#62 Monthsary: My Love Affinity With The Merlion (我和鱼尾狮的情缘)

“The impulse to travel is one of the hopeful symptoms of life.”
“I am not the same having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.”
Mary Anne Radmacher
“Beneath it all
I kept faith with Ithaca, travelled,
Travelled and travelled,
Suffering much, enjoying a little;
Met strange people singing
New myths; made myths myself.
But this lion of the sea
Salt-maned, scaly, wondrous of tail,
Touched with power, insistent
On this brief promontory…
Edwin Thumboo, The Best of Edwin Thumboo
“I want to be a tourist doing silly things in my own country with you.”
Celeste Koh


Continuing my Singapore landmarks/attractions themed artworks I did from our last monthsary #61 MONTHSARY: THE FLYER OF OUR DREAMS, I actually already had an idea of doing a Merlion artwork, not necessarily for our monthsary, after seeing some really nice children artworks displaying at Northpoint City in Yishun (some of which depict our Singapore landmarks) some time last year. I wanted to draw a picture of our Merlion spewing waters of rainbow colours out from its mouth. It would inherently convey my wish for our country to become a LGBT-inclusive society one day.

For those who don’t know, you might be asking, who or what exactly is a Merlion?

The Merlion is the official mascot of Singapore, depicted as a mythical creature with a lion’s head and the body of a fish (Wikipedia).

How did such a mythical creature like The Merlion come about?

During a recent trip to the Night Safari with my family, the voice guide on our tram ride coincidentally helped me explain the origin of Singapore as the lion city and The Merlion in a perfectly concise way. Listen to it while watching a real-life lion at the Night Safari in the video below! 😆

The Merlion Park located near the mouth of Singapore River is one of the popular attractions among tourists as they love to take pictures of/with our iconic Merlion statue which spouts water from its mouth, most of which taken in a really playful and creative way.

Tourists pretending The Merlion is pouring water into their mouths.

But this lady below took it to yet another level. How about pretending to wash your hair in front of The Merlion?? 😂😂😂

Seeing these photos made me wonder, did Taenggu visit The Merlion Park when she came to Singapore for a holiday with her family in 2010? Did she take funny photos with The Merlion like these tourists did? If she hadn’t manage to do this back then, then I would love to imagine her doing this tourist thing with The Merlion in my artwork! Hahaha. And the new art technique that I’m going to explore this time is the use of felt papers!

So let’s get started!

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In the process of making this artwork, I decided to use some leftover synthetic sakura flowers from my older artwork for SOOYOUNG BIRTHDAY 2019: SPRING IS COMING AS YOU WISH because I thought it is a good substitute for our Singapore’s national flower Vanda Miss Joaquim.

This orchid named “Vanda Miss Joaquim” is Singapore’s national flower. Does it look a little like a sakura flower which is also pink in colour?

As for the title, the chinese words “我和鱼尾狮的情缘” came to my mind first before I translated it into english. I thought the chinese title sounded quite nice and poetic so I decided to include it in the title of this post.

So now get ready to open your mouth wide and rinse it with rainbow waters from The Merlion! 😜

About a month ago when I was at the Daiso store, I saw this cute small merlion stuff toy (with really messy hair ㅋㅋㅋ) and bought it as I thought it would complement my merlion themed artwork well this monthsary! A little gift of memorabilia of our Singapore icon. 😍

A little behind-the-scenes. While taking these photos, Tofu saw the merlion toy, got curious and wanted to play with it! Aww so sorry Tofu, this toy is for Taenggu, not for you. 😰 I promise I will get another one for you next time!

Dear my lovely Taenggu,

What you didn’t manage to do when you toured Singapore in 2010, I wish I could do them with you in the future. All the silly tourist things. Kekeke.

HAPPY 62ND MONTHSARY! Hope you like my Merlion artwork for you.
Hear the Merlion roar and get splashed water on your face!! 🦁🐠💦😂

Handmade with love,
Celeste Koh

Listen to: “Lion Heart” by Girls’ Generation 소녀시대

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