S’porean Makes Realistic Model Of Old National Theatre, Evokes Nostalgia For Lost Piece Of History

S’porean Recreates The Old National Theatre Using Cardboard, Taking Us Back To Our Humble Beginnings

Remember the artist who made a mini version of his childhood HDB flat in the 60s?


Mr Wilfred Cheah once again rekindled our sense of nostalgia with a model of our old National Theatre.


This is part of his “GrowingUP” series, aiming to recreate iconic Singapore landmarks in his childhood.

National Theatre was the Esplanade of the past

For young readers who are unfamiliar with the iconic building, the National Theatre used to be The Esplanade of the 60s and 70s.

Many of the older folks would’ve also known it as Panggong Negara in Malay.


It was the first and largest national theatre, housing early performances and concerts.

Mr Cheah fondly remembers it as the People’s Theatre, as the funding came from members of the public.

The heartwarming initiatives and fundraisers, including the Dollar-A-Brick Campaign, particularly strike a chord with the artist, making it a location to be remembered by many Singaporeans.


Cardboard model commemorates the iconic landmark

When it was demolished in 1986, Mr Cheah was saddened to see it go.

Hence, he decided to make a 3D cardboard of the theatre in an attempt to encapsulate its rich heritage.


The model has a striking resemblance to the real deal, featuring the theatre’s iconic brick panels.


He took 10 days to complete this intricate model of the old building that once shone brightly in our heartlands.


Reminiscent of Singapore in our early years of independence

As he makes these cardboard models of Singapore’s famous landmarks lost in time, we are reminded once again of our humble beginnings as a young nation not too long ago.


His art functions like puzzle pieces that come together to give us a glimpse into what Singapore was like in his childhood.

This thoughtful model of the old National Theatre is for sale to the “right person”, according to Mr Cheah.


As Mr Cheah reminisces about his childhood, sharing his memories through his models, many might be reminded of their old memories.

Do you remember any Singaporean landmarks lost in time? Share them in the comments below!

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Featured images adapted from AWPFacebook.

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