Looking at the kids running about and playing, you can almost hear the sounds of childhood emanating from the Dragon Playground. Except this isn’t the actual Toa Payoh icon, it is a miniature version at the Trash to Treasure Miniatures Exhibition by Wilfred Cheah.
Trash to Treasure Miniatures Exhibition: A Dose of Nostalgia
The exhibition is housed in a pop-up area just outside Tiong Bahru Plaza. It features art pieces that evoke a heavy sense of nostalgia. Drawing on Singapore’s history and disappearing places, Wilfred’s miniatures are very detailed and reward those who pause to peer a bit closer.
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The Dragon Playground scene doesn’t just feature the mosaic and steel structure but also features the activities that took place around the sandy playground.
There are kids playing hide-and-seek.
A pair of SCGS girls are playing hopscotch in the sand while an ESPRIT bag lays to the side on the playground perimeter.
On the other side, a pair of boys are gathered around a circle in the sand for a game of goli.
Such loving attention to detail is also given to the other art dioramas showcased at the Trash to Treasure Miniatures Exhibition by Wilfred Cheah.
The coffee shop scene features classic marble top tables and wooden chairs. The well-worn worktop has pots seasoned with years of tea- and coffee-brewing, as well as the iconic sock filters.
Tins of Milo, Ovaltine and Horlicks are lined up on the shelf while wooden F&N crates hide bottles of fizzy drinks.
Other pieces at the exhibition include a provision shop.
Another shows a street-side vendor along Smith Street selling lanterns for the Mid-Autumn Festival.
Perhaps the most intimate one is of Cheah’s own one-room flat that he grew up in. His memories are lovingly captured in intricate detail.
Appreciating the Past
The Trash to Treasure Miniatures Exhibition by Wilfred Cheah is a chance look into the past and remember. They remind us of 3D versions of Yip Yew Chong’s murals.
Since they are 3D models, you can also walk about and appreciate them from different angles. What is even more remarkable is that many of them are made from recycled materials that have put to good use rather than being discarded.
You can view the Trash to Treasure Miniatures Exhibition in front of Tiong Bahru Plaza from now till 23 April 2023, 11 am to 9 pm. Admission is free.