Celebs jazz up Singa the courtesy lion for a good cause

200 Singa figurines are up for adoption, with the proceeds going to charity

Fun fact: Christopher Lee was the one who designed and created Singa
Fun fact: Christopher Lee was the one who designed and created Singa
01 Aug 2019

Fun fact: Christopher Lee was the one who designed and created Singa

Singapore’s kindness mascot Singa the Lion is usually dressed in a uniform of a white tee with a red heart and green shorts. But now you can see the mascot in a whole new light in the 'Arts in the City: We love SINGApore’ Exhibition at Raffles City.

The exhibition, a collaboration between Raffles City Singapore and Singapore Kindness Movement (SKM) to celebrate Singapore’s 54th birthday and commemorate the Singapore Bicentennial, features 200 Singa figurines designed by individuals from all walks of life. Among those who unleashed their creativity for a good cause were celebrities such as Fann Wong and Christopher Lee, Chen Hanwei, Bryan Wong, Hong Ling, Nick Teo and Kym Ng.

The 40cm tall lions will be up for adoption from next week onwards, each with a minimum adoption fee of S$88. They will be on display on level one of Raffles City shopping centre till August 28.

Actress Fann Wong, who attended the event with her adorable son Zed, shared that she brought along her little boy because she hopes to occasionally give him a chance to experience events for himself.

"It depends from event to event. Today's event is for a good cause and Singa is also the ambassador of kindness, so I think it's a good opportunity for Zed to explore," she shared at the launch yesterday (Jul 31). 

Turns out Zed also put on his thinking cap and contributed to their green and "mossy" Singa in his own way, although the fruits of his labour won't be visible to anyone checking out their figurine. He painted 'I love Singapore' on Singa's chest, but unfortunately, it didn't quite go with the overall theme and vibe of their Singa. As a result, it's now covered up. Sorry Zed.

Even though the Singa was created by her husband, fellow actor Christopher Lee, she had no problems sharing more about the creation process. As it turns out, they had numerous ideas for their Singa, but what made them decide to go with an all-green lion in the end? Find out on the next slide.

Zed was feeling a tad cranky because he woke up early, but still gamely posed for photos
Zed was feeling a tad cranky because he woke up early, but still gamely posed for photos
01 Aug 2019

Zed was feeling a tad cranky because he woke up early, but still gamely posed for photos

Design name:
I actually don't have one! I'll have to ask my husband.

Design inspiration:
Singapore is a very clean and green city, so we covered Singa in green to represent that.

How long did it take to create your design?
We spent around three days on this because we had to paste the greenery on piece by piece, and also stick on the trees on the base that we created for Singa.

What's the most memorable part of the design and creation process?
Zed wanted to participate as well so he painted an 'I love Singapore' on Singa's chest area. After he was done, we felt that it didn't really go with the rest of the design, so we decided to cover it with green too. Well done Zed, but we'll have to wait for the Singa to ‘moult’ to see it!

What do you think makes your design special?
It might seem a bit boring to have only one colour for the entire design, and we considered pasting some butterflies or flowers on it as well, but in the end we decided that simplicity is best and not to try to overdo it. I think the same principles can be applied to everything in life.

Desmond Tan
Desmond Tan
02 Aug 2019

Desmond Tan

Design name:
Highlight the greatness in others

Design inspiration:
I specifically chose the use of neon acrylic paint on the white 'canvas' to display the need of highlighting the greatness in others every day. Showing appreciation and grace to everyone we meet and expressing our love instead of keeping it unspoken. Let's colour our world!

How long did it take to create your design?
A day for execution and a week for conceptualising. 

What's the most memorable part of the design and creation process?
Recent fashion collections have been featuring a lot of neon colours, which inspired me to use these unfamiliar colours and work my theme around it. It's like the neon highlighter we used to highlight important things when we were back in school. As it was my first time using such colours and trying out splash paint art, I spent a few hours trying to find the most ideal tools to create the right "splash" effect, such as cotton buds, satay sticks and chopsticks.

What do you think makes your design special?
I guess it would be the simplicity of the design with my take on modern art.

What childhood memories do you have of Singa?
I grew up with Singa. We had the kindness campaign when I was in primary school, so he is like an old friend that reminds me to be kind and gracious when I see him.

Bryan Wong
Bryan Wong
01 Aug 2019

Bryan Wong

Design name:
Bling-ky

Design inspiration:
I don’t really think there was any inspiration. It was just a thought that came to the mind and I felt like it would look interesting.

How long did it take to create your design?
It took me about three weeks to come up with the design. Initially, I thought of painting it but that would be quite the usual, so I decided to do it differently.

What's the most memorable part of the design and creation process?
It was very taxing on the eyes. After 20 to 25 beads, I couldn’t see straight anymore, and my hands are pretty big so getting the glue to adhere to the figurine was quite a task.

