Yip Yew Chong Paints Mural In Food Street Of Ukkadam, Coimbatore
Image Credit: Yip Yew Chong/Instagram

With an intention to facelift community spaces in neighbourhoods, St. Art India – a foundation promoting social regeneration via urban art, collaborated with Singapore-based muralist, Yip Yew Chong to create a beautiful depiction of South Indian delicacies in Ukkadam. The Coimbatore-based locality, which was shortlisted to get a revamp in the fourth edition of the urban art festival that takes place there, is significant in the sense that it is also a place for locals to come and enjoy snacks from street carts in the evenings.

Echoing a similar representation, Chong decided to draw inspiration from the culture and depict a tea seller pouring the beverage from one cup to another. The three-storey tall mural also shows a woman adjacent to the vendor flipping a dosai, while a goat and cat share another one served on a banana leaf, with some chutneys. The spread on the other half of the leaf shows classic South Indian delicacies of idli, medu vadai, uttapam and set dosai.

Chong, who has been sharing progress updates on his social media, was amazed by the warmth and hospitality of his collaborators, while also sharing that he wanted to complete the artwork just in time for Chinese New Year. The stunning piece, set against a powder blue background, drew plenty of attention from the onlookers, as he immersed himself in the experience. Chong also shared a South Indian style banana leaf meal with his fellow painters, who helped him bring his vision to life.

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In order for the painting to reflect the hospitality of the locals, he also painted the phrase vanga sappidalam – or come, let’s eat, in the Tamil script to mimic the typography he saw on street walls around the city. In the caption of the pictures he shared on the final day, Chong signed off saying, “As the sun sets, the food stalls open. Right in front of the wall is a pani puri stall. It gave me the idea to add it on the wall as a life-size segment of the mural to give the giant mural a twist. Many people came by and gave us a “supera” hand-signal (meaning “super”).”