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Coconut Tales (椰爷故事)

Art Direction, Installation & Publication Design


Develop your own theme/idea for your Final Year Project to research and execute within a year.

This project is for school assignment purposes.

All contents done and copyrighted by me.

Work is showcased at ADM Grad Show 2021.

Coconut Tales (椰爷故事) is an installation that revisits the ‘kampung days of Singapore’ in the perspective of my grandparents. Viewers are transported back to the past with a series of miniature dioramas and a biographical publication. It focuses on the importance of looking back to learn and remember our heritage while moving forward in life. 


By experiencing the kampung days through this miniature world, it encourages self-reflection and appreciation in the simplicity and hardships of life then and today. It serves to record, preserve and engage intergenerational families in nostalgic conversations, while passing down Singapore’s intangible heritage to future generations.


Titled Coconut Tales, it plays on a homophonic pun of “grandfather” (爷爷) and “coconut” (椰子) in Chinese. It uses the art of storytelling to retain memories of the past and strengthen the bond between grandparents and grandchildren. 


The project connects family members through shared memories captured in a series of immersive dioramas. Miniature replicas record and revisits stories and moments of two Singaporeans' life during the ‘kampung days’, from the 1950s to the 1970s, contributing to saving Singapore's intangible heritage. 

Consisting of a series of six miniature dioramas, Coconut Tales focuses on two characters in a biographical publication – Kwee Boon and Hong Tiah.

The publication shares and highlights stories significant to both characters in relation to the location of dioramas.

Each diorama is a place of significance to them, ranging from residential areas to workplaces that no longer exists in modern-day Singapore. 


Having the exterior designed as vintage food packaging boxes evokes a sense of nostalgia at first glance. The dioramas are nestled within these boxes to create an element of surprise to this heritage project. 

Geylang Shophouse


Separated into two levels, the diorama constitutes two different scenes located within Geylang.

Level 1: A community club theatre screening the movie ‘Tarzan’.

Level 2: A house located on the second level of a shophouse, displaying the living room and kitchen.