Graffiti hunting in Singapore, land of the Merlion


(Taken near Arab Street, Singapore)

A just question and very fitting for this blog post!

When I told people back in Wisconsin that my husband and I were renting out our house, I was quitting my job, and we were moving to Singapore, I usually got some variation on these four questions:

1)  Is that is China? No, it’s off the tip of Malaysia but most of the country is ethnically Chinese so half a gold star.

2)  Why? Most people thought we were kind of crazy for completely uprooting our lives and moving across the world, especially since I’d never even been to Singapore. Okay, so it actually does sound kind of crazy but YOLO, right? Ew, that’s so 8 months ago, so I’ll go with carpe diem instead.

3)  You can’t chew gum there right? This is true. No gum allowed!

4)  Isn’t that where those American guys got caned for spraying graffiti? Yes, yes it is.

The Singapore government likes to keep things both safe and clean and they succeed at both. I walk around at 3 a.m. by myself with no fear. So anyway, when I discover graffiti in Singapore, I’m intrigued. Here are a few examples (apologies for the bad language; I swear I did not graffiti it!).


This one’s so elaborate I can’t help but wonder if it was commissioned and therefore not true graffiti.Image

That is NOT AT ALL a Singaporean way of thinking!  School is life in Singapore and test scores are everything.Image.

I’ll share more as I find it!



  1. Joseph Nebus · April 28, 2014

    When I did work in Singapore for a couple years I watched for graffiti. The first that I noticed which was really, properly graffiti, as opposed to something scrawled in a bathroom stall (which I guess counts, but just is so private and so obviously easy to get away with that it hardly seems to matter) was spray-painted on a steel girted at a construction site. What was written was, “I LOVE SINGAPORE”. I’ve regretted to this day that I didn’t have a camera. I like to think the graffiti artist was daring someone to arrest him.


    • sjoycarlson · April 28, 2014

      Yes, it’s very interesting. I’m going to keep watching and posting. Singapore’s a very interesting place. Thanks for the like!


  2. Heather M. · April 28, 2014

    No gum?? I would be breaking the law everyday. Though it does sound fun to just take off to another place far from home.


    • sjoycarlson · April 28, 2014

      Haha it is definitely an adventure. Nope gum is not allowed. Also no spitting on the sidewalk or eating on public transportation.


      • Heather M. · April 28, 2014

        Love the no spitting thing. I can’t stand to see people spit on the sidewalk, it’s so disgusting. Do a lot of people speak English in Singapore? I obviously know nothing about the place.


      • sjoycarlson · April 28, 2014

        Most people speak some manner of it. Locals speak a mix of English, Malay, Hokkien Teochew, Cantonese, and Tamlin called Singlish. A lot can speak proper English as well. It’s interesting, I have Singaporean friends who speak with a near-flawless Queen’s English accent. Anyway, you can definitely get by perfectly fine speaking English. There’s also a lot of Westerners all over the place as well.


  3. Cassie Holmes · April 29, 2014

    Great pictures! I would love to go to Singapore one day and I wouldn’t mind the no spitting rule at all. Thanks for sharing this post.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s