Category Archives: Old Places

Tango-enabled VR and AR tour of the National Museum of Singapore

The use of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) in the society is slowly gaining acceptance and application in real life. In an earlier article, I shared an article on using AR in a hospitality/hotel environment. Today, I am going to share another story, the use of VR and AR in a museum in Singapore, the National Museum of Singapore.

With the Tango technology platform created by Google, the National Museum of Singapore is one of the first museums in the world to adopt this technology. Tango is a set of sensors and computer vision software that enables smartphone augmented reality that allows users to imagine new spaces, get things done, and play games in a new dimension.

Visitors can enjoy the VR and AR tour with a Tango-enabled mobile device and they can go back in time and history, to retrace and learn about the National Museum of Singapore’s early history, artefacts and exhibits over time. This is a very interesting journey and I had the opportunity to experience, test and share my stories and photos with my readers here. Using indoor mapping, VR and AR, visitors will be able to explore how the National Museum of Singapore has evolved over the past 130 years.

There are six points of interest that participants of this tour can explore on the Tango-enabled Architecture tour with the Museum guide. Let me bring you a sneak peak into some of the VR and AR scenes from the Tango-enabled mobile device.

3D model of the National Museum

At at the Main Rotunda on Level 1 and the Glass Atrium on Level 2, the visitors on this tour can activate a 3D replica of the building on the Tango-enabled mobile device, it provides information on its structural components and allows the participant to navigate around the façade. Visitors can also see how the National Museum of Singapore has changed over the years, just by using the “Time Slider” view.

Virtual World of Past Artefacts

The iconic and famous 90 feet high Rotunda at the main entrance of the National Museum of Singapore, visitors on the Tango-enabled tour are able to go back in time into a virtual world of what this space looked like in the 1950s. Spot the world of past artefacts that were once on display at this location, such as the marble bust of Sir Stamford Raffles and the famous Revere Bell. Observe the floor tiles of the National Museum of Singapore in the earlier days and the floor tiles today, can you spot the difference?

Say hi to the Whale

At the glass passage on Level 2, one of the largest frameless, self-supporting glass structures in the world, visitors can see an AR view of the museum’s iconic Indian Fin Whale Skeleton. Listen to the sound of the Indian Fin Whale “saying hi to you”! Remember to say hi back!

I strongly encourage you to sign up for this very interesting, interactive and informative tour that combines modern technology using Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, with stories from the National Museum of Singapore guide leading you on the tour. This would greatly enhance learning history, heritage, culture and stories of Singapore and the National Museum of Singapore.

The tour is an hour long and registration is free, on a first come, first serve basis. If you keen to sign up for the Tango-enabled tour at the National Museum of Singapore, visit National Musuem of Singapore guided tours link and register.

Please take note that there are limited places, maximum capacity is 15 people on a first come, first serve basis, to ensure that the tour is conducted in a manner that is optimal and enjoyable for all participants.

Seats are limited! Remember to check out on the availability of the places for the upcoming tours for the Tango-enabled VR and AR tour of the National Museum of Singapore!

* I would like to thank National Museum of Singapore for the invitation to try out the Tango-enabled VR and AR tour of the National Museum of Singapore *

Armenian Street Party 2017 by Peranakan Museum

A short stretch of the road and space in front of the Peranakan Museum closed to the traffic for two nights, transforming into a fun party venue for visitors to bring their family, children and friends down, visit the museums and soak in the party atmosphere. This was the Armenian Street Party 2017 organised by Peranakan Museum that took place on 10th and 11th March. The Armenian Street Party made her maiden debut in 2016, I was there too at the first Armenian Street Party!

For this year 2017 Armenian Street Party, I dropped by on Friday evening and managed to catch some of the performances at the street party. The theme for Armenian Street Party 2017 was back to school, going back to the good old school nostalgia days (when we were young), some of you might remember going to detention class, disliking certain subjects such as literature, tuckshop food during recess time, English and grammar class, PE class, music class etc etc.

The Armenian Street Party was also a perfect time to visit the Peranakan Museum and Singapore Philatelic Museum with their family, children and friends. This street party is perfect for the two museums to have more publicity and awareness from the public, they are two great museums with really great and wonderful artworks, contents and exhibitions, that the public may not know as much, compared to her bigger fellow sister museums such as the National Museum of Singapore.

