Thursday, October 10, 2013

Watermelon - Mosaic Playground of Singapore

Alright the next posts are me totally geeking out! I'm so glad Ben said yes to us pretty much spending a whole day in Singapore visiting playgrounds!
Okay a quick run down, in the 70s this rad dude called Khor Ean Ghee designed a whole bunch of playgrounds, one of their standout features were their use of mosaic tiles, which although had practical implications - easy to clean and they didn't need repainting, they also made these playgrounds iconic to Singapore :) As a fan of playgrounds, vintage things and colourful tiles, it kind of made sense I'd be in love!

Now for the sad news, they're disappearing. In 1993 new designs were stopped being made and instead playgrounds started to be imported from overseas suppliers who meet the strict safety codes that came out. I have a feeling the same thing happened in Australia too!

Luckily I managed to catch at least nine that are still remaining, I actually had a few more on my list but they got pulled down only weeks before our trip - gutted! Singapore stop pulling down cool old things!

The first playground we explored, the Watermelon playground is located at Tampines Central Park and is easily accessible by train and a short-ish stroll :) I loved this one!

(fun playing around with my holga and double exposures!)


I also loved how the playgrounds reminded me of the residential apartment blocks which you can see all over Singapore - they're often brightly coloured and (at least to me) resembled mosaic tiles from a distance :)

EXTRA INFO: An amazing guide came out, sponsored by Singapore Memory, called Mosaic Memories (it's a free PDF) it's where I found most of my information from.  The writer of the guide Justin Zhuang also compiled a google map which help me immensely in tracking down those remaining :) 

Also a big shout out to Antoinette from the Little Drom Store who I got to meet *big geek out moment* when I visited the store to buy one of their amazing mosaic playground pins .  She is actually interviewed in the above Mosaic Memories photo essay and was also involved in a photo exhibition showcasing photos she took of the playgrounds. She really inspired me to get out my film cameras and find some interesting perspectives :) Plus she is super adorable and I kind of wish I lived in Singapore so we could be friends :)


  1. That watermelon playground is pretty damn cute!

  2. Such a cool place! I would have been a happy girl following you in this route, fortunately we can do it now with the pictures. It is truly a pity that they are pulling them down. Here all the playgrounds are being replaced for their plastic alternative. Btw, which pin did you get?

    p.s: keep playing with the double exposure! :)

  3. wow, i think this is probably the best playground i've ever seen!

  4. I saw a dragon playground in Evelyn's blog :

    I love this places, i would be very happy in Singapore,i think!

  5. These are so whimsical and fun looking! What a shame that they are disappearing. Playgrounds were so much more fun when we were kids. ;)

  6. Ahh it's horrible they're disappearing!

    Damaris - I got the Dove pin :) I'll promise to post a pics of all my goodies I got in Singapore! I think if I could have replaced you with Ben on my playground adventures, Ben would have been a happy kid :P he he

    Sara - yup that is definitely a Singapore playground, I have my dragon post still to come :) He is especially cool!

  7. oh, cool, thanks for the link :)

  8. oh my! that is just the cutest playground ever!
    and don't worry, I'm just as much a kid. I spend pretty much every weekend playing in a playground (I work with kids - but I enjoy it just as much as they do!). I wish we had ones as cute as these in Australia!
    It's so sad that they are pulling them down ;-(

  9. It's fun being a kid :)

    Australia needs to step up it's playground game, I'm always hoping I'll uncover a vintage playground one day!

  10. Ive never seen anything like ut, soo beautiful! ^^

  11. ok, so things to do in the near future: a trip to Singapore the playground pilgrimage

    why are they so nice?



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