This week on Family Fun Friday, I bring you to the ‘Past Forward’ Exhibition, held at Singapore National Library from now until 28 August 2015.
The exhibition is held at the foyer of National Library and open from 11am to 8pm daily during the exhibition period. Admission is FREE!
About the Past Forward Exhibition
A quick background about the exhibit, for your reading pleasure (okay, I admit, I am just lazy to summarize and type it out):
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.
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).
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.
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??
Retro Bus and Bus-Stop
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!
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!
Toys of Yesteryears
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
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??
McDonalds’ Hello Kitty Craze
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
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.
And Iron Man being stretchered away.
And Simpson characters getting a health check.
Memories of the Singaporean men, past and present. SBO course. Love those facial expressions on the minifigures!
And this scene of recruits being sent off for their first day in NS.
This is me in 14 years’ time:
And I sure hope neither of my boys end up like this:
Conserved Building in Singapore
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!
I was impressed also by the Chinese calligraphy words that were built with Lego bricks.
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.
Besides heritage playgrounds, other uniquely Singapore icons have also made it to the exhibit.
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.
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.
Other than 3D models, I have always loved pictures like these that are pieced together using Lego Bricks.
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.
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.
More than half the time we were there, MY was actually playing at this kids corner, allowing me to enjoy the exhibit fully.
3D Printing Singapura Stories
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
The Singapore March was a travelling art exhibition, featuring familiar Singapore characters on huggable cushions.
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.
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’.)
And yes, I know elections are coming. Don’t need to remind me.
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!
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
Family Fun Friday Linky!
Hope you enjoyed this week’s Family Fun Friday sharing! Check out the blog posts in the Family Fun Friday linky below for more great activities for the family, or add your post if you have a FUN family activity to share!