The Little Red Brick – SG50 Lego Exhibition

August 22, 2015 at 12:43 am | Posted in itchy mouth | Leave a comment
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This year is Singapore’s 50th year of national building. As part of the Jubilee Celebration, there are many events organised around the island. Itchyfingers just went to this ‘Past Forward’ Exhibition, held at Singapore National Library. There are three parts to this exhibition: ‘The Little Red Brick’, ‘3D Printing Singapura Stories’ and ‘The Singapore March’. But I must say that most people were attracted first to the many Lego models, cos I was there also just to check out the Legos…hahah

Since it is the SG50 celebration (Singapore 50), a lot of events revolve around the number “50”. There were apparently 50 showcases of people’s memories of Singapore, presented in the form of Lego models here. Din count, so can’t confirm…hahah…

Old school radio, a peranakan tingkat (or the tiffin box),  the gem biscuit in tin and the old school calendar, all made with Lego bricks!

So cute!

Game & Watch, a cool toy of yesteryear! 😀

One of my favorites – the old school mosaic playgrounds! Remember the Dragon, Pelican, Elephant and Watermelon? They left out the Seal… Sadly the Pelican is no more…. 😦 Why couldn’t they preserve the beautiful Pelican at least as a sculpture?

The Watermelon playgrounds. In recent year, there are some local designers who made these old playgrounds into collar pins or bags for sale…wonder if there is any copyright issue?

The iconic red-bricked National Library that, sadly, had given way to a stupid tunnel and finally another building for SMU…

Inside the old library…wow the library cards are huge! 😀

Another one of my favourite Lego models…the makeshift chinese opera stage, complete with opera actors and audiences

So cute, look at the zigzag, comical-looking, snake-like dragons on both sides…they even put in the name of the acts on the black board…hahah

Backstage was as interesting as the front, with actors busy putting on their makeups and robes. At the left were the musicians. Kids were shown here skipping ropes. Street operas used to be common in the older days as main entertainment. But with the introduction of more televisions, cinemas and later, computer games, it is now a dying trade….

Open air movie screening! Looked so hip and cool! Hahaha….A lot of reflection on the casing, so very tough to take closeups…

The Samsui Women. These iron ladies from Sanshui of Guangdong (Canton) Province in China, came to Singapore between the 1920s and the 1940s and worked in construction sites as hard laborers, carrying heavy loads. Their hard work contributed to Singapore’s development, both as a colony and as a nation. Our true pioneers! 

These women were referred to as 红头巾, which translates as “red bandana”, a reference to the trademark red cloth hats that they wore. Today, most of these Samsui Women have either passed on or went back to their hometown in China. Only a handful retired here in Singapore

Remember the Little Red House at Katong? Only went to this bakery twice before it was closed for development in 2003. But it stood there for many years with nothing being done to it! Only recently did the paper report some updates on the development

Another favourite piece. Shophouses at Koon Seng Road near Joo Chiat

So nice! Even the otherwise ugly wheeler bins looked cool here

Tiong Bahru pre-war flats!

Came with its own grumpy ice-cream man! Hahah. These uncles are still a common sight now, and long queues can sometimes be seen at those along Orchard Road on a hot day!

Talking about queue…more than 1.2 million people braved rain and shine, day and night in March this year, to pay our last respect to our founding Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew at the Parliament House. This queue looked way too short…Itchyfingers braved through the whole Friday night for nine hours to pay our few seconds of respect…were you there too? Er, the flag didn’t look so good though….


The old bus stop! I love the pink and red Bougainvillea flowers!!! The flags here were much nicer! I didn’t take the old double-decker bus beside it… 😦

Who could have forgotten the KTM train that once passed through the heart of our island just few years back? This train against the Bukit Timah station must had brought back lots of memories for many people….The old railway track is now the Green Corridor. Itchyfingers just did our first Green Corridor Run early this year!

This Merlion looked very comical… 😀

But this one looked worse…I thought it was an elephant at first glance! The sprouting water looked more like an elephant’s trunk…hahah…and since when did we have a white standing Buddha figure in town? Hahaha….

They should really stop at one…The bigger Singa looked fine…but the smaller one….hahahahah…..

