ART IN TRANSIT
Learn about the art in our MRT stations
"I feel [the work] is still as eye-catching as it was 20 years ago and creating such a timeless piece makes me feel very heartened."
Hear From the Artist
Wang Lu Sheng
NE3 Outram Park
At Outram Park interchange, Wang Lu Sheng injects the pageantry of Chinese opera and the symbols of law and medicine into the station’s spaces. The artist was one of the most conscious about the space, as well as being aware of the flow and direction of human traffic. His works are designed as signposts, to help the user navigate through the corridors, while simultaneously triggering their imaginations and memories.
Wang undertook extensive research on the Outram Park area and learnt about its history — from the colonial era through to its transformation in modern Singapore — through interviews with original migrant settlers. He also looked through photo archives, and took graphic inspiration from traditional Chinese opera, which was the principal source of entertainment for the early immigrant occupants of the area.
At a large stair landing, Wang filled a large wall with a mural of a completely unfurled opera costume. Upon the costume, he features Opera-inspired visual themes. Due to its scale and bold colours, this mural has become a focal point for the station. At a separate 25 metre wall that leads to the Thomson Line, Wang also used an image of an opera mask which has been stretched to appear to be in transit along with the commuters, reforming and becoming solid again as it nears the end of the corridor. The streaming trails that the mask creates are highly suggestive of movement, even that of a train as it slows to a halt or speeds up to leave a station.
Wang was also inspired by a visit to Singapore General Hospital (SGH), where he learned about the CAT scan, a machine that enables medical staff to ‘see’ patient’s brains. From this, Wang developed the idea of a series of visual representations of thoughts and memories through the Medallions, as if looking into the ‘brain’ of Outram Park. Each Medallion contains a different graphic representation of a memory of the area, filling the interior of a human head in profile. Playing up the area’s association with law and medicine, the artist worked with historical images from the area such as early photos of SGH, policemen, multi-coloured HDB blocks, colonial buildings and soldiers. The Medallions also contain more abstract graphic elements such as colourful waves and swirls, and fragments of the MRT map symbols that are also reminiscent of DNA or cell strands from medical diagrams.
Wang Lu Sheng
b. 1956, China
Wang Lu Sheng is a Chinese artist who began his artistic career as a designer, and is known for his vibrant and unique aesthetic style that fuses Eastern and Western traditions while injecting them with a sense of innovation. Wang received his Bachelor of Arts from Jiao Tong University in Shanghai in 1984, and in the same year designed the winning emblem of the Jiao Tong University Alumni Association used for all five of their university campuses. He has also participated in various international design competitions and engineering projects, from the minute to the grand, with his designs adorning projects that span fashion, interior design, urban planning and landscaping. He represented Singapore in the Tokyo Urban Art Competition in 1994, and has received several prestigious international prizes including the Distinction for Fashion Design in the Shanghai International Fashion Culture Festival in 1998 and the Ambassador of Civilisation Cartoon Design Competition organised by Shanghai Pudong People’s Government in 2001.