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Not Just a Little Red Dot: Merlion

Not Just a Little Red Dot: Merlion

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  • Acrylic on canvas
  • 60cm x 75cm

The Merlion is Singapore’s national icon – a mythical creature that has the head of a lion and the body of a fish. The Merlion’s body symbolises Singapore’s humble beginnings as a fishing village when it was called Temasek, which comes from the same root as the word tasek (‘lake’ in Malay). Its head represents Singapore’s original name, Singapura, or ‘lion city’ in Malay.

The Merlion statue was built by local craftsman Lim Nang Seng, and was unveiled on 15 September 1972 by then Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew at the mouth of the Singapore River.

I gave the Merlion a fresh coat of colours that represents the diversity and vibrancy of Singapore, and my wish for Singapore to always be able to ride the waves of change and emerge victorious.

About the ‘Not Just a Little Red Dot’ collection

When someone mentions 'Singapore', what comes to mind? Despite its small land footprint, Singapore has transformed into one of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities. Over the years, iconic symbols and landmarks were created to represent Singapore in the world.

Created in Kelly's signature contemporary style, each artwork in the ‘Not Just a Little Red Dot’ collection is inspired by a national symbol or landmark in Singapore's history. The year when the symbol/landmark was created/completed or the name of the location is 'stamped' on the artwork, marking its significance.

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