The Singapore Bicentennial Painting
– Our Past, Present and Future








Gift to the Nation

To commemorate the SB, Chingay 2019 presented a first-of-its kind 270-metre painting as a special gift to the nation. Making its public debut at Chingay 2019, this painting was the centre of attraction amidst the colourful costumes, brightly-lit floats and vibrant song and dance performances that are popular with the Chingay audiences.

The painting is the painstaking work of three Singaporean artists – Mr Ng Yak Whee, Mr Rosihan Dahim and Mdm Vijaya Mohan. Together, they spent more than three months to create this visually stunning artwork that embodies the past, present and future of Singapore.

About the Singapore Bicentennial

The Singapore Bicentennial in 2019 is the commemoration of the 200th anniversary of Raffles’ landing in Singapore, which was one of the key turning points in our history. It will be an opportunity for us to reflect on how our nation came to be, how far we have come, and how we can go forward together.

Aside from looking at the 200 years from 1819, the Bicentennial will also go back further 500 years to the 14th century, to appreciate the context of Singapore’s evolution leading up to 1819. The commemoration will also examine how we have responded to, and been part of, regional and global influences and events.  In these 700 years, we went from being a place with a geographically strategic location, to a nation and people with unique characteristics.

About the Painting

The painting depicts Singapore’s beginnings to what the country is today – a modern, world-class and progressive multi-ethnic nation that is well-prepared to move into the future as a Smart Nation. The 200-year journey is made possible with the strong shared values of openness, multi-cultural diversity and self-determination amongst its citizens.

A key challenge that the three artists faced while creating the painting was identifying the most iconic images that would truly resonate with Singaporeans and including them in the artwork. This was certainly no small feat when they had to go through centuries of the Singapore’s history!

Besides their own imaginations of how Singapore could be depicted in the painting, the artists also drew inspiration from Singaporeans from all walks of life. Under the Chingay Community Engagement Programme, members of the public were encouraged to submit their visions and aspirations of how the future of Singapore would look like. The artists pored through the submissions and visualised how some of these ideas could be included in the painting.

Singaporeans had a hand in co-creating the SB painting too. Take a closer look at it, and you will see the fingerprints by Singapore residents. Numbering more than 240,000, the fingerprints symbolise the commitment and determination of the various communities living in this country who will take Singapore into the next lap.

About the Artists

Mr Ng Yak Whee is an acclaimed urban artist who specialises in using abstract art to depict realities. He has won many accolades including Overall Winner of IBM Art Award, 1st Prize Winner of OUB Painting of the year, Silver Medal in Salon des Artistes Francois, Paris, Distinction Award in Kyoto International Art Exhibition and Dr Tan Tze Chor Art Awards. His paintings and sculptures are in the collection of Singapore Art Museum, Singapore National Art Gallery, Fukuoka Art Museum, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Art, and many private and corporate companies. With his background in this art form, Mr Ng allowed his imagination run wild to translate Singapore’s ever-changing landscapes onto this painting.

Mr Rosihan Dahim is a surrealist artist who specialises in painting techniques that allow the unconscious mind to express itself.  He has won many accolades including Highly Commended Prize Award at the Australian Art Award, Honourable Mention at the Philip Morris Art Award, and Second Prize in the Ocean Artist of the Year Award. His works have been exhibited internationally in France, Italy, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam and many other countries.  To depict and sketch Singapore’s past, present and future, Mr Dahim went through many reference materials to identify strong elements that can best represent Singapore.

Madam Vijaya Mohan is an internationally renowned artist in the painting of Rangoli, a traditional Indian art form that uses different types of colourful materials. She holds the Guinness World Record for single-handedly painting the “Largest Rangoli in the World” in Singapore and has drawn Rangoli at important events in Australia, Brunei, India, Mauritius, Vietnam, the United Arab Emirates and the United States of America.  Her contribution to this painting shows how a traditional art form with a long history can still be relevant today and even in the future.

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