Sunday, May 01, 2011

Surprise! The Merlion has changed into a hotel!

How you visited the Merlion, one of Singapore's iconic landmarks, recently?

This imaginary creature with the head of a lion and the body of a fish has transformed into a hotel!? Witness the temporary transformation of the Merlion into a Hotel. This project, The Merlion Hotel, is Tatzu Nishi's work for the Singapore Biennale 2011. This installation comprises a luxurious temporary hotel room built around the iconic Merlion.

This is our chance to see the Merlion from a unique and very intimate experience.

Admittedly, one has to be patient to queue to enter the Merlion Hotel. Thankfully, the friendly and helpful personnel from the Singapore Biennale offer temporary free use of umbrella to provide shade from the tropical sunlight.

Walk up the stairs and one enters a transformed space. The Merlion Hotel has a cosy reception desk that greets visitors in an elegant yet dignified way.

I was fascinated to get very close to The Merlion! How often does one have the chance to come so close to the back of the face of The Merlion which is 8.6 m high? Finally, for once in my life, I was able to see the details of the sculpted back of the head of the Merlion.

Non-flash photography is allowed, and most of the visitors looked delighted to have the special privilege to take a photograph with the Merlion.

As one walked about the cosy hotel room, one cannot help but to awe at the marvellous views that the room has offered. Even the bathroom had a great view. I wonder if the artist, Tatzu Nishi, thought it was good idea for one to enjoy a good bath in the bath-tub (perhaps with swim suit on) while enjoying the great view of the Marina Bay?

The Merlion Hotel's opening hours for public viewing are from 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. daily (Last entry: 6.15 p.m.). Admission to the Merlion Hotel is free. Till 15 May 2011. For more information, please visit the Singapore Biennale's website:

The Merlion, taken before Mar 2011.

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