Sunday, September 11, 2011

Singapore Iconic Lantern Design Competition 2011

Display of all participating lanterns at Central Mall

This was a competition Cindy and I contemplated participating sometime in July this year. This competition called the "Chinatown Mid Autumn Festival 2011 Singapore Iconic Lantern Design Competition" was as its name suggested, a contest for the best lantern designed to the theme of Singapore Icons.  Several discussions and one preliminary shopping trip (for materials) later, I decided I could not hack it. Too much work, too little time. I also remember feeling absolutely uninspired. 

Win's entry- Singapore Merlion

I had however coaxed my brother into submitting a design and he did with this 3D replica of the Singapore Lion Head icon. The fact that it was an exact replica caused him to lose points on creativity, I suspect, but he got top marks, in my book, for execution. This was not a cheap lantern. Just the paper and printing alone cost S$250.00. He had wanted to make it collapsible but due to the lack of time and resource for experiments, he gave the idea up. Although he did not win any prizes, his was one of the top 10 entries. 

1st prize entry- Vanda Miss Joaquim by Ivy Yeo

The 1st and 2nd prize went to MarG's mum and niece respectively. The local media dubbed them "the grandmother-granddaughter pair" .  Auntie Ivy's lantern was made entirely with recyclable material and powered with rechargeable batteries. This is what one of the judges said about the lantern: 

"There're a lot of great lanterns around but Mdm Yeo's lantern really stood out," said Mr Mitsuru Iguchi, managing director of SANYO Energy (S) Corp and one of the five judges. "Orchids are indeed very representative of Singapore. We are impressed that all the materials used are recyclable as it meets the contest criteria, given Singapore's limited resources." 

2nd prize- Kriestel's Satay 

Some of you may remember Kriestel She taught me how to make the tiniest origami crane mobile for my Maharajah's Emporium almost 2 years ago. I am really proud of her. She made the satay (skewered meat) with foam board and I thought they looked just like the real thing. 

My personal favourite

This piece stood out for me. I regarded it as a work of art for the ingenious use of material and the skill involve in its execution. The dragon was made  almost entirely from aluminium cans but I can see why it was probably more suited as an installation rather than lantern.  This piece had no bulbs and could not therefore be lighted. It also did not really fulfill the Singapore-Icon criteria. I believe however that it came in 3rd.

The orchid motif painted on the lantern in the peranakan style was down by the maker himself.

The "what-in-the-world..... ?" pieces

FaiZ liked this piece although when I asked him, he was also at a loss what Singapore icon it was supposed to represent. This piece reminded me of how Win had said I should weave a basket when I told him I did not know what to make. He laughingly assured me that my mini baskets were testament to my weaving skills. 

This piece would have made quite a funky lamp.

I believe this piece was to assimilate a burning joss coil

Changi Airport Control Tower, one of the icons Cindy and I thought we could explore or incorporate.

An easy way to showcase Singapore Malay Costumes.  

 A very patriotic ketupat.


What in the world.....

The Could-Have-Would-Have-Never-Was Lantern by me

No matter what my views are of these entries, I applaud each and everyone of the participants for doing what I could not.  One thing I am sure, everyone of those lanterns will bring someone some really special memories.

Like the lantern Win made with my mum's granny panty when he was a young adult. 
That, I vote, is my all time No.1 lantern for the laughter and joy it brought.



  1. Some are truly beautiful. Congrats to MarG's Mum and Kriestel, they are both very clever.
    Have a lovely festival, minihugs Rosanna

  2. This competition is really wonderful. Anything to do with lights at night is beautiful. The lanterns are fantastic. Your last photo is hilarious! Thanks for sharing.

  3. I love lanterns!!!! and these are all great!
    Thanks for sharing.

  4. Oh they all are great! I love your brother's Lion and the Dragon - they are fantastic!
    I wish I could see the last lantern you wrote about, Sans!;D And the idea of you weaving a basket-lantern is really funny.:D
    Have a very happy mooncake and lantern festival!

  5. Una bella y original competición. Belleza, magia, imaginación ... adoro la lampara de seda pintada con orquideas...Muchas gracias por esa magnificas fotos. Mariajo

  6. Son preciosas!!!! Magia, espectacular!!!!!
    Besos de las Malu´s.MªLuisa.

  7. HAHAHHAHA OMG i LOVE this post! I saw the winner's lantern this morning on ch8! i was going to do an online search to see if there were pictures of the entries, who knew, we had a roving reporter in you!!

    alas, it was really quite a pity we couldn't get our entry out, looking at the entries, maybe it's my pessimism speaking but we had no fighting chance LOL i remember the granny panty lantern story!!! LMAO! thanks for starting my day off with a grin on my face! :D :D :D

    omgomg SEE YOU SATURDAY!