Alkaff Bridge is the most distinctive and colourful bridge across the Singapore River. It was covered with the signature exuberant circles of Pacita Abad during her last days of lung cancer in 2004.
Alkaff Bridge (Singapore's ArtBridge) is a pedestrian bridge in Singapore. It spans the Singapore River at Robertson Quay, located in the Singapore River planning area within the Central Area, Singapore's Central Business District.
The steel truss bridge is 55 metres in length and weighs about 230 tonnes. It is shaped like a tongkang (a light boat used commonly in the early days to carry goods along rivers), and is situated near the former Alkaff Quay. Alkaff Quay was named after a prominent Arabian family, the Alkaffs, who were among the wealthiest in Singapore during the early 20th century.
It was painted in January 2004 in vibrant colours by Filipina artist Pacita Abad (1946–2004) and a team of rope specialists. Pacita and her crew of helpers used 55 different colors and more than 900 liters of industrial-strength paint to transform the bridge into Singapore's first "Bridge of Art".
Pacita Abad was born in Basco, Batanes, a small island in the northernmost part of the Philippines, between Luzon and Taiwan. Her more than 32-year painting career began when she travelled to the United States to undertake graduate studies. She had over 40 solo exhibitions at museums and galleries in the U.S., Asia, Europe, Africa and Latin America. She also participated in more than 50 group and traveling exhibitions throughout the world. Abad’s work is now in public, corporate and private art collections in over 70 countries.
"Painting the Alkaff Bridge is my gift to Singapore. I passionately believe in public art and hope that this project inspires many more like it and brings art into the everyday lives of Singaporeans." - Pacita Abad, Artist