House of dreams is a toy exhibition showcasing possibly Singapore’s largest private collection of Barbie dolls. It is brought to you from a private collection by Singaporean Jian Yang, who is an avid collector of the dolls.
Furthermore, the temporary exhibition located on the 4th floor of ION orchard mall. Going with the Barbie theme, the gallery halls are themed with hue of pink colours. Notably, the gallery sits at the same gallery spot as the Sleepless in SG Samsung exhibition we visited earlier this year.
Moreover, a long gallery lines in pink leads into the gallery lobby. Here, you find a wall mural covering an introduction to the collection with a few words from Jian Yang, and a photo booth with some accessories to picture yourself in the plastic life.
Furthermore, Jian Yang has a collection of 12 thousand Barbie dolls, with the galleries here home to 600 of them. It run through in a linear manner through individual galleries separated by pink archways all dolled up in red carpets. It does feel like a Barbie like fantasy Dreamhouse home inspired by the Mattel franchise.
Barbie dolls over the years
Barbie dolls are not just play things but priced collectables which hold value. Also, no one Barbie doll is alike the other. There is also a sense of excess in the variety of Barbies, a fairy tale story where children can wander off into the realms of imagination. There are also collaboration model where notable fashion makers released Barbie sizes version of their notable collections of the year.
Moreover, some dolls do spot clothing and dresses so elaborate which probably cost more on the open market than real dresses. Also, still, the material which goes into making the dressed is tad made from common clothing buttons, and clothing flakes stringed together by thread.
In addition, notable figures include one of Queen Elizabeth the second, which has a market value of over $2,500 given the queen’s recent passing. There is also a uniquely Singapore set dedicated to the Singapore Airlines (SIA) girl Sarong Kebaya.
Also, the more modern dolls now have articulated joints, which are a throw from the older first-gen dolls with impossibly long slender arms and legs. Also, there is also an emphasis on inclusivity with the changing times, like more dolls of women of colour and diversity.
Barbie in modern pop culture
Additionally, interesting selection are limited edition pop culture themed dolls for the brand to stay relevant and to appeal to the mass market. Selections include those from Marvel, Hanna Barbera, and DC series of dolls, including wonder women, batman, bat girl and black widow for that matter. Notably, there is also a Lara croft PC gaming series as well.
An interesting figure is one of Captain Jack Sparrow and Elizabeth Swann from the Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean franchise which is surprising considering it is a common item in hobby collector.
Interestingly, towards the last gallery is one of collector’s favourites. A hand-picked selection of his favourite dolls and a selection of custom dolls made of Jian Yang himself. You can find 10 such dolls on display here towards the end of the displays.
Wrapping up, the galleries end with a selection of current season Barbie dolls on sale in stores today. This includes a mix of regular and limited-edition items.
Also, the E-shop brought to you by Mattel, allowing you to purchase the items on display here via QR codes. For the curious, the prices range from $45 to up to $200.
All in all, House of dreams Barbie is quite a nice visit, with Jian Yang’s collection here also being Singapore’s largest collection of Barbie dolls under one roof. The exhibition at the ION Art Gallery runs for about a 1 month period from 19 Sep 2022 till 21 Oct 2022. The gallery is open daily from 10am- 10pm, entry is free.