As you climb, slide and jump your way through Adventure HQ, be marvelled by the Singapore-themed murals painted by CPL (NS) Mohammad Shahril bin Selamat.

TEXT: KEENAN PEREIRA
PHOTOS: ALVIN TEO

Whether you’re challenging yourself at Adventure HQ’s high-elements obstacle course or riding its indoor roll glider, you’re bound to notice the colourful murals that line eight walls of the indoor adventure centre at HomeTeamNS Khatib. These eye-catching pictures — as their originator CPL (NS) Mohammad Shahril bin Selamat explains — pay tribute to different aspects of Singapore’s culture. The references here range from the food to local slang to the Home Team NSmen who keep our city safe. “The designs of the walls are a reflection
of Singapore through my eyes,” he says.

The murals are spread throughout Adventure HQ’s urban climb installations, which cater to people of all fitness levels. But you can also get a glimpse of them from the other attractions, which include a bouldering and rock-climbing wall, ninja obstacle course and a rope course. And as most visitors would agree, the murals make Adventure HQ a more vibrant place to play at.

A VISION REALISED

A professional artist, CPL (NS) Shahril had worked with HomeTeamNS in 2018 on the murals at Bukit Batok Clubhouse’s I Am… café. He was approached by HomeTeamNS again in early 2020 to paint this latest set of murals. “The brief was to combine its corporate image with my style of pop art,” he shares.

Getting from conceptualising to completion was a process that took close to seven months. Helping CPL (NS) Shahril to finish his masterpiece was his team of two mural artists and two graphic designers from Fyre Flame, the mural-painting and art service business that he runs. “Completing the project needed all hands on deck,” he says, adding that each panel is about four storeys high.

CPL (NS) Shahril also worked closely with the playground’s designers who are based in Bulgaria. “It was a new experience to design walls that have climbing features on them,” says the 39-year-old. “But I’m glad for the opportunity as I learnt a lot about using different materials in my work.”

“If you have the passion to do something, believe in it and find ways to express yourself.”

CPL (NS) Mohammad Shahril bin Selamat

FROM HOBBY TO CAREER

Putting together splashes of colour comes naturally for CPL (NS) Shahril, whose mural journey began when he was in his 20s. “I started by decorating the walls of my room with paintings of superheroes like the Hulk and Iron Man,” he says. He was able to flex his creative muscle at work as well, as he was then working full-time in a design firm, designing props and sets for parties and nightclubs. A few years later, he struck out on his own, starting Fyre Flame in 2015. He has not looked back since and tells Frontline that he has several other projects in the pipeline, including one for a multinational bank and a local charity.

As he turns the page on his work at Adventure HQ, CPL (NS) Shahril hopes that it will inspire others to follow their passion. “If you have the passion to do something, believe in it and find ways to express yourself. Besides art, I am also into music and have made inroads into the Malay music scene as well. It’s all about believing in yourself.”

Behind the Eight

Breaking down the murals of Adventure HQ:

  1. The City. Features architectural icons in Singapore, from Marina Bay Sands to the Singapore Flyer.
  2. SGSecure. An illustration of the “Run, Hide, Tell” message from the Singapore Police Force.
  3. HomeTeamNS. Inspired by graffiti culture, this splash of colour is reminiscent of the 1990s thanks to its bold hues and block letters.
  4. Garden City. A variety of flora adorns this wall, which pays tribute to Singapore’s gardens and parks.
  5. Slang Wall. Two icons of Singapore are featured on this wall — the Merlion and Singlish. This is CPL (NS) Shahril’s favourite as it is colourful and edgy.
  6. Police. A variety of SPF vehicles and craft are depicted on this wall — from those that sail our waters to those that patrol our streets.
  7. Hawker Delights. Few things bring Singaporeans together like food, and CPL (NS) Shahril and his team pay tribute to this big part of our culture with their illustrations of local delights.
  8. SCDF. SCDF vehicles, including newer types like its Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, are the subject of this wall.

Adventure HQ at HomeTeamNS Khatib

Opens Tue to Fri, 2 pm to 10 pm;

Sat, Sun, Eve of Public Holiday, Public Holiday and School Holiday, 10 am to 10 pm.

Closed on Monday.