Home >> Singapore Events >> SG50 Lego Exhibition ‘The Little Red Brick’ @ Singapore National Library

Welcome to Family Fun Friday! Every FRIDAY, I will recommend a FUN place / activity for families. And at the end of the post, you will find a linky with Family Fun posts from other bloggers.  If you have Family Fun recommendations, feel free to add your link at the bottom of the post!

This week, I bring you to the ‘Past Forward’ Exhibition, held at Singapore National Library from now until 28 August 2015.

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The exhibition is held at the foyer of National Library and open from 11am to 8pm daily during the exhibition period.  Admission is FREE!

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About the Past Forward Exhibition

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A quick background about the exhibit, for your reading pleasure (okay, I admit, I am just lazy to summarize and type it out):

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There are 3 parts to the Past Forward Exhibition: ‘The Little Red Brick’, ‘3D Printing Singapura Stories’ and ‘The Singapore March’.  To be honest, I didn’t know this until I was there.  I was actually there for the Lego exhibition.

Let me bring you through all 3 parts, focusing mostly on the Lego Exhibition ‘The Little Red Brick’, because that was my main purpose of visiting.

The Little Red Brick SG50 Lego Exhibition

There were apparently 50 showcases of people’s memories of Singapore, presented in the form of Lego models here.  I didn’t count to check if there were really exactly 50.  It was just… A LOT.   So I am just going to show you a bit of teaser here, and you can hop down to National Library to view the rest for yourselves.

Samsui Women

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This goes waayyyy back in time, even before I was born.  The only things I know about Samsui Women came from the drama 红头巾 (red headscarf).

Scene from the drama (Image Source: Asia One)

Scene from the 红头巾 drama (Image Source: Asia One)

 

These samsui women migrated from San Shui in China to Singapore to find work as construction workers, factory workers and domestic helpers.  They were recognised from their red headscarves.

Wayang Shows

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Another memory that went way back in time, Wayang shows were Chinese Opera Shows brought to Singapore by Chinese immigrants.  And I was pretty tickled to notice in the exhibit that, while the adults enjoyed the Wayang show, kids were playing skipping by the side.  Can my kids play skipping by the side while I watch my movie too please??

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Retro Bus and Bus-Stop

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Bringing back fond memories of the earlier generation of Singapore buses and bus stops, I am sure many of us whose first digit of our age starts with 3 or higher can identify with.  And I love those little figurines wearing the SG50 shirts and waving the Singapore flags!

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Heritage Playgrounds

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I am really not sure since when, the dragon playground has become our uniquely Singapore icon. But it seriously is EVERYWHERE nowadays.  I grew up with the Pelican.  Because my parents told me the Dragon was dangerous, kids would get their heads stuck between the iron bars.  So I was quite happy to see the Pelican playground here (albeit a little tiny).   And here’s a photo of myself at a Pelican playground, just for kicks!

SIngapore Pelican Playground 1982

Toys of Yesteryears

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Some more stuff for those of us from the orange bus-stop and heritage playground era, I’m sure these toys look a bit familiar?

Chinese Chess Set

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And while the kids were playing with Astroboys and handheld games, the adults busied themsleves with Chinese Chess.  Pretty sure the Chinese Chess sets that the old folks played weren’t this beautiful??

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McDonalds’ Hello Kitty Craze

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For something from a more recent memory, this was the time Singaporeans queued for long hours for the millennium Hello Kitty at McDonald’s.  There were two fellas fighting at the corner in the Lego model.  Did fights really break out then? I really cannot remember.  I do remember that I collected the whole set.  But I did not queue.  My sister said I bribed my brother to go and queue for me.  Something I conveniently forgot I did. :p

SARS

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And even more recent, who could forget SARS, the pandemic that claimed 33 lives in Singapore in 2003.  I liked the sense of humour of the fella who built this.  Check out the horrified look of this guy about to get an injection from hell doctor.

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And Iron Man being stretchered away.

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And Simpson characters getting a health check.

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Army

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Memories of the Singaporean men, past and present.  SBO course.  Love those facial expressions on the minifigures!

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And this scene of recruits being sent off for their first day in NS.

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This is me in 14 years’ time:

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And I sure hope neither of my boys end up like this:

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Conserved Building in Singapore

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Standing the test of time, this Lego model of shophouses at Koon Seng Road was my favourite in the whole exhibit. Really love the colours and details!

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I was impressed also by the Chinese calligraphy words that were built with Lego bricks.

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There were a few other models of conserved buildings by the side.  And I was super amused by the use of handcuffs in the details.  My kids have some police Lego sets from Lego City which included those handcuffs! Such a creative use for them.

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Singapore Icons

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Besides heritage playgrounds, other uniquely Singapore icons have also made it to the exhibit.

Terrarium Exhibits

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There was a series of microscale creations in living terrariums.  Which made me wonder which was more difficult: Constructing an icon with thousands of Lego bricks, or making a recognisable icon with as few bricks as possible.

Singaporeans

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There was a small showcase featuring minifigures of people in Singapore.  And that group above taking photos of their food was just SO Singaporean!! Whoever came up with this was just genius.

Lego ‘Posters’

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Other than 3D models, I have always loved pictures like these that are pieced together using Lego Bricks.

