Working 18 hours a day for 2 1/2 months on each figurine

Published Thu, Feb 12, 2015 · 09:50 PM

Working 18 hours a day for 2 1/2 months on each figurine

Christopher Pereira

Figurine maker

IF you love Lee Kuan Yew enough to carry him wherever you go, Christopher Pereira has just the thing for you.

His hollowed-out figurines of Mr Lee come with shoulder straps so they can be carried like a knapsack. At 30cm tall, they are also big enough to store your small belongings such as purse or wallet and mobile phone. Besides the bags, Mr Pereira also makes solid 12cm-tall figurines of Mr Lee in his white People's Action Party uniform. The creations are priced from S$200 for the figurines and S$10,000 for the bags.

Mr Pereira started making his LKY figurines in 2009. Drawing on his experience working as a designer at Universal Studios in Singapore and Los Angeles, he wanted to differentiate himself.

After making his first LKY figurine, he was racked with nerves and decided to take it on a trial run. He says, "I put it in an acrylic box and took it to Starbucks to gauge people's reactions. It turned out that a lot of people were very curious about the figurine."

The uniqueness of the project wasn't the only thing spurring Mr Pereira to make these figurines. He explains, "I don't want the next generation to forget about Lee Kuan Yew. He is a true world leader."

Mr Pereira has 40 different designs of Mr Lee, including Vespa Lee, featuring Mr Lee in a Vespa helmet; Starbucks Lee, where the figurine is seen toting a green Starbucks apron; and Elvis Lee, which has Elvis's signature hair lick.

While his figurines have been described by many as "cute", making them is no mean feat. The laborious process involves sculpting, hardening and painting, and can take up to 18 hours a day for a period of 2 1/2 months, all for only one figurine.

It comes as little surprise then that Mr Pereira wants control over where his figurines are sold.

"When I have enough cash," he says, "I'm planning to open my own Minister Mentor Museum."

Until then, the figurines and bags are available for sale only through his Facebook page,

BT is now on Telegram!

For daily updates on weekdays and specially selected content for the weekend. Subscribe to



Get the latest coverage and full access to all BT premium content.


Browse corporate subscription here