This Free Pop-Up Exhibition Has Miniature Models Of Nostalgic SG Scenes Made From Recycled Materials

Trash To Treasures Miniature Exhibition at Tiong Bahru

Itty bitty versions of regular things have the power to make us squeal with delight, be it the cuteness factor or the intricacy to scale things down hundredfold. Singaporeans who are particularly big fans of miniatures would be familiar with Wilfred Cheah, a local artist who crafts mini versions of familiar SG scenes through recycled goods. 

To marvel at his creations IRL, swing by the Trash To Treasures Miniature Exhibition outside Tiong Bahru Plaza from now till 23rd April 2023

Miniature models of olden day HDBs, kopitiams & provision shops

Image credit: Renae Cheng

We all love a good blast from the past, and the Trash To Treasures Miniature Exhibition is like a mini-sized version of a history museum. Each exhibit is painstakingly hand-drawn and crafted by Wilson using recycled materials such as paper, cardboard, plastic bottles, wooden chopsticks, and even eggshells. 

Image credit: Renae Cheng

Besides the visual wow factor, there are also informative write-ups for you to learn about life in SG in the yesteryears.

Image adapted from: Renae Cheng

Unique facets of local culture, from the kampung-style HDB dwellings to retro playgrounds, will be a heartwarming dose of nostalgia for older folks and a fascinating insight for the young’uns. 

Image adapted from: Renae Cheng

Visitors will be ooh-ing and ahh-ing and snapping up a storm, but we challenge you to make a game out of it and see how many hidden details you can spot in each exhibit. The longer you spend admiring each diorama, the more awe-inspiring details will jump out at you. Seriously, look at the sheer detail behind just the fish tank model in the HDB scene:

Every last detail is carefully replicated, right down to the bubbles.
Image credit: @cheahwilfred via Instagram

On completing this astonishingly detailed piece, Wilfred says: “Tremendous amount of work, but I did it”.
Image credit: Renae Cheng

Wilfred really said “all… around… you…” with his exhibits, intended for 360° viewing pleasure. Just when you thought the front and sides were gorgeous, boom! There are details at the back waiting to be discovered as well.

Buckets and storage boxes stowed away at the back of the provision shop diorama? Genius.
Image credit: Renae Cheng

See Wilfred Cheah’s creations at this free pop-up exhibition

Image credit: Renae Cheng

The Trash To Treasures Miniature Exhibition is located right outside Tiong Bahru Plaza (TBP), connected via Tiong Bahru MRT. Swing by for a little arts appreciation session in air-conditioned comfort and to #supportlocal, perhaps en route to the many Tiong Bahru cafes

Image credit: Renae Cheng

If a wave of inspo takes over you after visiting the pop-up, you can try your hand at making some miniature models of your own using recycled materials. TBP is holding a Trash To Treasure Contest, where 8 winners will snag Frasers gift cards ranging from $50-$400.

All you have to do is submit your creation to the Customer Service counter on Level 2 of TBP any time from now till 30th April 2023. Clinching a gift card means you can offset purchases at Frasers malls across the island, which includes Northpoint City, Tampines 1, and Waterway Point, among many others.


It’s not every day that you get to appreciate Wilfred Cheah’s incredibly detailed work up close and in the flesh – or should we say paper? We suggest making a family day out of it; your parents and grandparents will get a kick out of the nostalgia-inducing scenes fo sho.

For other activities that’ll awaken your artsy side, check out:

Cover image adapted from: Renae Cheng, @cheahwilfred via Instagram

Event Information
Trash To Treasures Miniature Exhibition
302 Tiong Bahru Road,
Tiong Bahru Plaza (BreadTalk entrance),
Singapore 168732
14 - 23 Apr 2023
11:00 am - 9:00 pm
Renae Cheng

I love food, dance, writing, and writing about food and dance.

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