First placed in Singapore: 2004
The location of the work cannot really change, but of course it can be made to disappear simply by being painted over. In 2018/9, according to Tommy Koh, the LTA had wanted to repaint a standard gray, but he and Lito Camacho (former Finance Minister of the Philippines now resident in Singapore and on the board of the National Gallery) raised funds to have it repainted according to the original colour scheme. The repainted bridge was officially opened on July 12, 2019.
Patron: Nippon Paint, PIRAS, Land Transport Authority, Singapore Tourism Board, City Developments Ltd
The Alkaff Bridge was opened in 1999, commissioned by the Land Transport Authority. The shape of the inverted truss was said to recall the profile of a tonkang or river lighter.
In 2003 Philippines artist Pacita Abad was doing a residence at the Singapore Tyler Print Institute across the river from the bridge, and conceived the project of painting it.
The work definitely injects a bit of colour into the neighbourhood. The label oddly enough uses American spelling, which suggests it was written by the artist.
Given its exposure to the elements, keeping the work intact will require repainting over the years. While funds were raised for the 2019 repainting, it would be interesting to see what sort of commitment there might or might not be for the long-term. The work has now come to symbolise Philippines-Singapore relations.
The Art Bridge Pacita’s Gift to Singapore This landmark contribution to public art is an initiative of the internationally-acclaimed artist Pacita Abad (1946-2004) and the Singapore Tyler Print Institute (STPI). As a gift to Singapore, Pacita transformed the bridge and environment around this part of the Singapore River with her joyful and vibrant colours and design. The project was conceived by Pacita while at STPI where she was invited as the Institute's first femal artist to collaborate in its unique Visiting Artists Programme. The painting of the 230 ton, 55-meter long and 35-meter high bridge consisted of: scraping and cleaning the old paint; priming with 120 liters of a white base coat; two coatings using 930 liters of six base colors; applying 2350 circle stencils, hand painting each circle stencil using 46 colors; and painting the railings with additional circles. This project was initiated and organised by [Pacita Abad logo] [STPI logo] With the generous suport[sic] of the following: [Nippon Paint][PIRAS][Land Transport Authority][Singapore Tourism Board][City Developments Ltd]
Last updated: Feb-27-2022