of Our SG Arts Plan (2023 – 2027). Our partnership with LTA unlocks greater opportunities for the public to encounter and appreciate the arts in familiar yet unconventional spaces. We hope to continue opening up more spaces as creative canvasses to integrate the arts into our everyday lives and surroundings, complementing efforts to create a distinctive city and endearing home for all.” 

Mr Ng Lang, Chief Executive, LTA, added, “LTA is pleased to partner NAC in this new initiative to enliven the spaces in our public transport nodes. This will enrich our existing Art in Transit (AIT) programme, bringing artworks closer to commuters and transforming our transport nodes into lively places. With millions of commuters taking public transport daily, our MRT stations and bus interchanges present an ideal canvas for artists to showcase their works, creating vibrant spaces that enhance the commute. We will collaborate with more partners through AIT to foster an even closer public connection with the arts.”

Creating a more vibrant commute with the arts

From today till 28 January 2024, seven train stations and a themed train running on the North East Line will be enlivened with selected art works from Singapore Art Week (SAW), Singapore’s premier visual arts season. Envisioned as an art trail, the public will get a head-start in viewing artworks that will be showcased throughout SAW, which is taking place from 19 to 28 January 2024, through in-carriage activations and vibrant murals adorning MRT station walls.

One unique artwork commuters on the North-East Line can look forward to is a themed train featuring a tapestry of sayings and words of wisdom. Titled My Mother Says, the artwork is a co-creation from a SAW x PAssionArts project involving about 20 Tampines Changkat residents. Through a three-week workshop, participants shared their stories and preserved the wisdom encapsulated in their elders' words by transmuting them into enchanting light installations through the technique of creative typography. 

Other artworks will dot the vicinities of SAW 2024 highlight precincts across seven MRT stations – Bugis (Downtown Line), Bencoolen (Downtown Line), Dhoby Ghaut (North East Line), Little India (Downtown Line), Rochor (Downtown Line), Paya Lebar (Circle Line) and HarbourFront (North East Line). The public can learn about a diverse range of SAW Open Call projects in the respective vicinities, presented through wall decals designed by the artists themselves. Please refer to the Annex for more information on the activations and projects featured.

Transforming underutilised spaces with the arts

In the second half of 2024, the public can look forward to the launch of an artwork under a selected viaduct, supported by the Public Art Trust initiative. The commissioned artist will work with the community to develop a large-scale artwork that would rejuvenate train viaducts and reflect the characteristics of the precinct.