Singaporean Recreates Father-In-Law’s 40-Year-Old Vintage Mama Shop

You may have seen photos of Mr Wilfred Cheah’s miniature replicas floating around social media in the past year or so. While most of his works commemorate personal memories, a recent one of an old school mama shop pays tribute to a loved one instead.

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With his father-in-law in mind, Mr Cheah recreated the elderly man’s very own provision shop.

Using cardboard, waste paper and recyclable materials, he brought the precious store to life, in a miniature form.

Replica looks like mama shop storefront in real life

Staring at the model from this angle, anyone who recognises Choon Kooi Provision Shop would gasp in awe of the uncanny resemblance.

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Here’s a photo of the storefront in real life, in case you’re wondering what it looks like.

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Still thriving, the shop holds priceless memories for Mr Cheah’s wife, who spent much of her childhood there.

Minute details captured with much care

Every inch of the shop has been captured with much care, not leaving even the smallest detail — from fresh produce in blue crates, to bags of herbs and spices hanging from raffia strings or S-hooks on a metal rod.

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The inside of the provision shop has also been so immaculately done up, that you can easily imagine yourself navigating your way around.

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Mr Cheah even made sure to include a bag of kopi at the back of the shop where his father-in-law likely takes his breaks.

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Gift moves elderly father-in-law to tears

A video by The Royal Singapore (TRS) on Thursday (28 Jan) revealed the moment Mr Cheah’s father-in-law was presented with the replica.

In the clip, the elderly man smiled while fighting tears of joy, as he marvelled at the wonderful masterpiece.

The shop has apparently been the product of his and his wife’s hard work over 40 years.

His daughter, Ms Gena Tan, who’s also Mr Cheah’s wife, shared that “the market was (her) playground when (she) was a child.”

The mama shop model thus carries a lot of meaning for the family. You may view more photos of Mr Cheah’s latest creation here.

Preserving a piece of personal & national history

More than the preservation of a piece of national history, Mr Cheah’s work also immortalises a personal memory.

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Years from now, their family will have something to always remember the shop by.

Perhaps this will serve as an impetus for Singapore too, to hold on to precious remnants of our past.

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Featured image adapted from Wilfred Cheah on Facebook and The Royal Singapore on Facebook.