2018 Hong Kong Design Awards

spaces, objects, visual, graphic, digital & experience design, design champion, best studio & best start-up, plus over 40 specialist categories

accelerate transformation, celebrate courage, growing demand for design


Project Overview

Borrow art to create art, invite people “into the art” and then “re-generate art” – this is the idea behind “Moving Memories”, a conceptualised installation of three mobile walk-in dioramas.

The idea of a walk-in diorama was to entice the curious public to come in to view the art pieces, take a selfie or wefie and share with their friends. The dioramas are based on paintings by three generations of famous Singaporean artists, each depicting a way of life in Singapore’s past, to capture the unique characteristics of Singapore’s culture and heritage.

While one looks at the paintings, memories are relived and new pieces of art are created - the dioramas. When a selfie or wefie is taken in the dioramas, a new memory, another new piece of art is created to be passed on, to be “relive” later. Thus, art invites its audience to create, to “re-generate” art. This cycle, repeated, supports the creative intention of the designers.

Project Commissioner

Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts

Project Creator

Achates 360 Pte Ltd


Chuan Yeo, Creative Director, Achates 360 Pte Ltd
Deric Shen, Production design, Associate Creative Director of Studio Bound Creative Pte Ltd

Project Brief

Fancy admiring art pieces up close & personal, taking a walk “into” the paintings, become a part of it, snapping a photo, hashtag #movingmemories_sg and sharing it with your friends? Now you can do all of the above with “Moving Memories”.

“Moving Memories” is a mobile art installation of three “grocery shelves”, each mounted on the back of a bicycle. The idea reflected the mobile hawkers of yesteryear Singapore, whereby they hawk their wares on bicycles, stop anywhere, open up their grocery shelves and sell. The difference and uniqueness of “Moving Memories” is that the “grocery shelves” are paintings by three famous painters of Singapore who had contributed significantly to the local art scene.

The three paintings – “Drying Salted Fish”, “Fighting Fish” and “Grocery Shop” are carefully selected to evoke Singaporeans’ memories and strengthen the theme of yesteryear Singapore. “Drying Salted Fish” was an iconic painting that was printed on the back of Singapore’s fifty-dollar notes and resonated well with the locals.

“Moving Memories” is the brainchild of two Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) alumni and was born to commemorate NAFA’s 80th Anniversary celebrations. The aim was to provide a meaningful and memorable art offtake to the public. The mobility of the installations are carefully thought through to reflect NAFA’s struggles and nomadic past in the early years as the academy had no settled base.

Project Innovation/Need

In this digital age, people are much immersed in taking photographs on their mobile phones and posting them on social media to share with friends. Drawing on this insight, the designers came up with the idea to integrate mobile photography with 3D walk-in dioramas.

The designers wanted to provide the audience with an intimate and personal experience with art. They did this by translating 2D paintings into 3D walk-in artworks so that curious passers-by can be a part of the art pieces. By snapping a photo, they create a bondage with the paintings, thereby understanding the painters’ background and their alumnus (NAFA). This is the ideal outcome the designers hope to achieve through “Moving Memories”.

Design Challenge

NAFA has a rich heritage of 80 years, how best to convey this rich history without representing it in a thick book collection of old photographs and alumni’s works?

The designers overcome this challenge by selecting paintings from three generations of NAFA’s alumni, each representing an era in the local art scene. These 2D paintings are then reproduced into 3D walk-in dioramas.

Another challenge is that paintings are usually viewed at a distance within the confines of an art gallery, whereby photography is prohibited.

The designers wanted to bring art to the public and create an interaction between the audience and the art pieces. Hence, the idea of a mobile installation is conceptualised so that the public can view the art pieces at a convenient location and within close physical proximity. The audience can take selfies/wefies with the art pieces at their freewill without any restriction.


For economical sustainability, the final production of the entire installation is undertaken by sustainable suppliers in Malaysia.

In an effort to reduce carbon foot print, the bicycle, which is part of the installation, serves as the mode of transporting the mobile artwork booths for short distances to 10 locations including Esplanade, Singapore Flyer, shopping malls and schools over a 6-month period.

This award celebrates innovative and creative design for a pop-ups, temporary buildings and interiors, installations,exhibition, fixture or interactive element. Consideration given to materials, finishes, signage and experience.

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