The 'Together, We Build a Stronger Singapore' game at the Natl Museum of SG is open for booking now!


What do our young believe in and care deeply about? What kind of Singapore do they want to build? The messages students have penned amplify their voices and collective aspirations to work together for a stronger Singapore. Through participation in various community efforts, we help our young Singaporeans to experience how they can effect positive change, and play their part to build a Singapore that is an endearing home for themselves and for others

Mrs Tan Chen Kee, Divisional Director (Student Development Curriculum Division), Ministry of EducationOur Heart for SG Time Capsule Sealing & Presentation Event (7 August 2020)

Find out more about past 2019 and 2020 editions here and our media coverage of the gifts to SG here.



Talk to an elder/senior on ONE of the topics (Jobs, Places/Activities, Hobbies, Food/Festivities) and draw what you have learnt.
Imagine Singapore in the years 1950 – 1970s,


What was he/she working as? What jobs were available?


What were his/her career aspirations?

Places / Activities

Where did he/she live in Singapore? What was living like there?


Which place did he/she most fondly remember?


What hobbies did he/she enjoy? What did he/she do for fun?


What activity did he/she enjoy? What do people do in their free time?


What were his/her family’s favourite local food, snacks, or dishes?


What special festival did his/her family celebrate? How did his/her family celebrate a special festival?


Bring your artwork to life with an accompanying reflection (Maximum 300 words) of your experience!

(a) My Experience Getting to Know a Senior/Elder better

  1. Why did you choose to focus on this story? Who did you speak with? What did you learn about your senior/elder through this activity that you didn’t know before?
  2. What did you learn from your senior/elder? With your artwork, how do you wish to inspire and encourage Singaporeans amidst COVID-19?
  3. How has Singapore changed since then?

(b) My Dream for Singapore

  1. What is your dream for Singapore? What do you pledge to do to help this dream come true? What message would you like to tell all Singaporeans to encourage them to support your dream?
  2. Related to your artwork or your experience getting to know a senior better, include brief paragraph about an interesting or randomly insightful fact about Singapore on its way of life, jobs, celebrations or places.
General FAQs

Schools may submit up to 30 entries.

  • All student submissions receive a Certificate of Distinction, Merit or Participation.
  • At least one submission from each school will be showcased at the Museum.
  • All schools & participating department(s) receive a certificate of Recognition, Merit or Appreciation.

Teacher to submit documents on our website’s submission tab (herefrom Wednesday, 26 May 2021 (12pm) to Saturday, 31 July 2021 (1159pm).

Regular Submission: 26 May 2021 (12pm) to 15 July 2021 (1159pm). Regular Submission will have at least 1 per school at the media preview on 6 Aug 2021.

Late Submission: 16 July to 31 July 2021 (1159pm). We will try to, but cannot commit that we will be able to feature late submission pieces for media preview on 6 Aug 2021. This is due to our vendor’s cut-off date for the 6 Aug media preview printing. However, complete submissions up to 31 July will still receive certs for all departments and participating students by 2-4 August 2021 and will be featured at the 2021-2022 gallery refresh.

  • 1. Prepare these documents  for submission
  • Scanned Artworks (preferably 300dpi) png, pdf, jpg or jpeg
  • Written Reflections in Microsoft word doc
  • Signed Teacher’s Coversheet with student’s full names and classes
  • 2. You will receive an acknowledgement immediately upon successful submission.

Yes, of course. Teacher will still need to still make a partial submission on our website’s submission tab (here) and ensure we receive the hardcopies from Wednesday, 26 May (12am) to Saturday, 31 July 2021 (1159pm) – Same deadline as online submission.

  • 1. Prepare these documents for online submission
  • Typed Reflections in Microsoft word doc
  • Signed Teacher’s Coversheet with student’s full names and classes
  • 2. You will receive an automated acknowledgement immediately upon successful submission.
  • 3. Bring artwork hard copies to the Stamford Gallery at the National Museum of Singapore during OHFSG Learning Gallery operating hours (here)
  •  Unfortunately, we would not be able to return schools the artwork hard copies because of the number of submissions we receive.
  • From today – 9 July 2021: Request for Teacher’s coversheet when you indicate interest in RSVP form (expires on 7 May). You may request for teacher’s coversheet under the “for schools” or this gallery refresh webpage thereafter.
  • 26 May – 31 July 2021: Submission Deadline for Teacher’s cover sheet here
  • 2-4 Aug 2021:  E-certs for students and departments sent to schools
  • From 5 Aug 2021:  Online Gallery updated here
  • 6 Aug 2021: Presentation 56,000 pledges & well-wishes w/ key appointment holders from various ministries & NDP Committee for SG’s 56th
  • 6 Aug 2021: Media Preview of 2021 Student Artworks during Nat Day at the National Museum
  • 6 Aug 2021: Schools will be given zoom link to join us (Optional)
  • Aug-Oct 2021 (Dates TBA): Teachers to collect at limited edition ND merchandise for gallery contributing students at National Museum
  • Oct 2021- Sep 2022 (Dates TBA): Award Ceremony & Gallery refresh opens to public

For 2019 & 2020, we have sent updates on email and whatsapp.

