Social Creatives is a Singapore-based, non-profit arts social enterprise, which celebrated its sixth birthday in July of this year. Since its founding in 2007, the group has actively worked towards making Singapore a more colourful city, both visually and emotionally.
Social Creatives collaborates with a wide range of people, including established and aspiring artists, community groups, corporate enterprises, people with disabilities, troubled youth and local volunteers. Through the joint creation of public artworks, the group’s aim is to bring people together to transform bland or ignored city spaces into colourful, vibrant destinations that attract locals and tourists alike, and to create a sense of connection among Singaporeans themselves, as well as between residents and their city.
Their work has been making an impression and they are receiving increasing interest at all levels. Indeed, last year Social Creatives partnered up with Singapore River One to transform the Singapore River Underpass in preparation for the city’s upcoming 50th anniversary next year. The theme of the many large and colourful murals follows the story of the foundation of Singapore, and is intended to enhance connectivity between Clarke Quay, Robertson Quay and Boat Quay.
But their reach goes much further, and they have taken their vision of vibrant and engaged public artworks around the world, including to Nepal, Canada, and most recently Germany. Their project in the German capital in June of this year, in collaboration with the internationally renowned artist Christian Awe, took place in the Lichtenberg neighbourhood in former East Berlin, where Awe grew up and still has his studio. Social Creatives members teamed up with local youth and volunteers to transform the wall of a youth cultural centre.
The group’s Chief Executive Faris Basharahil sees art less in terms of an outcome or end product, and more as a process for achieving national development and inclusivity. Invoking the earliest roots of art in ancient cave paintings, Social Creatives aims to bring art back to the grassroots level. Furthermore, in referring to the group’s work as “legal vandalism”, Basharahil expresses his intention to transform perceptions of street art in general, as well as community engagement with public space.
Social Creatives murals exists through four initiatives. They are public murals, artworks at social services such as Institute of Mental Health, transforming void decks into art galleries and also paint in one room flats with simple artworks.
Follow Social Creatives on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/socialcreativessg
By Zoe Goldstein