At the Armenian Street Party 2017, on the Friday that I visited, I saw the mass P.E. class by Upside Motion, it’s not a bad idea to conduct P.E. class on the road without the vehicles! The iconic Peranakan Museum favourite band of singers, the Peranakan Sayang, were in action on Friday, with the theme “Balek Sekolah!”, translated to “Back to school!”. This group of singers are really good and they never fail to light up the crowds!

The Armenian Street Party is not just about the two museums, Peranakan Museum and Singapore Philatelic Museum, it’s a community event, the kampung spirit, with fellow neighbours along Armenian Street coming in, participating and be a part of this festive party. Timbre Group, Substation, Upside Motion, True Blue Cuisine and SMU were neighbours, part of the Armenian Street kampung. They all played a part in this year’s street party.

There were also delicious food by True Blue Cuisine, selling all time favourite tuckshop treats, I didn’t manage to go down and eat all the food on Friday. I only manage to eat the laksa during the media preview (I was rushing for time on that day) prior to the street party weekend.

I took the opportunity to visit Singapore Philatelic Museum, a very short walk down the road from Peranakan Museum. I forgot when was the last time I visited this museum, they looked small in physical size yet they packed some pretty wonderful collections inside there. Touring the Singapore Philatelic Museum brought me back many memories, I used to collect stamps when I was a young kid in school and I am beginning to wonder where have I kept my stamps? Probably somewhere in my home!

After touring the Singapore Philatelic Museum, I stayed on and watched two performances –

Literature Class: Music & Prose of the Past

By Cappella Martialis

Literature Class: Will The Night Away!

By Centre Stage.

Two great performances held inside this small and cosy Singapore Philatelic Museum.

The performance “Will The Night Away!” was about a Shakespeare classic “Romeo and Juliet”, that most students would probably have studied if they took Literature during their secondary school days (I didn’t take Literature in my upper secondary school). This is Singapore style, a Singapore spin “Romeo and Ah Lian”. Their play was hilarious, interactive and engaging, with the Shakespeare exhibition theme behind them, this was a perfect setting for Romeo and Ah Lian!

Since I was only there on Friday, I couldn’t catch the rest of the performances and activities that were held during the Armenian Street Party 2017, although I did manage to catch a glimpse of some of them during the media preview.

Personally, I feel that the Armenian Street Party is a great community event that doesn’t need to go massively big, it may not (and need not) be the biggest street party event or museums event, they just leverage and combine together as the Armenian Street “kampung”, the Peranakan Museum and Singapore Philatelic Museum, along with their neighbours along Armenian Street.

Looking forward to the next edition of the Armenian Street Party!


Created with flickr slideshow.

Enchanted rainforest at National Museum’s revamped Glass Rotunda

The Glass Rotunda at the National Museum of Singapore went through a revamp for the past two years and today on Friday 10th December 2016, they will reopen to the public again. The revamped Glass Rotunda is going to showcase two new permanent installations, visitors would be entering into an enchanted world of flora and fauna, mesmerised by the art light work projection displays inside the Glass Rotunda. The two new permanent installations are – “Story of the Forest”, a commissioned work by internationally renowned art collective teamLab and “Singapore, Very Old Tree” exhibit by acclaimed local photographer and artist Robert Zhao.

Story of the Forest by teamLab, is a very beautiful and engaging light artwork projection display (FYI, teamLab was the artist for iLightMarinaBay 2016 Art Science Museum installation display!). They are inspired by the rich ecological heritage and history of the tropical rainforest, the flora and fauna that lives in the tropical rainforest, with sights and sounds that visitors can identify with. Upon entering into the Glass Rotunda, be prepared to be mesmerised and blown away by the enchanted rainforest. The ceiling of the Glass Rotunda is 15m high and visitors are going to walk down a 170m passage to the base of the Glass Rotunda. At the beginning of your enchanted rainforest journey, visitors will be welcomed and greeted by constant celestial movements of flora that falls from the top of the dome structure.

As you walk across the bridge, into the middle section of the Glass Rotunda, the night turns into day. Continue walking, observe and experience the life, the richness and gorgeous colours of the tropical rainforest beside you, as you walked down the passage. Do not rush, enjoy the time and tranquility, spot the animals such as the animated Malayan Tapir. Nearing the bottom/lower segment of the Glass Rotunda, the scenes started to turn dark, entering into the night time zone.