From 2021 onwards, we will keep all full updates for school on our website under the ‘For Schools’ tab here instead so that you may easily reference the FAQs and all updates in one central place/ in case other teachers may have similar questions, checking the FAQs will be more efficient for them than waiting for our replies. (We understand how busy teachers are!)

Whenever there is an important announcement, we will send you an email to check. Otherwise, we will be periodically updating the FAQs for the benefit of all schools.

Do check the FAQs first if you have questions (it will be more efficient for you). However, please do not hesitate to contact us if you need more help, we hope to add to the FAQs and benefit the other schools as well.

Timeline for replies:

  1. Write to us (replies within 3-7 working days):
  2. Click chat with us at bottom of website (replies within 48 hours), for urgent enquiries


Gov agencies have shared video resources and infographics that schools may use in classroom as supplementary materials for background to the OHFSG activities.

  • Indicate your interest here as a participating school so that a secured page could be shared with you to access or download these resources.


  • Indicate your interest here as a participating school so that a secured page could be shared with you to access or download these resources.


  • Contributing schools will already be credited at 2021 time capsule gift to SG, for representing their towns and estates in the gift to Singapore, for her 56th year of independence.
  • Contributing students will also receive certs, attend an award ceremony and have their artworks showcased at the museum.
  • What about the executors, our teachers and their departments? Based on feedback received at the school briefing sessions, we recognize that our teachers are very committed to work together with students & sometimes even their parents, inter-departments and fellow teachers, to encourage a more integrated, united and resilient Singapore through the OHFSG LG activities.
  • The certs and award ceremony allow for teachers and their departments to be appreciated and duly credited.
  • These certificates signed by key appointment holder(s) and the award ceremony are our appreciation towards the contributing departments and teachers.
  • Contribution levels are committed by the schools in the submitted teacher’s cover sheet.
  • Certificate of Recognition: Whole School
  • Certificate of Merit: 2 cohorts or more
  • Certificate of Appreciation: One cohort or less
  • Credit at the museum for school is printed and categorised by 1) towns and estates and 2) school’s contribution levels.

  • If more than one department contributed, departments will be separately credited.
  • Each department will receive one cert with one department listed.
  • Contribution level is on a school level and will be reflected on the certs will be the same for both departments.
FAQs for Artwork & Reflection Activities
  • Paper Type: No restriction on material
  • Paper Size: Within A-series, A2, A3, A4, A5, etc
  • Artwork should be designed using only pencils, coloured pencils, pens, markers, crayons or paint.

  • Artwork(50%)
  • Aesthetic Quality(20%)
  • Artwork’s Vibrancy(15%)
  • Artwork’s Creativity in showcasing elements of Singapore(15%)
  • Written Reflection(50%)
  • Reflection’s Clarity in Language and Theme Interpretation(10%)
  • Reflection’s Quality in telling the story behind the artwork (40%)

  • Tips!
  • Use vibrant colors to create an overall uplifting feel in your drawings
  • Include elements of past and/or present Singapore
  • Showcase our multiracial or multicultural community or mention Singapore in different languages

Refer to the

1. bottom of this page for topical examples relevant to this year’s submission.

2. online gallery here for all the digital submissions that are showcased at the Our Heart of SG gallery at National Museum of Singapore.

Click on the pictures on desktop to see the reflection write-ups in a pop-up lightbox.

If you are on mobile, it may direct you to afcsg’s IG account.

All student submissions receive a Certificate of Distinction, Merit or Participation and will be invited to take part in the award ceremony.

  • Certificate of Distinction: Selection by sponsors & gov agencies
  • Print Distribution
  • Museum Showcase
  • NDP2021 Limited Edition Collectibles
  • Digital Showcase Online Gallery
  • Certificate Signed by Key Appt Holder

  • Certificate of Merit: At least one per school
  • Museum Showcase
  • NDP2021 Limited Edition Collectibles
  • Digital Showcase Online Gallery
  • Certificate Signed by Key Appt Holder

  • Certificate of Participation: Remaining submitted pieces
  • Digital Showcase Online Gallery
  • Certificate Signed by Key Appt Holder
  • NDP2021/Sponsor Limited Edition Collectibles

FAQs for Implementation in school
  • The most popular subjects are: CCE, NE, Art,  SS/History or VIA.
  • Some schools worked with one department (CCE(NE)/Art), some schools split the activity into 2 departments.
  • Departments will be separately credited. Each department will receive one cert.
  •  Contribution level reflected on the certs will be the same for both.
  • This activity can be done throughout the year, the gift is presented on National Day.
  • The activity is open to and the gallery has received and showcased artwork and entries from Primary 1 to Secondary 5.

