top of page



for deities

An international heritage design competition 

Help save Ah Ma's shop!

Ended: Sep 2020

Design challenge

Propose a redesign of this statue of the Monkey God - an ancient mythological figure known for his playfulness, intelligence and tenacity - for a secular international audience.

travels 13,500 miles with 1  somersault

(that's 24 hours on a jumbo jet!) 

8,000kg magic rod that can be shrunk to the size of a needle

An upstart who rebels against heaven

Patron of the business world

devoted but misunderstood

hot-tempered. punished with a migraine-inducing crown











design challenge 1.jpg
Judging panel

The competition is organised by Say Tian Hng Buddha Shop, Singapore’s last Taoist effigy-making shop, established in 1896.


Through this competition, we hope to to reverse the decline of the 124-year-old shop in partnerhip with the community through the co-creation of a new contemporary product line, so that more non-Chinese audiences around the world can appreciate the stories of these mythological figures - and the timeless values they embody - in exciting new ways.

We are honoured that our friends have stepped forward to support our efforts by volunteering on the judging panel.

Jerome Goh.jpeg

Jerome Goh

Designer, IDEO

New York

Rhea Alexander.png

Rhea Alexander

Assistant Professor of Strategic Design & Management,

Parsons School of Design

New York

Ai Lin 2.jpeg

Chua Ai Lin

Executive Director,

Singapore Heritage Society


Chan Chow Wah.jpg

Chan Chow Wah

Fellow, Royal Anthropological Institute


Wendy Chua.jpg

Wendy Chua

President's Design Award winner (2015);

Co-founder, Forest & Whale

Singapore & Buenos Aires


Ng Yeow Hua

aka Uncle Ah Yeow


Say Tian Hng Buddha Shop



Tan Chwee Lian

aka Ah Ma


Say Tian Hng Buddha Shop



1st Prize


2nd Prize


3rd Prize


3 Special Mentions

$200 each

Judging criteria





Your design should express the story or values embodied by the Monkey God in new ways.

Your design must be respectful. 

Your proposed design must be of an object. It cannot be, say, an illustration, video, or app.

The object must be wood and of the dimensions stated, but can incorporate new materials, design (eg, new textures, posture, weapons), or technology.


The design can comprise more than 1 statue, or the juxtaposition of the statue with new elements.

Shortlisted designs will be shared with the public, who will vote for their favourite design. Public votes count for 25% of the total score.

How to participate
  • This competition is open to all regardless of race, religion or country of residence.

  • Manufacturing of the proposed design is not required.

  • This competition is open to designers of all skill levels - professionals, amateurs or hobbyists. Technical skills don't matter; we are looking for the creative idea :) 

  • There is no restriction on the medium: drawings, sketches, diagrams and photographs are welcome. 

  • Please submit your design in PDF format and include the following: ​

    • Design concept (Describe your proposed design)

    • Thought process (Explain how your design re-interprets the Monkey God story and the heritage craft)

    • Optional: Proposed manufacturing process (Explain how your design can be manufactured. Say Tian Hng Buddha Shop respects copyright; your design will not be commercialised unless your consent is first obtained)

  • Your design must not breach Intellectual Property rights

  • Each participant can submit more than 1 entry.

  • By participating, you give consent to Say Tian Hng Buddha Shop to publish and exhibit your designs without compensation as long as copyright is attributed to the designer.

  • Selected entries may be invited to partner Say Tian Hng Buddha Shop to commercialise their concepts.

  • I agree to the data protection notice in accordance with the Personal Data Protection Act.

9 Aug 2020

Deadline for submission

16 Aug - 6 Sep 2020

Public voting of shortlisted submissions

12 Sep 2020

Announcement of winners

* The winners will be announced in late Sep / early Oct instead,

on this webpage and our social media channels.


We apologise for the delay!

Download photos and 3D scans of the statue to use in your designs

Find inspiration here

We hope you can participate! 

If not, you can support us by spreading the word :) 

bottom of page