Reaching the base of the Glass Rotunda, look up above, walk around, get close to the walls and interact with the light artwork projections. Experience and witness with your own eyes and heart, the growth and bloom of native flowers and fruits. If you prefer to lie down on the ground and look up above into the top of the Glass Rotunda, go ahead and do it! The base section of the Glass Rotunda is really amazing, it’s a mix of an enchanted rainforest, night sky and space. When I was there looking up at the enchanted rainforest inside the Glass Rotunda, how I secretly wish that they could fly me away inside the enchanted rainforest world!

There is an app for you to download into your smartphone that can enhance your visitor experience at Story of the Forest inside the Glass Rotund. It’s available to download for free on the App Store and Google Play.

Once you exit from the Story of the Forest installation, you will enter into another world, iconic trees that showcase the roots and history of Singapore. Some of the trees are not just iconic, they are a part of Singapore, the heart, culture and society, the personal and intimate connections that bind the trees and people of Singapore together. In my exploration and documentation of old places in Singapore over the years, as well as growing up in Singapore, I can identify some of the old trees on display and I can relate to the personal and intimate connections between the trees, society and people.

Once you completed touring both Story of the Forest and Singapore, Very Old Tree, visitors have the option of beginning their experience of the Singapore History Gallery from the Glass Rotunda. I visited the Singapore History Gallery before and this tour schedule starting from Story of the Forest, followed by Singapore, Very Old Tree and starting the Singapore History Gallery tour is a pretty good itinerary for a visit to the National Museum of Singapore with your family and friends.

Come on down and visit the National Museum of Singapore, let yourself be mesmerised by the enchanted Story of the Forest, Singapore, Very Old Tree and take a walk down into Singapore’s History Gallery!

Fore more information, visit www.nationalmuseum.sg

Counting down to the end of Rochor Centre

The time is finally catching up with the iconic Rochor Centre in Singapore. You can’t miss the 4 colours red, blue, green and yellow HDB blocks in the area, the colourful blocks stood out for years and they are easily identifiable. I started photographing Rochor Centre a few years ago, using her void deck as one of the examples for an article that I wrote “Void Deck – Our Cultural Communal Space” in 2012.

As the countdown timer started ticking in 2011 when the news to aquire the land was announced with 2016 being the year whereby they would have to move out and relocate to another HDB estate. In 2016, the residents of Rochor Centre slowly started to move away into their new home, the retail and commercial units below the Rochor Centre HDB blocks also started to find alternative locations for their businesses.

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I returned to Rochor Centre a few times for another article on Canon EOS World Singapore whereby I shared on photographing and documenting old places in Singapore that face “extinction”. In the Canon EOS World Singapore article titled “Exploring Singapore Heritage“, I covered Rochor Centre and Dakota Crescent areas. For the Dakota Crescent area, I would be writing another article on them soon.

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During early July, I went to photograph Rochor Centre with my Canon EOS M10 review unit for a site recce on photographing Rochor Centre from the outside areas before going down with my Canon EOS 1DX for my Canon EOS World Singapore article.

A few days ago on 12th November 2016, I had a quick walk around Rochor Centre, most of the residents, retail and commercial units had relocated to somewhere else. The rubbish and junk were piling up, there were a few different group of people exploring and taking photographs of Rochor Centre.

The NTUC Fairprice outlet at Rochor Centre put up a notice informing their customers that their last day of operation in that location will be 1st December 2016. This is an indicator on when would be the last days of Rochor Centre whereby everybody living/working there will move away, out from Rochor Centre. Once the curtain comes down, Rochor Centre will be boarded up before demolition begins, when exactly, I do not know yet at this time.

I would just continue to add more photographs to my Flickr collection on Rochor Centre, they will be memories for us very soon.

Counting down to the end of Rochor Centre, the end of an era.


Created with flickr slideshow.

Old Playgrounds Lanterns at Wan Qing Yuan Mid Autumn Festival 2016

My favourite old playgrounds of Singapore, of my childhood days, came back to life in the form of brightly lighted handmade lanterns. It’s more than just nostalgic, it meant a lot to me personally. For those who had been following my photography works, documentation and story telling, old playgrounds had been my personal project for a few years.

When my friends at National Heritage Board informed us of these old playgrounds lanterns were to be part of Wan Qing Yuan Mid Autumn Festival 2016 at Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall, my eyes popped up! I was looking forward to visiting them!