Certainly. Some schools already had some of the topics planned in their lesson plans and would select certain topics above instead of giving all the topic choices to their students. Some schools use this as part of their grading too, to motivate students to do their best and this in turn gives teachers many good pieces of work and studious students to feature. Some teachers came up with a broad topic e.g. jobs in the 1950s-1970s / find out what did your grandparents work as? and briefed their students to do only 1 topic instead of giving them the wholesale questions or giving them the choice of all 4 topics.

Examples from primary, secondary and SPED schools are at the bottom of this page.

Yes, you may. However, for each of the 30  entries that you will be submitting, a complete entry will need to consist of

  • an artwork answer one of the topics: jobs, places/activities, hobbies, food/festivities
  • an accompanying written reflection which answers all questions for (a) my experience getting to know a senior/elder better (b) my dream for Singapore

Yes, of course!

  • Schools are credited and awarded for the participation level regardless of artwork or reflections.
  • Schools need to only submit the teacher’s coversheet indicating the participation level signed by a school leader by the deadline.
  • Schools will be credited at the learning gallery in the Museum.

However, in this way, your students

  • do not receive any credit/certs/showcase opportunity at the museum for their reflections
  • are unable to see their peer’s writeups and artworks at the gamified gallery

The judging criteria for artwork and written reflection are both set at 50% to encourage all students to participate in the activity. In the last year, we have seen many more students who are not artistically-inclined being awarded.

These are some of the approaches different schools have taken to adopt the activities:

  • E.g. 1
  • For Entire School: Students tasked to do artwork and only part of the written reflection questions.
  • For 30 entries shortlisted for submission: Students to work individually/ in groups to research the “About Singapore” question.
  • E.g. 2
  • For Entire School: Students to work on reflection activity.
  • For Student Artists: to work on artwork in addition to their reflection.
  • E.g. 3
  • Groupwork for both artwork and reflections – Cert per group will be issued with all student names within the group.


In 2021, the OHFSG learning gallery at Stamford Gallery opens its doors to the first edition of the gamified gallery.

Visitors are treated to an interactive & engaging experience as they race to build their town using logic, teamwork and observation in this RPG Game. Visitors role-play builders of a Singapore town they choose by solving puzzles & looking for answers hidden within artworks, gov agency campaigns, videos & write-ups contributed by more than 150 schools and public agencies.

After successfully solving each puzzle, visitors are allocated resources to build their town with real gov agency campaigns. Based on game choices, visitors build their town wisely to receive one of the four awards for their town (most affluent, harmonious, sustainable or active), take group-fies with their personalised avatars in our instagram-worthy rooms.

The Our Heart for SG Time Capsule 2021, is a gift from > 56,000 young and youth from every town and estate in Singapore, for Singapore’s 56th, presented during the National Day period.

Similar to past years (view 2019 and 2020 events here), for 2021, the instagrammable SG Map Time Capsule at the OHFSG Learning Gallery will encapsulate this year’s NDP values and theme where key appointment holders and the NDP committee will be sealing and presenting the pledges from our young, youth and community as a gift to SG during National Day Period.

These Time Capsules contain Singaporean stories, reflections and well-wishes for the year ahead in the form of physical pledging cards and drawings and digital pledges.

Last year we worked with 159 schools and collected >74,000 pledges and well-wishes, more than the targeted 55,000.

  • This year’s 2021 time capsule gift is made up of physical drawings, physical pledges and digital pledges committed by
  • schools,
  • the public as part of the gamified gallery
  • public at our partner locations.

  • When a school takes part in gallery refresh (artworks or reflections or both), school is automatically part of the gift to SG and school will be credited at the time capsule.
  • There are 2 components for the learning gallery refresh – 1) an artwork 2) a written reflection.  Each artwork or reflection done by a student is counted as one pledge entry contributed towards the 56,000.
  • No. of contributions are recognised in the Teacher’s Coversheet submitted by school as no. of students contributed
  • In a separate field on the teacher’s coversheet, schools need only fill up a maximum 30 student artist names and submit up to 30 best artwork entries
  • The names in the cover sheet are for the student e-certs (2-4 Aug 2021).

    This year, we are not going to courier the physical pledges from schools to the gallery.

  • The physical sealing and presentation of the Time Capsule will still see 56,000 hard copy pledges from the above sources.
  • Additionally, the pledging cards are available at the OHFSG gallery. If you are keen to have your school pledge on these cards, you may contact us here. A confirmation will be sent to you, which you can use to collect the cards from our gallery-sitters at the Stamford Gallery at National Museum.