We have to thank these Men in Green for protecting our homes. Here, a typical scene of parents sending off their teenage boys to be enlisted into the army

There was a small section on 3D printing, which was quite neglected..haha

First National Day Parade in 1966

Great World – a popular place for entertainment in the past

Overall, it was quite an interesting exhibition that certainly brought back quite a lot of memories. There were still many others that were not featured here, so do pop by the National Library foyer from now till 28 August to see them! 🙂

Also see related post:
> Building a LovingSG

ilight Marina Bay

March 26, 2014 at 6:26 pm | Posted in itchy fingers | 1 Comment
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Any night this week if you have the time, do pop down to the Marina Bay area for your last chance to catch the Bi-annual iLight Festival, “Asia’s only sustainable light art festival that showcases innovative content, the intelligent use of lighting as well as an international line-up of creative talents….To promote an environmentally responsible behaviour for a sustainable future, the participating artists have incorporated the use of recyclable materials and adopted energy-efficient lighting technologies in the creation of their stunning light art installations. Every aspect of the festival will adopt a more effective and efficient management of resources to meet this commitment to the environment.”

I think to many layperson, the iLight Festival is just an event where you can view many beautifully lit-up art installations…hahah…Here are just some installations that Itchyfingers found more interesting…

Itchyfingers started our walk from the Esplanade area. Once there, you would be attracted to this one…

Titled, “Cloud”, it looked exactly like a piece of cloud from far…

Formed by energy-efficient bulbs, CLOUD invites strangers to come together beneath a dazzling raincloud and play

Viewers are encouraged to participate in this installation by pulling the switch. This is to “trigger a quantifiable shift within the greater aesthetic of CLOUD, visually highlighting the power of an individual’s ability to impact progress and achieve significant change.” 

Moving on, we saw a field illuminated by lamps…

Do they remind you of dandelions? Giant ones, of course…hahah

Titled, “Giant Dendelions”, viewers can walk freely through the 90 illuminated lamps, or light flowers…These “dandelions” were made from “close to 9,000 recycled water bottles that were cut and connected to one another by a nylon weave. Each flower was lit by an energy-efficient bulb in order to create intensity variations within the forest”. Actually the use of recycled bottled to make lamp is not new, and I think I have seen something like this before on the internet. But the artist’s idea is to use the exaggerated scale of the lamps as dandelions to create “an interesting landscape of light, and through the creative re-using of the discarded plastic bottles to send out a bigger message of inspiration and hope to the less-privileged.”

Just two weeks ago, Singapore experienced the worse drought since decades. So with a field of giant dandelions, I think some help would be needed to make sure they don’t dry out…hahah….

So we have these giant water pots to come to the rescue! 😀

And if watering is still not enough, try jumping into the pool to cool down! 😀

Titled, “The Pool”, this installation consists of  “a group of giant, concentric circles created from interactive circular pads. By entering The Pool, visitors enter a world where play and collaborative movement create swirling effects of light and color. Imagine a giant canvas where you can paint and splash light collaboratively. This installation is best enjoyed and is most beautiful when a group of people play with the different pads together.”

So you see Tisu Girl also joining in the fun!

From far you wouldn’t know what this collection of lighted cones and domes were. But walk to the other end, you would realise it was actually a crocodile! 😀 There were “warning signs” to alert people of the biting crocodile….hahahah

Can’t seem to find any information of this piece. This was one of the two huge inverted dishes with flashing LED lights inside. The effect was quite nice but it seemed to be taking too long to change colours and there were always some people standing under it for photos or selfies, thus preventing others from taking unblocked photos…I kind of lose patience and decided to move on…

There were many people crowding around the Helix Bridge, waiting for something to happen…It didn’t take long for us to find out what it was…

Ahhhh….light projection of local artists’ work on the Art Science Museum….But the image stayed for so long and nothing else happened…wondered why…

This looked like some flower or tree…Actually it was inspired by Golden Wattle, Australia’s floral emblem. Titled, “Digital Wattle”, the changing colours represented “the new mix of cultures residing in the city”. Well, whatever it was meant to be, it just looked very pretty with the changing colours…hahah…

Then while shooting the Digital Wattle, the projection on the Art Science Museum turned alive! So, this was what kept people waiting!

Titled, “Celebration of Life”, this is a “playful commentary on the role and value of traditional culture in our contemporary society. Through the use of Pop-art as a playful medium in this work, this installation celebrates Asian values in our modern society through a tongue-in-cheek manner”

Beautiful! If you stand further away, you could even take in the Digital Wattle as a foreground…I shot some videos, but it turned out a bit shaky….hahahah

Do check out these timing for the projection! (8.15pm – 8.30pm – 8.45pm – 9.00pm – 9.15pm – 9.45pm – 10.00pm – 10.15pm – 10.30pm – 10.45pm)

The last installation we saw at the field in front of the Floating Platform was quite breathtaking too…

A giant fish net hung above…

Titled, “1.26 Singapore”, this installation “drew inspiration from laboratory research which documented the effects of the 2010 earthquake in Chile – the historic shock resulted in the shortening of the earth’s day by 1.26 microseconds. The colorful volumetric piece takes the shape of a tsunami sweeping across the ocean.”

