Thursday, August 7, 2014

Sculpture #1 - The Merlion

Woohoo...Since this Saturday would be Singapore's National Day, I thought I might just blog on one Singapore iconic statue or sculpture - The Merlion.

Why the Merlion? I had read the book  Danger Dan confronts the Merlion Mastermind by Lesley-Anne Tan and Monica Lim, a daughter-mother writing team.

This is an interesting book. Follow Danger Dan on his adventure to prevent the important history of Singapore from being changed. He travels back in time with a girl from the future known as the Gadget Girl (Melody). My girl is too young for this. In my opinion, this book is suitable for 9 years and above. Through this book, you would learn more about history of Singapore, eg. Raffles City Shopping Centre and City Hall MRT station was used to be the campus of Raffles Institution. Follow the dual's path when they chase for thief who steal Mr Fraser - Brunner's  drawing. It would be fun to bring your kids round these historical buildings which were featured in the book.

The Merlion, a familiar half lion , half fish icon for Singaporeans as well as tourists. The lion head represents Singapore's original name - Singapura, which means "Lion City" while the body of a fish represent's Singapore's origin as a fishing village.

It was designed by Alec Fraser-Brunner, a curator of Van Kleef Aquarium (demolished), for the logo of Singapore Tourism Board. It served as an emblem since 26 March 1964. It has been trademarked symbol since 20 July 1966.

After promoting Merlion abroad in print advertisement, Singapore Tourism Board realised the icon soon became a tourist icon. Hence, they came up with a plan to have a sculpture of the Merlion as a tourist attraction. The sculpture was designed from the logo by Kwan Sai Kheong . The sculpture was done by our late local artist Lim Nan Seng, completed in 1972. The sculpture was then installed at the mouth of Singapore river. To view the original site, view here. The Merlion's body is made of cement, skin from porcelain plates and eyes from small red teacups. It was unveiled by the then Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew.

With the completion of the Esplanade Bridge, the bridge block the view of the Merlion from the Marina Bay waterfront. Hence it was relocated , in 2002, to the existing site in front of The Fullerton Hotel.

The glory of the Merlion

The Merlion cub at the Merlion Park
Did you know that Singaporeans also refer intractable puking as Merlion?

The Merlion was also part of an exhibit at the Singapore Biennale 2011 by Japanese artist Tatzu Nishi. It was being transformed to a temporary 100m2 5 star luxury hotel suite, The Merlion Hotel, by building the room around it. It was open for public tours in the day and a guest suite for paying guests at night. It was the most popular exhibit showcased during the Biennale.

The Merlion Hotel, limited people will allowed at a time and the duration of the tour was mere 10 minutes
The cub then

Up close and personal with the Merlion

I can't see the red teacups in the eyes! I am still too short!
You may think how many Merlions are there in Singapore?
There are actually 8. Five were officially recognised by the Singapore Tourism Board. The other two, are still located in Ang Mo Kio and in Woodlands.


Linking with :-
The Jenny Evolution


  1. That's cool!
    I want to invite you to the new home of Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday) at each week at midnight Tuesday, EST. And you're welcome to share your blog button for your recurring link-up at the page devoted to Wordless linkups - just remember to use your main blog url rather than a link to an individual post.

    1. Will do. Thank you for the invitation!


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