This article appeared in The Straits Times newspaper today.
Honey, we shrank the monuments - Lego artists build replicas of Singapore landmarks
Brick artists Xyivie Wong, 34, Eugene Tan, 41, and Andy Goh, 35 were commissioned by the National Heritage Board (NHB) to build eight Lego replicas of Singapore landmarks for the Building History: Monuments In Bricks And Blocks roadshow. The models include the National Museum, old Tanjong Pagar Railway Station, St Andrew's Cathedral, Thian Hock Keng Temple, and the former Nanyang University Library and Administration Building.
The public can view the models of the national monuments at the Central Public Library in Victoria Street from June 7 to 30, 10am to 9pm daily.
Pic above shows Mr Eugene Tan places an old Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) train model onto the tracks of the old Tanjong Pagar Railway Station replica. The building is scaled to the size of the train model. The platform pillars are represented by small rods that are more commonly used to hold pieces together. ST PHOTOS: GAVIN FOO
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Ms Xylvie Wong building part of the National Museum facade. There are 107 windows in this model. She designed the windows to protrude out by half a stud, which made building them very tedious. Although it is quite repetitive, she sometimes forgot how a section was built. She then had to refer to those she had just finished assembling. “It is just sucking up my soul to keep repeating, but yet forgetting and having to refer to the already built ones,” she says. ST PHOTOS: GAVIN FOO
Ms Xylvie Wong (front) and Mr Andy Goh (back) support one of the models in the lift. The length of the model just fits into the lift with inches to spare. There is not enough standing room. Part of planning for a large model is also to build it such that it is logistically sound during the transportation process. “We have to make sure that it can be broken apart to fit into lifts, tight corridors, doorways and most importantly vehicles, and yet they should not too much trouble to piece back together into one model again on site,” says Ms Wong. ST PHOTOS: GAVIN FOO
The artists assemble the 1.4m-long National Museum model. It was first created in 3D on the computer. This colonial-era building is symmetrical on all four sides, which makes assembling the structure more difficult. They wasted almost one hour after finding out there was a mismatch on one side of the model. They had to disassemble the bricks and reassemble them again. ST PHOTOS: GAVIN FOO
Ms Xylvie Wong, the smallest of the trio, gets into a transparent acrylic case to install a section of the St Andrew’s Cathedral at the warehouse. Some of the larger models had to be transported in parts and assembled on location. ST PHOTOS: GAVIN FOO
The trio discuss how to arrange the models in the van and a car. They do not want to make two trips. It takes them almost an hour to fit all the models into the two vehicles. “It’s like playing Tetris, except this is more tiring, and ends with backaches and scratches,” says Mr Tan, referring to a computer brick game. ST PHOTOS: GAVIN FOO
Mr Tan and Ms Wong carry the National Museum from the vehicle on a plinth in the warehouse. On the left is a model of the former Nanyang University Library and Administration Building. Each model needs to be carefully handled and placed into position. A misstep would have cost them much more wasted time. ST PHOTOS: GAVIN FOO