SINGAPORE: Australian Governor-General Peter Cosgrove, who is in Singapore for a four-day state visit, applied the finishing touches to a mural in Clementi West on Wednesday (Sep 23).
It is the largest of 50 paintings by Australian street artists, part of the "50 bridges" initiative launched in May to celebrate SG50, as well as to commemorate 50 years of diplomatic relations between Singapore and Australia.
“It's pretty significant to me,” said Melbourne artist Matt Adnate, who painted the mural as high as an HDB block. “You know, painting in Singapore, it's a pretty amazing country, it's a very famous country as well, so to have a massive wall like this in such a renowned city, I'm definitely pretty lucky.”
Mr Cosgrove said: "I am so delighted to represent Australia, especially at this symbol of our great congratulations on the 50th anniversary of Singapore's establishment, or as a country, its independence. At every hand, we've been greeted wonderfully, warmly, from the President, through the Prime Minister, to the ordinary folk of Singapore, we've been made to feel welcome.
"Australia and Singapore are forming a wonderful partnership in the region. I congratulate Matt Adnate, the artist, whose work symbolises Australia's regard for the people of Singapore, and we congratulate him and thank the people of Singapore for receiving this gift of art."
A mural in Clementi painted by Melbourne artist Matt Adnate as part of "50 bridges". (Photo: Kenneth Lim)
Minister in the Prime Minister's Office S Iswaran, who accompanied Mr Cosgrove, said the Governor-General's visit was a special experience for Clementi residents. He also said the "50 bridges" initiative helped enliven the HDB landscape.
Said Mr Iswaran: “As the Governor-General has mentioned, it's a close relationship bilaterally and also in various international fora. And I think this particular initiative, which brings a bit of Australia into the heartlands of Singapore, will go a long way towards deepening the close people-to-people ties between our two countries.”
Earlier on Wednesday, Mr Cosgrove went to the Singapore Botanic Gardens, where an orchid was named after him and his wife. The hybrid Dendrobium Peter Lynne Cosgrove had been created specifically for them. Mr Cosgrove also took a look at the brick steps made by Australian prisoners of war during the Japanese Occupation.
Mr Cosgrove will leave Singapore on Thursday.