Umbrella-painting man does Tharman portrait, complete with Merlion & pineapple

Tharman merch.

Ilyda Chua | September 02, 2023, 12:03 PM

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Remember the uncle who hand-paints umbrellas on the street?

He was spotted at Redhill MRT station working on a new umbrella design, featuring a portrait of president-elect Tharman Shanmugaratnam.

The other panels held drawings of the Merlion and Tharman's iconic election symbol — the pineapple.

Photo courtesy of Mothership reader

Umbrella-painting uncle

The man in question is 74-year-old Akira Takahashi, a retired art director.

He took to painting umbrellas on the streets of Singapore in 2021 to pass the time, while belting Bee Gees tunes on a makeshift karaoke system.

Interestingly, he previously told Our Grandfather Story that he avoids painting people, explaining: "The person being drawn would scold me because the painting would look like someone else."

Top image by Andrew Koay and Mothership reader