Examples from primary, secondary and SPED schools
Our Heart for SG (OHFSG) 2020/2021 at National Museum of Singapore


When I interviewed my grandma, she told me that she would always take the bus to her home after school. Through her sharing, I’ve learnt that she only had to pay 10 cents to get a bus ticket and the bus conductor would punch a hole on the ticket. I found this information very interesting as I could see that times have changed so much. It has changed not only in the way we live, but an increase in our cost of living! In present days, there is no longer a bus conductor to punch our bus tickets, instead, everything is digitalised and all we need to do is to tap our EZ-link cards on the card reader to pay our bus fare! Also, I could not believe that 10 cents was the transport fare for people living in the olden days of Singapore. As such I chose to draw this picture as I found this sharing by my grandma so interesting, and believe that many other children (like my schoolmates and friends) may not know much about our bus system in the past and the life our pioneer generation went through.

My vision for Singapore is for my country to keep ahead with times and tap on technology to make our lives easier. Instead of tapping our EZ-link card on the card reader, I hope that in future, there will be a face recognition system that could auto deduct our bus fare from our credit card or bank account and this will help the elderly too as they may have difficulty to tap their cards and maintain their balance when alighting and departing from the bus.

I wish to tell all Singaporeans to care and communicate more with the elderly as there are so much we can learn from their life experiences. By chit-chatting with them, not only we show that we care, we also embrace the life-long learning spirit and like my experience, I would not have known of the bus system in the past if I have not spoken to my grandma!

Our Heart for SG (OHFSG) 2020/2021 at National Museum of Singapore


My grandfather used to tell me that life during his youth was fun and free. I asked him, how could this be? There were no Nintendos, iPads, PCs and most importantly “Roblox” back then. He told me, he used to work as a Station Master in Kranji KTM station before Singapore’s independence. It was a small station that managed goods from Tanjong Pagar shipyards. On weekends after work, he would ride a free train ride to Tanjong Pagar terminal station.

The station was always busy and bustling with passengers and workers. Peddlers were seen trying to sell their goodies to departing passengers to Johor Bahru. This could be their meal or newspaper to read while they embark on their journey after a hard day of work

They did not have many options in terms of food and beverages, no bubble tea, Starbucks Coffee or MacDonalds ice cream. Only kacang putih,kuih,nasi lemak and teh tarik.

Life was very simple, as long as there was something to fill the stomach they were happy.

Tanjong Pagar Station to my grandfather was like a shopping mall to us now. He could enjoy nice Indian, Hainanese and Malay delicacies in one single stop.

It was sad news to him when he heard that this station would be closed in 2011. The sweet memory will always remain in his mind.

I have learnt that no matter how hard and how inconvenient the jobs were; perseverance and resilience helped our forefathers overcome mountains and emerge stronger.

In my drawing, people from multi-racial backgrounds are supporting one another in the ways of life, no matter where their destinations are. My vision for Singapore is that we as Singaporeans, regardless of race and social backgrounds, are able to work hand in hand to make Singapore a beautiful and prosperous place.

As we move forward towards the future, do not forget what we have been through in the past and be appreciative of the Merdeka Generation who had set positive examples for our generation in terms of harmony, hard work and most importantly helping one another. It is important to keep the economy moving and self-sustaining in Singapore amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Singaporean from all walks of life come together as one just like old times to overcome this crisis together; to emerge stronger as a nation.

Our Heart for SG (OHFSG) 2020/2021 at National Museum of Singapore


Fandi bin Ahmad, PBM is a Singaporean former footballer who is currently the head coach of Singapore Premier League club Young Lions. As the first Singaporean footballer to play in Europe, the first Singaporean millionaire sportsperson and first Singaporean sportsperson to have a published biography, Fandi has been called a national legend.

I decided to create an illustrative artwork of my senior’s dreams from the past showing him wearing the Singapore team jersey because my senior wanted to become a footballer to represent Singapore.

I used the Elements of Art to show the crescent on the Singapore jersey. The colourscheme I used for this artwork is red and white because it represents Singapore’s National Flag.

My senior has inspired me to live the Singapore “Never Say Die” Spirit! It is the spirit that has kept us strong for the last 54 years. Now, because of COVID-19, many lives are disrupted. I want to encourage every job seeker not to give up. All of us have the Singapore Spirit in us. Let us band together as one and we can win this fight against COVID-19, and emerge a stronger Singapore!

Our Heart for SG (OHFSG) 2020/2021 at National Museum of Singapore


Samsui women, also known as Hong Tou Jin (red head scarf in direct translation) refers to a group of Chinese immigrants who came to Singapore between 1920s and 1940s, many of whom found construction and industrial jobs. A typical day of a samsui women starts very early at the break of dawn where they would have a simple meal before gathering to walk over to their respective construction sites. By 8am, they would be hard at work digging soil and earth, or carrying debris and other construction materials in buckets that hung from shoulder poles. Work usually ended at around 6pm, after which many samsui women would gather together for a simple meal to end the day. Many samsui women worked well into their 70s, which meant that they were involved in creating modern landmarks like the Toa Payoh Estate and Bishan Station, part the very first stretch of Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) stations that opened to the public in 1987.