Kids Corner

I took quite some time to go through the entire exhibit, because there were just so many of them! And I loved checking out the details.  Initially, MY kept himself entertained by taking photos.

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But that only kept him entertained for… 5 minutes max.  So thankfully, there were 2 small tables at the corner, set up for kids to play with assorted Lego / Duplo bricks.

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More than half the time we were there, MY was actually playing at this kids corner, allowing me to enjoy the exhibit fully.

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3D Printing Singapura Stories

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Behind The Little Red Brick exhibit, there was a small section of 3D printings.  It was kind of neglected at the corner, so do give it some love and attention while you are there.

The Singapore March

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The Singapore March was a travelling art exhibition, featuring familiar Singapore characters on huggable cushions.

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Everyone in Singapore knows this lady.  We can spot her from a mile away, the parking summon auntie we all love to hate.  She is the one who goes around in that signature uniform and hat, issuing parking summons. Wonder who wants to hug her.

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And this police from the old days, which reminded me of a common saying, “以前警察穿短裤” (Last time, police wore shorts).  It’s a rebut we gave our parents when they nagged us.

Parents: Last time life was like this like that.
Us: 以前警察穿短裤 (A sarcastic way of saying ‘Times have changed’.)

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And yes, I know elections are coming.  Don’t need to remind me.

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In Summary

This is one exhibition that you got to catch.  It is absolutely free, right smack in town, fully sheltered against rain or sun… What excuse do you have? Remember: It ends 28 August.  Don’t miss it!

Information:

Address: Singapore National Library (Foyer).  100 Victoria St, Singapore 188064

Getting There: Bugis MRT (EW12 / DT14) or Bras Basah MRT (CC2)

Dates: 1 – 28 August 2015

Time: 11am – 8pm Daily

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the author

Supposed to be a stay-home mom, but hates staying home. Definition of parenting is bringing the boys out for 'experiential learning' in Singapore, Japan and wherever else in the world her husband can afford to pay for.

28Comments

  1. claudiasg says:

    I’m planning to bring my girls tomorrow! Wish me luck! LOL!

  2. Ai Sakura says:

    Wahhhhh all so cute!!! I’m a big collector of minifigs.. will try to go down this weekend too hahaha. Maybe see you there Claudia! 😛

    Ai @ Sakura Haruka

    • bumblebeemum says:

      Do you have a place to display your minifigs? I’ve been wondering what to do with my minifigs. So far the kids have been getting their hands on them and plucking off their heads / legs and mixing them up. *faint*

  3. May says:

    I’ve heard about this exhibition but haven’t got a chance to head down for a look see. Think we might have to give this a miss as our weekends are all packed. Thanks for Sharing here! I’ve done my fair share of visiting the exhibition with your pictures.

    • bumblebeemum says:

      Haha.. My photos only covered less than half of what was available! But yeah, there are so many things going on in line with SG50 celebrations, not possible to visit them all.

  4. Amie Chen says:

    These legos looked so cute, might try to bring the kids down to check it out!

    • bumblebeemum says:

      They will love it if they are into Lego! And if they are not… Leave them at the kids corner and enjoy yourself. LOL!! But then again, maybe there won’t be space for them in the kids corner if you go on weekends. :p

  5. Susan says:

    Wow there’s such much to see. I thought it was just a small exhibition. We wanna go and catch it too!

  6. Soon Koon says:

    I wonder how these people actually re-create these Lego models because it ain’t easy. I got to applause for their imaginations. My favorite is the shop houses created by Lego bricks. So colourful!

    Cheers,
    Soon Koon

    • bumblebeemum says:

      High 5! The shop houses one was really amazing! That was the one I kept seeing photos of on Facebook that made me decide to go down and check out the exhibit. Turned out there was so much more than that. And yeah, I can never understand how people come up with these Lego models. Wonder if they use some computer programming to come out with the design.

  7. Mummy Ed says:

    Very lovely photos! Were they all taken by your boy? 😀

    I think it’s a great exhibition because hopefully it will inspire kids to be more creative with their Lego play, at the same time it teaches them more about our history. And free some more, everyone should go!!!

  8. Angie.S says:

    I have been wanting to make a trip there to admire the lego creations. Shall try this weekend before the exhibition ends. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Waiwai says:

    We wanted to visit this exhibition but have been very busy. Hope to catch it before it ends.

  10. Hey! So interesting! That SBS bus is so nolstagic! Lego makers actually made these for SG50 with the samsui women and all. Will certainly bring the kids there soon! Thanks for sharing!

  11. Jolin says:

    The legs are all so cute. Hope I will be able to catch the exhibit before it ends.

  12. Lydia C. Lee says:

    I just miss it 🙁 That looks so awesome! I love the Game n Watch – that’s the one I had, with the octopus!!! So cute!

  13. My son is a huge Lego fan, we visited a Lego exhibition last year and were amazed at what had been created.

  14. MummyTravels says:

    How fun! And what great memories to come out of it – incredible what you can do with Lego 🙂 Thanks for linking up to #mondayescapes

  15. restlessjo says:

    Once a Lego fan, always a Lego fan! 🙂 🙂

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