What do you think makes your design special?
I can’t say that my design is special because I haven’t seen the rest of the figurines, but if it’s the only beaded one then I guess it is special.  I covered it with silver and gold beads and gave it some pattern as well as extended the size of the nose to make it a little bit more three-dimensional.

What childhood memories do you have of Singa?
During primary school, we had courtesy campaign and I remember sitting on the floor of our assembly hall and singing “Courtesy is for free, Courtesy is for you and me…” and basically being told to be courteous to everyone.

Chen Hanwei
Chen Hanwei
01 Aug 2019

Chen Hanwei

Design name:
singÃlong

Design inspiration:
Giving what you can, be it money or effort, and Singapore is a garden city.

How long did it take to create your design?
I started work on the design since the first day I received the figurine until Jul 23. (Ed's note: The figurines were sent out to the respective artistes from June)

What's the most memorable part of the design and creation process?
I was travelling a lot during this period and some of the designs and flowers on Singa were inspired by different countries and some were bought during these travels, so they are one of a kind. A lot of the flowers are real. I ordered them online and imported them from countries like the United States and China.

What do you think makes your design special?
Some of the elements on my Singa are limited edition. The S$25 note and mini Singa are limited edition. I folded the bow tie which is made up of S$100 and S$50 notes myself, and I personally attached the coins to the figurine, so the design alone is worth about S$2,000. Not forgetting the black rose that represents me! (Ed's note: Hanwei's design is the only one of the 200 to be displayed in an acrylic case.)

What childhood memories do you have of Singa?
I only remember the courtesy campaign.

Lee Teng
Lee Teng
01 Aug 2019

Lee Teng

Design name:
Singalove

Design inspiration:
I thought a lot about it, but I realised that the more you try to overthink it, the uglier the final product will become. I decided to just go by the theme of the kindness movement, where you have hands reaching for each other to signify kindness. I wrote the word ‘love’ at the back to further fit the theme.

How long did it take to create your design?
I originally wanted to make a monogram, but I decided to scrap the idea after I realised it might look bad. All in all, it took about three days because I had to wait a day for the base paint to dry before filling in the details.

What's the most memorable part of the design and creation process?
My girlfriend came to help me. She’s in fashion marketing so she’s good at drawing details. She drew the hands on the front and painted the hands too.

What do you think makes your design special?
I don’t think it’s necessary to be special. My purpose was to create something that’s easy to look at, familiar and comforting.

What childhood memories do you have of Singa?
When I was 8, I remember seeing Singa at an workout-related event. I had to draw a Singa for a competition with colour pencils, so it felt quite similar to what I was doing this time around!

Kym Ng
Kym Ng
01 Aug 2019

Kym Ng

Design name:
Happy harmony 

Design inspiration:
Peaceful garden city of Singapore 

How long did it take to create your design?
Two days.

What's the most memorable part of the design and creation process?
Pasting the flowers on the body.

What do you think makes your design special?
It’s simple yet vibrant.

What childhood memories do you have of Singa?
It's a friendly lion.

Hong Ling
Hong Ling
01 Aug 2019

Hong Ling

Design name:
Love

Design inspiration:
My inspiration comes from "Love is Love" flag. It comes with six colors with significant meanings: life, healing, sunlight, nature, serenity and spirit. 

How long you spent on your design
I spent about six hours. 

What's the most memorable part of the design and creation process?
It's very challenging colouring it. It takes a lot of patience and focus to paint out the colours stripe by stripe. 

What do you think makes your design special?
With extra colours, it can add a lot of visual appeal to the entire design. Hence, I added it on Singa's face, so that it will have be very vibrant as well.

What childhood memories do you have of Singa?
The teachers in school used to give us Singa's badges and stickers which I kept in my collection.

Nick Teo
Nick Teo
01 Aug 2019

Nick Teo

Design name:
Singa Nick

Design inspiration:
My inspiration was the earlier versions of Singa. I also added in a bit of a sporty feel as I would like to spread awareness of importance of exercising. Lastly, I feel that it will be wonderful if the world is a more loving place, which is why I painted a the heart in the middle.

How long did it take to create your design?
I spent around five to six hours on the design.

What's the most memorable part of the design and creation process?
I'm wasn't a student who was very good at art. What I pictured in my mind is usually pretty different from the outcome. This was the same for my Singa this time around. After I was done, I tried to redo it as I didn't find it artistic enough, so I repainted it a few times until I was satisfied with it.

What do you think makes your design special?
I didn't think of it at first, but I think my Singa looks a little like me, which I think is pretty cool.

What childhood memories do you have of Singa?
I remember seeing Singa the courtesy lion whenever I took public transport.

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