My artwork is inspired by my grandmother’s early job in the 1960s as a samsui woman. As the sole breadwinner of the family, my grandmother had to take on this job and feed her family of 4 in order to survive. It was not an easy job and required strength and long hours of manual labour. One thing that I learnt from her story was that we should always persevere and strive on no matter how tough things may get. In my work, I want to show appreciation to all the samsuiwomen who contributed in developing Singapore back in the days, so that Singapore can continue to prosper and develop into such a modern and beautiful city. My wish for Singapore is for all of us to be united and stay safe, so that we can continue to contribute and build a safe and beautiful Singapore for our future generations.

Our Heart for SG (OHFSG) 2020/2021 at National Museum of Singapore


My late grandmother was a self-taught seamstress. When she was my age, she had started sewing. When she was a teenager, my great-grandfather got her a sewing machine as a present. She first started sewing because ready-made clothes were expensive back then.

At first, Grandma sewed clothes for her family members. Later, when she became more skillful, she started to sew for her relatives and neighbours. My grandmother took great pride in her sewing. She was very creative and was not afraid to experiment with new designs. She usually sewed traditional clothes for her neighbours in the kampong.

Some of her Chinese and Indian neighbours also got their clothes stitched by my grandmother. My grandmother must have sewn hundreds of beautiful baju kurung and other traditional outfits. She even sewed a white lace wedding gown and a songket kebaya for my aunts’ weddings. The old sewing machine is still around in my house and it has always been a well-loved item in our house.

In my artwork, I drew a picture of my grandmother sewing clothes for her non-Malay friends. In the centre of the picture are the children from the kampong who often dropped by my grandma’s house for a game of five stones while savouring some delicious Indian snacks called murukku.

I learnt that it is important to learn a skill. The skills that we possess can be used to help others. If my grandmother was around, she would be putting her sewing skills to good use and she would be sewing masks for donation to the needy.

Grandma was a kind-hearted person who loved helping others. I hope that all Singaporeans will stay strong and play their part in helping our community and keeping themselves safe during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Our Heart for SG (OHFSG) 2020/2021 at National Museum of Singapore


My grandmother lived in a kampong house and had to fetch water from the well and river for washing, cleaning, bathing, drinking and cooking. It sounded fun because she got to make new friends that way.

Even though living in kampong houses seemed fun, there were many others who lived in slums. To maintain the strong social bonds between neighbours and encourage its citizens to move to high-rise flats, the government designed its flats to fit Singapore’s social needs. In every neighbourhood, the community spirit is fostered as people of various ethnic groups live next to each other and gather at communal places such as the schools, markets and recreational spaces. These shared spaces allow neighbours to get together and maintain the kampong spirit. Even though many kampong houses have been demolished to make way for modern high rise flats, Singapore still has its last surviving kampong. Located on mainland Singapore, Kampong Lorong Buangkok is still home to 26 families.

I love my neighbourhood because I have friendly neighbours of various races. We help each other and enjoy socialising especially during festive seasons. Even though I cannot meet my friends and neighbours now because of the COVID-19 crisis, I believe we can overcome this pandemic as a multi-racial nation because we have maintained our kampong spirit throughout these decades.

Our Heart for SG (OHFSG) 2020/2021 at National Museum of Singapore


My grandmother was born in the 1930s and her parents ran a tailor shop of which she would help out occasionally. The picture shows my grandmother and her siblings playing and having fun during their childhood days. These memories are memorable for my grandmother and in hearing these stories, I could feel her joy and fondness of the past. As I see my grandmother age, I reflected on life and know that our grandparents cannot be with us forever. Life is short. So, let us remember to treasure our loved ones and spend more quality time with them.

My vision for Singapore is to have a society that cares for one another; that fellow Singaporeans spend more time with their family, especially the elderly.  Unlike the carefree days of the past, Singaporeans are very busy at school and at work. Not only that, we are also pre-occupied in this digital age with gadgets and our social lives. Unlike the kampong days in the past which my grandma shared about, people these days are glued to their gadgets and communicate not by speaking, but by typing. With this, we may lose the human connection and the quality time to sit talk and speak.

I hope that we can take greater effort to set aside quality time and spend it with our family and loved ones, and I believe this starts with me. I pledge to take a greater conscious effort to chit-chat with my grandparents and share their interesting stories with my friends so that they too, will want to learn something about Singapore’s history!

My grandmother lived in Bugis when she was young. It was very different then, and many families lived in kampongs. She told me that when she was bored, she and her other siblings would go outside and climb trees for entertainment.  As her parents ran a tailor shop, she said that during those days, it is more common to have tailor-made clothes especially for occasions like Chinese New Year, Hari Raya and Deepavali.  This is because big shopping malls did not exist and choices for ready-to-wear clothes were limited.  It is also cheaper to tailor as the customers can bring their own yards of cloth to the shop!  This way of life is very different from today where it is more convenient and sometimes cheaper to purchase clothes from the shopping malls.

