Singapore is recognized by its public works of art. The Merlion in the Central Building District (CBD) pays homage to the past and sets the scene for the future as one of the world’s most exciting cities. 

Do public works of art create a sense of community, a sense of belonging, and a sense of pride? The simple answer is yes. 

Whether located in Singapore or globally, public works provide spaces, places and aesthetic experiences that could never be realised otherwise.

Public works of art bring inspiration to many as we walk to our workplaces and Destination. They capture the attention of young families and are inclusive to the entire community, not just individuals visiting museums and art galleries. Public works of art don’t require an entry admission fee, a ticket to an exclusive event or a six-figure bank balance.

How can these public works contribute to a sense of community? 

Public works can define a physical space, such as the Statue of Liberty in New York, a gift from the French, but synonymous with being an iconic artwork in the land of the free and the brave.

Works that are displayed in public can start a dialogue, such as the famous Banksy murals plastered around London, or even political movements, revolutions, or changes in community rhetoric. 

Art can bring people together, such as Australia’s indigenous community artworks and the ongoing efforts towards reconciliation. 

Often, public art can bring a sense of belonging and pride, such as the Merlion mentioned earlier, the gateway to Singapore and a proud monument to the rich history and heritage of Singapore’s multiculturalism. The fish body represents Singapore’s origin as a fishing village while, the lion head represents Singapore’s original name—Singapura—meaning “lion city”. 

Public works can also cause division 

It must be noted that although public works of art can certainly contribute to a great sense of community, bringing people together, mending old bridges and providing inspiration to many, it can also be divisive. 

In many countries and cultures where religious, sexual, political, and cultural ideals and expectations may vary, a work of public art may cause division and, in some cases, outrage. 

The works, mediums and positioning of public works of art is paramount to achieve the positive outcomes mentioned above, rather than create further division or confusion. 

Art by the community, for the community

Public works of art don’t just need to be on the grandiose scale, it can be as simple as a wall mural created by the local children of your school community, a picture of the ocean or waves as a mural on your local café, or a sculpture that doubles up as play equipment for families in your local park – art is everywhere. 

Works of art inspire; they can take people away for even just a moment to a place far away from where they currently are, a moment of enjoyment that is subjective and just their own – for personal mental health and the health of the community. Art is not just important; it is necessary on many levels.

The team at Art Works advise investors and art lovers on understanding works of discussion and their values in the market. Contact the team today at to find out more.