These Singapore River watercolour paintings were created from scenes captured at various spots and time at Singapore River. When I started watercolour painting, I would go to the Singapore River in the late 1950s to watch and observe Lim Cheng Hoe and other artists on how they sketch and paint. They were known as The Sunday Group which would usually gather on Sunday at Singapore River to paint. I would go every Sunday to pay attention on how they paint and return on Monday, to the same spot, to practice and experiment with the different ways of painting on my own. Singapore River is one of my favourite places to paint and throughout my painting exploration, many were scenes of Singapore River. I found the place very enchanting and hold a special memory in my painting journey. Therefore my paintings of Singapore River are mostly on the old scene.
Singapore River photos 1960s
This is a photo of the Singapore River taken in the 1960s using my humble $60 Seagull 海鸥 Brand camera which I took along with me together with my watercolour painting paper (the cost of paper was then, around 20cents) brushes, watercolour and palette. All the painting instruments were packed into a bag sewn by my mother (and I still keep this bag with me). Below is one of my latest paintings of the Singapore River which was painted in 2018. Through the paintings uploaded on this page, you may observe the difference in the way I painted from the early 60s through to 2018.
Singapore River Watercolour Painting – 1961
This is one of the earliest watercolour paintings that was painted in 1961 at Singapore River with a partial view of the Bank of China.
Singapore River -1961
Another view of the Singapore River with a partial view of the old OCBC Bank building. During my early days of painting, I enjoy painting from different angles, and views. Experimenting with it brings much joy and satisfaction.
Seacrew Recreation Club at Clifford Pier – 1962
Painted in 1962, the Ocean Building was located at Collyer Quay along the Singapore River. Now, the building is known as Ocean Financial Centre.
Singapore River Watercolour Painting- 1962
Singapore River during its low tide and bumboats is an enchanting view captured during my outdoor painting.
Singapore river 1967
I’ve painted the row of shophouse next to Elgin Bridge along North Bridge Road. In my collection of paintings this scene I’ve painted several times and every painting captured different strokes of paint and colour. Over the years an underpass was constructed along with other improvement works but the beautiful bridge and cast iron railings remained.
Singapore River – 1967
This is one on my favourite scene to paint, many of my Singapore River watercolour paintings shows the OCBC bank and bumboats. Probably one of the most significant view at Singapore River.
Low Tide at Singapore River – 1974
A jetty for the boatmen to get to land, during this time of the day the river bed can be muddy and sandy.
Singapore River – 1982
Singapore River – 1982
Singapore River with Elgin Bridge in the background along North Bridge Road. The focus in this watercolour painting is the bumboat.
Singapore River – 1983
Another scenic view of the Singapore River in watercolour painting.
Reaching for his Destination, Singapore River – 1985
Singapore River 2003
Singapore River 2008
Singapore River 2018
Singapore River was once known as the Port of Singapore and also the economic lifeline of Singapore. Singapore River is where all the hustle and bustle of the city revolves around. It was the centre of the city’s main trade, commerce as well as finance, which resulted in growth around the port as well. Like the heart of the city, the river pumps and transports in trades and finance needed for the developing country to grow and flourish. In the past, the river was always full of sampans, tongkangs as well as bumboats. Hawkers and vegetable sellers would squat by the river to carry out their daily barters. However, the river got polluted from the build-up of waste produced by these daily businesses. As a result, the government had to issue a massive clean-up of the river from 1977 to 1987. Presently, the river is a prominent landmark that helps with the sustainability of Singapore’s water supply while providing the citizens with a spot for sports leisure.
For art lovers who like to see more watercolour paintings of Singapore River, you can also visit the following links for old buildings around Singapore River and Chinatown or other famous artist at national art gallery link Lim Cheng Hoe painting singapore for the artworks by our Singapore famous artists.