Our Heart for SG (OHFSG) 2020/2021 at National Museum of Singapore


My artwork is inspired by the Masjid Sultan Mosque which is located at Muscat Street. This mosque is one of the tourist attractions in Singapore and visited by many tourists. It is of a great significance to me as a Malay Muslim and I am intrigued by the design of the mosque. My great-grandfather told me that in the past, he did not go to a big Mosque building to pray. He will go to a Surau with the Muslims in his community for his daily prayers. It is very fascinating now to see many mosques built for the religion and to have such a big building like Masjid Sultan Mosque to be as part of Singapore’s tourist attraction.

My grandfather always tells me that times will change, things will change, but our morals and family values will never change. No matter what happens, we must stand firm on our values and stay strong as a family to overcome whatever challenges that lay ahead of us.

I hope that we can continue to keep our racial harmony and live peacefully regardless of race, language or religion. I will help to uphold these values through my actions and lead by example.

Our Heart for SG (OHFSG) 2020/2021 at National Museum of Singapore


In the past, many people in Singapore lived in kampongs instead of high-rise buildings. My senior stayed in a kampong house built from wood and attap leaves. Sometimes, the rain would seep through the roof and they had to collect the rainwater with a basin. It was not easy living there, and the surroundings were dirty too. When my senior was a young boy, he distributed newspapers to people to earn extra cash, and he would do so while riding a bicycle. Although it was a fond memory, it can be very tiring, especially when riding uphill. He also enjoyed occasional treats to the theatre. The movies were black and white then and the early cinemas had no air-conditioning. I cannot imagine how stuffy that would be.

When Cathay Cinema and Hotel opened in 1936, it was Singapore’s first skyscraper, and was the tallest building in Southeast Asia. They enjoyed their glory days with countless of fans until 1942, where the cinema was then closed for the building to be used as a Red Cross casualty station during World War II.

During the Japanese Occupation, the Japanese controlled the broadcasting facilities and used it to broadcast propaganda in Japanese language. After the war, the building continued to serve other authorities and it was only in 1948 that the colonial government returned the building to the original owner.

Singapore has come a long way since then. We now get to stay in a clean environment, with an efficient transport system and great conveniences enabled by technological advancements. All these would not have been possible without the hard work put in by our forefathers years ago. However, as we reap the benefits of what our forefathers have toiled for, we must be grateful and also remind ourselves not to be complacent. We have to stay united, maintain the cleanliness of our country and continue to strive for the best. COVID-19 may have affected our economy and our people, but we can come back stronger if we are willing to help one another and be cooperative. Many kind souls have stepped up in different ways. Some people donated masks to those who needed it, while others packed food and groceries for those who were under home quarantine. People also appreciated the healthcare workers who worked tirelessly in this pandemic by little gestures such as giving up seats on the public transport for them. This shows that we can all work to make Singapore a gracious society and a better place to live in.

Besides that, we must also work towards a sustainable future. Towards the end of my conversation with my senior, he reminded me to be a responsible citizen and encouraged me to “reduce, reuse and recycle” the things I use in my everyday life. By doing so, it will also result in lesser waste and thus having less load to incinerate. This will definitely lower the pollution level and bring about a cleaner environment. Hence, my vision for Singapore is to reduce our waste, and try our best to reuse or recycle the other objects. We can also make Singapore greener by taking public transport or riding a bicycle like my senior, instead of driving a car. Let’s all begin our efforts today, because every act contributed is a step closer to our goal.

Our Heart for SG (OHFSG) 2020/2021 at National Museum of Singapore


Singapore River went through an extreme makeover. Back in the 1960s, the banks of the Singapore River were crowded with squatters, hawkers and manufacturing industries. These led to severe river pollution. After independence, the Prime Minister then, Mr Lee Kuan Yew decided to do a major clean-up of the river in 1977. The whole cleaning process took about 10 years and it was spearheaded by the former chairman of the Public Utilities Board (PUB) and then Environment Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Mr Lee Ek Tieng.

Since Singapore’s independence in 1965, the Singapore River has gone through several changes – from a busy trading port that was filled with bumboats to a popular tourist attraction bustling with activities. Shophouses that were used as warehouse or lodgings for the coolies have now become places for leisure and entertainment. In the year 2020, bumboats are no longer used for trading. Instead, they now take locals, sightseers and tourists on a river cruise to learn about Singapore’s history or to admire our Singapore landscape and some of the iconic structures. These structures include the Merlion, the Singapore Flyer and Marina Bay Sands. My drawing of the river from past to present has shown how Singapore has progressed, and together, we can work towards a brighter future for Singapore.