Walk around it to better appreciate the changing colours and form as the wind blew on it…

iLight Marina Bay is ongoing until the end of March. Do take advantage of the cooler nights now to view the many light installation by artists around the world!

Also see related posts:
iLike. iLight

Arty Walls

January 7, 2014 at 12:43 pm | Posted in itchy fingers | Leave a comment
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Penang, in Malaysia, may be just a few hours’ flight from Singapore, but Itchyfingers have been struggling for the time to fly there…One of the main reasons to go there again, after two visits many years ago, is to find the street arts of Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic in Georgetown, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In conjunction with Penang’s Georgetown Festival 2012, the artist was commissioned to give the old walls within the capital a new lease of life. These artworks depicted people and their way of life, and many of these integrated very well with the character of the buildings and their walls.

So when Itchyfingers knew that the artist was coming to Singapore to leave more of his works on our walls, we couldn’t wait to see them! These were what we saw last late October…er, sorry for the delayed posting…Itchyfingers was simply too tight up with work last November and December…. 😦

The first one we hunted down were these horses at Everitt Road.. 😀

Two boys riding on horses…But I dun understand why were the boys
holding mop and paint brush…hahah…

But I do like the contrast of realistic painting and kiddie scribbling…

These are on a narrow road…

Look to your left and you would see these trio…

The Minions!!!! The artist sure did his homework and knew how much
the locals here adorn these little yellow guys! They were painted on
the concrete pieces that I do not know what are the names, but these

are usually erected at the entrance of narrow streets to stop cars from 
entering or illegally parking there….They look like burglars! Burglars
that stole your hearts! Hahahah! (PS. I later found out these are also
called “bollards”, the same name as those short, thick post on the deck
of a ship or on a wharf, to which a ship’s rope may be secured)

The artist cleverly made used of this particular piece which had a
corner broken off to show the brain inside the Minion! Their favourite
bananas were also painted on the extra bit of concrete at the base…

When we visited the site, these guys were partially blocked by the
wheeler bins….Luckily I saw photos of them before and suspected they
were nearby….

Over at Victoria Street, Itchyfingers had fun shopping!

Your eyes were doing no tricks! Two Itchyfingers!!!!

Human-trafficking! Wahahah!!!! The artist did a painting of a child
sitting in mid-air in another country which I couldn’t remember now, 
and placed a shopping trolley against the wall, creating the illusion
as if the child was sitting inside the trolley. So now he repeated the
success here, with the trolley sliced into two…Did this remind you
of the Harry Potter Platform 9 3/4 and his trolley? Hahaha


The Fallen… :p

Look up and you will see the Climber… :p

Dun miss Mr Tip-toed…

“Knock your head! Peeping Tom!”

“Take this!”

Gosh! Whose smelly feet are these?!

The Girl with a young lion cub…This one is a huge one…

Having viewed these murals, in Itchyfingers‘ humble opinion, they seemed to be not as interesting as the ones in Penang. They don’t really show our way of life as much as those in our neighbouring country. One of the most controversial piece of work done in Johor Baru, Malaysia – home to Asia’s only Legoland theme park. The mural depicted two lego characters, with the lady carrying a Chanel bag walking around a corner towards a back lane and what lied ahead of her was a black-clad robber with knife. The artist was spot-on in highlighting the problem of crime in the town but the authority obviously didn’t share his sense of humour. A third lego policeman, waiting to arrest the crook with handcuffs, was later added on by some other artists, probably in an attempt to save the town’s image. A pity the mural was eventually whitewashed by officials before Itchyfingers could find time to visit it…

Although the murals in Singapore are not as thought-provoking, they are still worth a visit as they do add more life to the otherwise boring walls…Last October, Ernest Zacharevic’s mural of the two boys riding horses in Singapore was chosen as one of the Top 10 Most Popular Street Art Pieces in the world! And it was ranked second, after the Street Art master Banksy! That’s surely reason enough for a visit! 😀

Also see related posts:
> Chasing Art – Spain Trip #9
Street Art or ‘Arrghhhh’…?
A Narrow Escape

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