S’pore Chinatown dragon looks like famous HK actor & Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen guy

Glow-up IRL.

Ilyda Chua | January 20, 2024, 06:22 PM



A dragon diorama at this year's Chinese New Year light-up at Chinatown caught the attention of netizens for its uncanny resemblance to a few specific humans.

Namely, the late Hong Kong actor Richard Ng, and someone who goes by the moniker Pikotaro.

That's the Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen guy, by the way.

For your viewing convenience, here's Exhibit A (dragon alongside Pikotaro):

Photo from Lik Wee/Facebook and PPAP/YouTube

And Exhibit B (dragon alongside the late Ng):

Photo from Lik Wee/Facebook and Richard Ng/IMDB


Uncle face

Photos of the dragon were posted on Facebook group Complaint Singapore.

A few wisecracking users immediately pointed to its "uncle face".

Some also likened it to Shrek.

Image from Shrek/Facebook

Another photo, taken from different angle, also attracted comments — this time, for the way it was posed with its claws outstretched.

This, some pointed out, looked "lecherous" — especially when paired with its "uncle-like" expression.

Photo from Facebook

Glow-up in the dark — literally

In response to the criticism, a number of students from the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), who had volunteered to work on the project, defended the much-disparaged dragon.

SUTD students have participated in the lantern design process since 2012.

"With every bad comment, we take it as a learning point and move on from them to improve our next design,” said one 22-year-old student volunteer, Gan Bei Ru, told Today.

While there was certainly a gap between the original design and the actual construction and fabrication process, "at least 80 per cent of [their] designs are coming to life".

This, she said, was "quite heartening to see".

After the official street light-up on Jan. 19, however, the dragon showed quite a different side of itself.

Photo by Wong Li Jie

With Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong describing this year's decor as "dazzling", it's safe to say that goofy resemblances aside, it still looks pretty good when shown in its full glory.

After all, some things are just better seen in the dark.

Top image by Lik Wee/Facebook and PPAP/YouTube