Our Heart for SG (OHFSG) 2020/2021 at National Museum of Singapore


Bukit Timah area used to be an industrial hub in the 1950s, and factories like Ford and Yeo Hiap Seng (of Yeo’s packet drinks) set up their shops there. The quarrying industry was also a prominent business in the area after the opening of Bukit TimahRailway Station. One interesting fact is that the granite mined there was actually used to build the infrastructure of the Causeway and roads. Along the Bukit TimahTrails, we can also visit former granite quarries in the area such as the Singapore Quarry and the Hindhede Quarry in Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.

In this artwork, I chose to depict the old Bukit Timah Railway Station. The person I interviewed was my grandmother. In the past when Bukit Timah Railway Station was built, my grandmother told me that she was also part of the crew that helped to build it. Bukit Timah Railway Station is used for passenger traffic back when it was open and eventually ceased operations in 2011. It also used to be part of a railway line used for commuting and transporting goods between Singapore and the rest of the Malay Peninsula. Right now, the station has been gazetted for conservation and is part of Singapore’s efforts to preserve the rich heritage of the Rail Corridor, which allows visitors to go on a journey through various natural landscapes, communities and unique experiences. Nearby, The Railway Mall is a nice contrast to show how the old and the new can co-exist together to offer both urban and rural experiences. I hope that my work can inspire more people to check out Singapore’s rich heritage and natural spaces, and to embark on an adventure by trekking through these places!

Our Heart for SG (OHFSG) 2020/2021 at National Museum of Singapore


In the past, technology was not so advanced in Singapore compared to now. Children were very bored playing at home, so they had to be creative and use whatever was available around them to make toys to play with. Some materials they used were unwanted fabric, green beans and a sewing kit to make five stones. They also used chalks to draw boxes on the ground for playing hopscotch. A few sticks were just enough to make a game of pick-up sticks.

Children in the past brought their own home-made toys to the playground to play with and make new friends. This was how they built friendship and camaraderie.

We should not despise people who are of a different race from us, instead, we should make friends with them and play together. As a multi-racial society, we learn, work, play and have fun together!

When COVID-19 started, the whole world was caught off-guard. In order to fight COVID-19, we have to become a stronger country whereby everybody has to play their part to overcome these tough times.

Nothing is impossible to overcome. We just need to be stronger as a country, so that whenever we face difficulties, we would not collapse. In fact, each time we face a challenge, we become stronger and stronger.

In Singapore, we are very lucky to have a society that has cultural diversity. I wish to inspire all Singaporeans to come together from different backgrounds and races in forming a united nation to emerge stronger than ever to battle COVID-19. Whenever we struggle or face a challenge, we do not face it alone but together, with people from all walks of life. Together, we are Singapore!

Our Heart for SG (OHFSG) 2020/2021 at National Museum of Singapore


My painting is about how far Singapore has come and how my neighbour who is 72 years old lived during the early days. I focused on our pastimes and wanted to show a juxtaposition of how Singapore looked then and now. I also wanted to show the kampong spirit where everyone looked out for each other regardless of race, language or religion

My neighbour’s favourite pastimes were to play congkak and marbles (goli) with her friends. She thought that those were really enjoyable games to play back then and had fond memories of them. Games today are different compared to the past. I contrasted her pastime with mine which is skateboarding at a skate park, something that did not exist in the past.

My neighbour faced a lot of challenges when she was living in the kampong as she did not have adequate water and food. However, she overcame her difficulties with the help of her friends and neighbours. That sense of camaraderie enabled her to overcome many challenges.

From that, I learnt that unity is key. When we are together, we can do so much more. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we should remember how far we have come and do our part to fight the pandemic together. I believe that we will prevail over the present tough situation in unity! As John Dickinson so aptly said, “United we stand, divided we fall.”

Marbles, also known as goli, is one of the traditional kampong games played by many children in the past. Its popularity peaked in Singapore during the 1980s. The aim of that outdoor traditional kampong game was to pocket as many marbles as one can by flicking the marbles with a finger and ousting the opponents’ marbles. Marbles come in many different designs and shapes. Goli is usually played outdoors on dirt ground as a large, flat open space is needed. Large open spaces, creativity and simple materials provided hours of fun for the children of the past. How many traditional kampong games have you played?

Our Heart for SG (OHFSG) 2020/2021 at National Museum of Singapore


Through this artwork, I want to give everyone a glimpse into the colourful life of my grandmother. By showcasing her world, I want people to appreciate the way of life and wonderful things people enjoyed in the 1950s and 1960s.

