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Preview of Sculpture Carnival: Once Upon A Time

once upon a time logo

I find the theme to the upcoming Sculpture Carnival very useful when being asked questions that I can’t answer easily.

“Daddy, why are we here at Fork Canning?” Pangzi asked.

“Oh, because this is where a special Sculpture Carnival is going to take place. Guess what, we’ve been invited. And please, it’s not Fork Canning. Who taught you that? The correct name should be Fork Cunning!”


“Daddy, I don’t see anything special?”

“Oh, because once upon a time, there was.”

Indeed, the patch of grass opposite Shanghai Dolly at Clarke Quay was once the venue of an iconic Singapore landmark: the former River Valley Swimming Complex.

I remember this place very well because my brother as a kid nearly drowned there when I pushed him into the water.


Now, the Sculpture Society has planned for an outrageous outdoor event at this very spot. Where you see the grass, they will place some 20 stalls, pasar malam style, to conduct workshops and sell other stuff in carnival setting.

“At the Sculpture Carnival, there will also be giant inflatables here for you to bounce around and jump on other kids,” I continued.

“Daddy, what is sculpture?” Pangzi asked.


“Oh, once upon a time, there was no Wiki or the Internet, so they erect standing objects to remember dead people. These erections are called sculptures.”

“Daddy, what is Wiki? Is it the same as bikini?”

Oh, nevermind! 

NParks has preserved the turnstile to the old swimming pool (below), immortalised as a monument at the foot of Fort Canning Hill. To me, that’s the ultimate sculpture that many people of my generation can relate to.


In order for Pangzi to understand the concept of sculptures better, I decided to take him around Fort Canning Park to find some.

Sculpture Society has told me that there are actually plenty around the park. Some are there for the longest time, to commemorate events or people key to the development of Singapore in the early days. Others are hidden and just waiting to be discovered by keen hikers.

As part of the Sculpture Carnival, there will also be a Sculpture Trail activity that children can join to learn more about Singapore’s art and history.


“Daddy, look – I see an erection!” said Pangzi excitedly, within earshot of other park visitors.

Erm okay, please keep it down. No pun intended.


“Daddy, look – more erections! These are so long and they shoot so high up!”

Oh no, he’s going to rub it…


“Daddy, look – another erection! The head is so big…”

That’s it. I’m getting you out of here.


The Sculpture Carnival will also feature an art exhibition called “Once Upon A Hill” at a small air-conditioned building called Galeri Nila (above). If the weekend turns out to be hot, this would be the right place to go.


Sculpture Carnival: Once Upon A Time is the first-ever event of its kind organised by the Sculpture Society

When? Jan 17-18, 2015 from 11am-6pm

Where? The Foothills @ Fort Canning Park (opposite Liang Court)


For more details, click here.



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