A growing group of local artists are going bigtime, literally, with their mural artworks. Find out who they are. 

The Newbie Illustrator
Karin Ong


At LongQing steamboat restaurant in Hong Kong Street, a painting of a cheongsam-clad woman holding a pair of chopsticks and that of a cherubic baby look down at hungry diners.

The murals on the otherwise plain cement walls are by Karin Ong, 22, a second year Fine Arts student from Lasalle College of the Arts.

James Chiew, owner of LongQing, wanted a mural, instead of wallpaper or solid coloured walls, for "texture, look and feel".

Ms Ong says that as LongQing is a Chinese restaurant, she decided to paint an image of a Chinese woman, while the picture of the baby is an image of Mr Chiew's son.

Elsewhere in the restaurant, she painted a dragon flying across a mountain range with junks sailing below. At the wall, near the cashier, she painted peony flowers.

"As time goes by, the cement from the wall will start to peel off, giving the murals an 'old' look," she says.


This is her first time painting a mural, which she worked on during her year-end school holidays. She would go to the restaurant for a few hours twice a week to complete the piece. She is more familiar with realism drawings and paintings, and enjoys creating sculptures and installations.

For the LongQing murals, she first sketched the illustrations on paper and later projected the sketches on the wall before painting. Most of the painting is done using black and white emulsion paint, with some red acrylic for the peonies.

She says the tough part is climbing up and down a ladder and working with her arms at full stretch. "Painting on a cement wall is not an easy job because the cement would absorb the paint, which means I have to apply many layers to get the final result that I want."

Still, she is keen to take on more commissions for murals. "It will be a great opportunity to be able to paint someone's living room walls," she says.


Find out more about the other mural artists: 



Article by Tay Suan Chiang, originally appeared in The Business Times