Idris Mohamed Ali (b. 1944, Singapore) is one of Singapore’s most senior Malay artists. For more than 50 years, Idris has captured Singapore’s landscapes in colourful watercolours, and exhibited at numerous group exhibitions, including three successful solo shows. His works can be found in the collections of the National Gallery Singapore, National Heritage Board, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and various government agencies in Singapore and Malaysia, as well as private organisations and individuals. A member of the Angkatan Pelukis Aneka Daya or APAD (Association of Artists of Various Resources), Idris has taught many young students under its Tunas (Budding) programme, as well as mentored art teachers. Idris is a recipient of the inaugural Hadiah Warisan (Heritage Prize) by Malay Heritage Foundation (2021) and two awards by APAD—Pingat APAD (1974) and Cipta Mekar (1990). He has also illustrated various award-winning publications. Through his talent, dedication, hard work and versatility, Idris Ali has contributed greatly to Singapore’s art scene.
“I like painting buildings, places and scenes around Singapore. I have doing that since my younger days. Growing up in Kampong Wak Tanjong, and now living in Bedok, I have captured kampong scenes, rivers, old houses and landmarks and skylines. Having witnessed Singapore’s development over the decades, you can see that I am not drawn to modern buildings and skyscrapers, as I find beauty more in the old places I am familiar with. Singapore is my home, so I choose a particular subject as I think about the next generation. These old buildings will disappear in time. Before we lose them, I capture them for keeps. Tomorrow, these will become a point of reference for the new generation.”