SINGAPORE - Got 90 minutes? That is all you need to take a tour around the world to visit famous landmarks and icons, from the Leaning Tower Of Pisa to Mount Rushmore to Mona Lisa.
More than 50 scale models, built using tiny plastic Lego bricks, will be on display at the Brickman Wonders Of The World.
It opens at the Science Centre Singapore on March 25 and will run till July 3. It was scheduled to be launched on March 12, but has been affected by shipping delays caused by the pandemic.
Speaking to The Straits Times ahead of its launch, Mr Ryan McNaught, managing director of The Brickman, says in a video call from his home in Melbourne: "Instead of having to hop on a plane and travel somewhere, you can come to the exhibition and learn about the landmarks all over the world while in Singapore."
The exhibition has travelled to 10 cities in Australia, New Zealand and Saudi Arabia since 2016. The models are put together by The Brickman team of skilled Lego artists, led by Mr McNaught. He is one of only 22 Lego-certified professionals in the world.
Among his favourite creations is the Statue Of David. He says: "It is a very famous sculpture by (Italian artist) Michelangelo, and making something with beautiful soft curves out of bricks is really hard to do."
Then there is Singapore's Merlion statue, which was high up on his to-do list of wonders of the world.
The 48-year-old is excited about flying to Singapore for the exhibition's opening with his wife - and not just because it is their first trip out of Australia since the pandemic.
He professes to be a big fan of Singapore and used to visit three to four times a year - for "chilli crab", he quips. "The food's wonderful. It's clean and safe, and is a relatively short flight from Australia," he says.
While the Merlion is the only Singapore icon at the coming exhibition, Mr McNaught has re-created other local landmarks, including the Singapore Flyer, Marina Bay Sands and The Fullerton Hotel. These are displayed at the Lego Singapore office at South Beach Tower.
Brickman Wonders Of The World is the third of six themed exhibitions created by Mr McNaught's 24-person team. It is designed to offer an interactive and educational experience, with fun facts and stories about the iconic attractions.
Visitors typically take 1½ to two hours to go through the exhibition. He hopes that they will also try their hand at building their own sets. Multiple play stations will be set up around the venue.
"For example, we've made a big Lego version of the Mona Lisa portrait and we have all the bricks for people to create their own. It can be a portrait of themselves, their grandmother, mum or dad - and they get to put it on display as well. So there's this sense of, 'If someone else can do that, I can do that too.'"
The father of 14-year-old twin boys encourages parents to keep playing with their children.
Instead of saying, "here's a toy, play with it", tell them: "Hey, check this challenge out. Let's have a go at that."
He adds: "Lego bricks might be seen as a child's toy, but that doesn't necessarily mean they are just that.
"As parents, it's our job to show our kids: This isn't just a toy, it can do lots of different things. You can learn about robotics, engineering and pretty advanced-level mathematics. In fact, many architecture firms around the world use Lego to lay out building or floor plans."
Brickman Wonders Of The World
Where: The Annexe, Science Centre Singapore, 15 Science Centre Road
When: March 25 to July 3, 10am to 8pm (Fridays to Sundays, school and public holidays)
Admission: $23 a person. Free for children under two years old. Tickets to the exhibition do not include admission to other parts of the centre. Those who booked tickets earlier and are affected by the exhibition's delay can reschedule their visits.
Info: Brickman Wonders Of The World website