My grandmother also showed me through her collection of pictures, the school compound quarters, Kalaimagal School (in Yio Chu Kang), she lived in. I don’t want these places to be forgotten as they are no longer around. She shared how people were united and shared food with each other in the kampong. Apparently, my grandfather was fond of climbing the coconut trees in the area! This spirit of togetherness and concern for each other was definitely enlightening for meOne of the deserts she really loved was the ice ball, which she used to cherish on hot days. She used to save her money and looked forward to a much-deserved treat at the end of the school day. Besides the ice ball, she used to buy kachang puteh from the man she fondly referred to as “Kachang Puteh man”. She shared that people of all races used to race towards the “Kachang Puteh man” whenever they heard him around the corner.

My grandmother also shared the hardships she suffered, like having to fetch water from the well which was located quite far from home. Often she would walk with some of the neighbours to the well together, so that they could help each other. She used to dream about travelling in a car and in my artwork, I included a picture of her favourite car.My grandparent’s experiences have taught me to appreciate the things I have in my life and to enjoy the simple pleasures in life. Their past is a good reminder that we should never take anything for granted. Instead, we can face the difficulties to come when we remain united. As the saying goes, United we stand, Divided we fall! Singapore shall and will forever stay united!

Our Heart for SG (OHFSG) 2020/2021 at National Museum of Singapore


Satay – Satay is a dish similar to kebabs in that it is made of cubes of skewered meat that is grilled and eaten with a peanut sauce dip. Tracing its origins to the Arabs, satay has been adapted to the multicultural palates of Asians, with various spicy sauces and different ways of marinating the meat.

The spice trade brought Arab traders to Southeast Asia, which led to the spread of Arabic cuisine to Indonesia, and eventually to Malaya. The kebab can also be found in India and other countries such as Greece and Turkey. However, a key adaptation of the dish in Asia is that wooden rather than metal skewers are used. Various seasonings are used to marinate the pieces of meat and the specially-made peanut sauce is usually served as a dip together with the grilled meatChili Crab- Chili crab is a popular seafood dish among locals and foreigners in Singapore, and consists of mud crabs deep-fried in a sweet, savory and spicy gravy. It has been referred to in various food publications as Singapore’s national seafood dish or even Singapore’s national dish. Chili crab is said to have been invented by Cher Yam Tian in the mid 1950s when she added bottled chili sauce to her dish of stir-fried crabs, instead of using tomato sauce, her usual ingredient. In 1956, she and her husband began selling the dish from a pushcart along the seaside.

In the past, food used to be simple, such as a big bowl of rice with a small side dish. People are happy just to fill their stomach. Now, we are fortunate that there is an abundance of food. People also have more choices now due to the huge variety of food from the diverse cultures of our people.

Singapore is a uniquely multi-racial, multi-lingual and multi-cultural society. Just like how the different cultures are combined together to form Singapore, the drawing uses food to show that Singaporeans from different backgrounds can come together as one during the Covid-19 pandemic. Every Singaporean is working together as one Singapore to ensure that no one is left behind in this pandemic.

Our Heart for SG (OHFSG) 2020/2021 at National Museum of Singapore


Food is an important part of any culture and traditional cuisine is passed down from one generation to another. It serves as an expression of one’s cultural identity.

Pineapple tarts are a traditional festive snack in Singapore. Different races celebrate their traditional festivals by eating pineapple tarts. For example, the Chinese serve them in their homes during Chinese New Year because it is considered auspicious. They eat it to celebrate the new year and wish their loves ones good wealth and fortune.

Malay families have pineapple tarts during Hari Raya Aidilfitri, to celebrate with their loved ones after a month of fasting.

Pineapple tarts are said to have originated from the Straits Chinese or Peranakan culture. They later found their way to becoming a “staple snack” during the festive celebrations of other cultures.

In the midst of COVID-19, I wish to inspire and encourage Singaporeans with my drawing by reminding them to stay home and spend time with their loved ones. For example, they can cook their family’s favourite dishes and play interactive board games together.

I learnt that life in the past was not as peaceful as the life we have now. In the past, there were riots and war, and many people lived in fear. My grandmother would make pineapple tarts with her mother and invite her neighbours to their home to savour their speciality. By doing so, they helped to spread some cheer and provide support for one another during such hard times.

My vision for Singapore is for her to always remain a harmonious place and not have any racial riots in the future. I pledge that I would abide by the laws and to stay united as one Singapore.

I would like to tell all Singaporeans to stay united as one. We will do so, by showing empathy and respect to people of different races and religions.

Open chat
💬Need help? Chat with us!
Hello 👋. Please let us know how we can help you. Start by typing one of the numbers below in the chat:

(1) School Enquiry - RSVP (Nov 2021)
(2) School Enquiry - Gallery Refresh & Submission (Closed for 2021)
(3) School Enquiry - Teacher Accounts & Groups
(4) School Enquiry - Student Experiences

(5) Public Enquiry - Gallery Game Booking (New/ Existing/Mass Booking Form)

(6) Partnership Enquiry - Gov/Corporates/NFP
(7) Media Enquiry

(8) Internship, Volunteering & CSR Opportunities
(9) Others