Marine Parade CC facade, also S'pore's largest art piece, to be replaced

The end of Marine Parade Community Building's iconic facade.

Matthias Ang | July 04, 2022, 06:08 PM

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Singapore's largest installation art will be removed from the Marine Parade Community Building when it undergoes upgrading.

In a Facebook post on Jun. 30, veteran Singaporean photographer Darren Soh highlighted that "Texturefulness of Life" is the name of the mural that serves as the building's iconic facade.

Measuring 63m in length and 12m in height, the mural was done by Thai artist Surachai Yeamsiri in a mix of stone, mosaic tiles and metal, and has been Singapore's largest installation art for 22 years, since it was first put up in 2000.

Soh further pointed out that the mural will be replaced with a new facade as part of the upgrading.

How did the mural come to be?

According to Soh, the building itself was completed in mid-1999.

It was then officially opened by then Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong on May 28, 2000.

The building was designed in the postmodern style by Goh Kasan, an architect from William Lim Associates.

In addition, the architects, the People’s Association and the Marine Parade Community Club building fund committee decided to hold a design competition for a mural and then incorporate the winning design onto the facade that would wrap around a large part of the building.

The competition was held across Asean in 1998, with the theme of "dynamism, interaction, fashion and harmony", with local art historian T. K. Sabapathy heading the judging panel.

Soh further noted that when Yeamsiri won the 1998 contest, he was only 27 at the time.

Yeamsiri said that he used a "mix of materials to reflect the eclectic mix of traditional and high-tech environments in Singapore."

He subsequently received a cash prize of S$30,000 from Goh at a ceremony at the People’s Association headquarters.

Marine Parade Community Building signalled the start of a new era

Soh also highlighted that the Marine Parade Community Building brought in a new era for the community centre as it was one of five new community clubs built under the People's Association new "CC Co-location Scheme" at that time.

The scheme meant that the building came to contain not just Marine Parade Community Club, but also the Marine Parade Community Library, and The Necessary Stage.

Soh said, "This would be the very first time a public library was co-located with any other public organisation."

It also meant that the building was essentially a precursor to current large-scale community hubs such as Our Tampines Hub (OTH) and Heartbeat @ Bedok which has "everything" under one roof, Soh added.

Soh subsequently concluded his post by urging the public to come and view the mural for one final time, noting that there were no plans by the People's Association to retain it.

Mothership has reached out to the People's Association for more information on the matter.

Top collage left and centre photo via Darren Soh/ Facebook, right image via Marine Parade/Facebook