Skip to main content
This flower garden, titled "Project Eden" by Donna Ong, is actually made with toilet brushes. IMAGE: NICHOLAS YONG

Adventures At Home: Rediscovering Art In Downtown Line MRT Stations

Happy anniversary, Downtown Line (DTL)!

On this day (22 Dec) in 2013, the DTL became Singapore's fifth MRT line, with only six stations connecting Bugis to Chinatown station. The 21km line offered a more direct route to the city for those in Bukit Panjang and Bukit Timah, and made it easier for working folk to get around CBD. Today, the “blue line” has 34 stops, with three more under construction.

The DTL holds another secret: like the North-East line and the North-South line, this MRT line also doubles as an unconventional art gallery, with incredible artworks at nearly every stop. Here, some of the ones that have caught our attention on our many commutes.


Bukit Panjang

“Punctum of the Long Hills” by John Clang

No, this isn’t "Attack on Titan" – just two colossal kids playing hide-and-seek behind HDB blocks, demonstrating a sense of curiosity and the spirit of adventure. The towering buildings allude to the hilly landscape of Bukit Panjang, Malay for “long hills”.



“Project Eden” by Donna Ong

At first glance, Donna’s work looks like an arrangement of flowers and plants in a picturesque garden. But look closely, and you’ll see it’s a collage of toilet brushes and other household items, paying homage to Singapore’s creative high-rise gardeners.



“Newton” by Tan Zi Xi (MessyMsxi)

Imagine what Singapore would like in the year 2200. That’s what MessyMsxi’s done in this massive piece, an alternate reality of our nation above ground and underwater. It's as though the artist turned our Lion City into an epic sci-fi saga.



“Tracing Memories” by Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA)

Move closer and scrutinise this artwork, and you will see photographs of buildings, people, and objects that combine to form life-sized “student bodies” who guide you from the station to NAFA and Singapore Management University.



“Staple” by Zainudin Samsuri

This stainless-steel sculpture is meant to represent the tapioca plant, or “ubi” in Malay. On the ground you should see stainless-steel inlays that embody the plant’s roots, which also symbolises solidarity in our city-state’s multiracial and multicultural society.


Tampines West

“Welcome to Jingapore!” by Jing Quek

Jing Quek snapped photos of 200 Tampines locals around the station at a five-day public event, and combined the shots with images of neighbourhood landmarks and things from around the area to form a collage that screams energy and optimism. There’s also a Part 2 to this artwork at Tampines East station.


Upper Changi

“I Am Anonymous” by Boo Junfeng

Students from Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) left their mark here – literally! Fingerprints have been turned into artistic lenticular prints, so that when you move around them, you can see adjectives at specific angles describing the student’s selves at the time.



“A Banquet” by Yeo Chee Kiong

This one's a bit difficult to find. Exit the train, take the escalators on the right, exit the gantry. You should see the two giant reflective chairs and a bulbous balloon to your right. The balloon is meant to be a speech bubble, and the sculpture signifies importance of organic communication in an era of technological advancement and digital media.

For the latest updates on, be sure to follow us on TikTok, Telegram, Instagram, and Facebook. If you have a story idea for us, email us at [email protected].

Share with others!