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I managed to plan my time and schedule, making a pilgrimage to view my Old Playgrounds lanterns on Tuesday 13th September night. Upon reaching the entrance, I saw the big bright lights from the Old Playgrounds lanterns. They were pretty big and I was able to get up close with them. Immediately, I am able to identify all the Old Playgrounds there, it felt like going back in time to my childhood days again. I saw young children playing with their lanterns around the Old Playgrounds lanterns, they were having so much fun. Sometimes, we adults all have a secret wish to be a young kid again and just have fun like them.

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I walked around, soaking in the Mid Autumn Festival with the Old Playgrounds lanterns. It was a bag of mixed emotions, of nostalgia, fun and longing for the free fun childhood running around days at the Old Playgrounds. The Old Playgrounds may not be of greater significance compared to some other aspects of heritage and history. However, the cultural and emotional communal bondings, intangible and tucked inside our hearts and souls, we all might be carrying a fondness for them and a wish to return to the fun days.

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The Wan Qing Yuan Mid Autumn Festival 2016 is until 18th September 2016, time to bring your family and children down there for a Mid Autumn Festival outing and a time for family bonding and story telling of your good old childhood days playing at the old playgrounds.

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Come on down, take a walk into the world of bright and colourful Old Playgrounds!

Details

Location: Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall

Address: 12 Tai Gin Road Singapore 327874

Dates: 9th September to 18th September 2016

Time: 7pm to 10pm


Created with flickr slideshow.

Singapore Heritage Festival 2016

The Singapore Heritage Festival 2016 was recently concluded on 15th May 2016, over a three weeks period starting on 29th April 2016. The heritage festival 2016 was packed with events, exhibitions, workshops, performances, guided tours, talks etc. I wasn’t able to attend all of them and I was only able to visit the weekend highlights on 29th April and 30th April – A Taste of Heritage at the National Museum of Singapore, on 14th May 2016, Movies Under the Ubin Stars and Music Performances @ Ubin.

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For the two Singapore Heritage Festival events that I attended, they attracted quite a big group of visitors to the event. The Taste of Heritage was really great, bringing back the food stalls that once plied their food and trade outside the National Museum of Singapore. Their popularity can be seen from the steady lines of queue for the various food stalls. Visitors at the National Museum of Singapore were treated to traditional dance performances under the stars, with strings of colourful light bulbs providing the glamorous fun night out. I would really love to buy some of those food from the stalls during A Taste of Heritage, sit on the wooden stools/benches and enjoy a night out under the city star lights. However, it was too popular and quite packed for me to buy the food and a seat under the Singapore night sky. Nevertheless, it was a great nostalgic atmosphere that I really enjoyed.

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During Singapore Heritage Festival 2016, P. Ubin played a significant role, with the island involved to be part of the Singapore Heritage festivities during 14th and 15th May 2016. During that weekend, it was an awesome opportunity for those who don’t know much about P. Ubin to visit the little island off the north-east area of Singapore and learn from the various activities and events organised for Singapore Heritage Festival 2016.

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The highlight for me was Movies Under the Ubin Stars and Music Performances @ Ubin on 14th May 2016. I went over in the late afternoon, catching the music performances @ Ubin by a few young upcoming and also some established musicians too. During the intervals, I walked around the main village area, this area seemed to have stopped in time, most of them were pretty much still in their original design and decoration. I first visited P.Ubin in 1990 during my secondary school days, while some other parts of P.Ubin had changed (quite a lot for some parts of Ubin), the main village still remains iconic and nostalgic.

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As dusk approaches, the wayang stage and the open area there came to life with visitors and the Ubin residents gathering there like the good old days watching an opera performance, except that we were watching a movie by Royston Tan, tittled “Homecoming”, a new film about Pulau Ubin by Royston Tan (world premiere). This new film is commissioned by the National Museum of Singapore for Singapore Heritage Festival 2016.

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The settings were perfect, the venue was perfect to show the “Homecoming” movie, truly and authentic, Movies Under the Ubin Stars! The P. Ubin weather was just nice in the night, cooling, refreshing after the late afternoon rain. The visitors and Ubin residents were eagerly anticipating for the start of “Homecoming”, it meant something deep down, deep inside their hearts, it meant something special to the Ubin residents and it definitely struck a deep chord inside me. “Homecoming” connects the residents to their Ubin roots and Singaporeans to the history and heritage of P.Ubin and how P.Ubin played a part in Singapore’s early nation building years. When I was watching the movie from the back of the crowds, my friend Belinda introduced me to Royston Tan! I am a big fan of his works and it was a great honour to meet him in person!

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When the movie “Homecoming” was being screened, we can hear the crowds shouting out their fellow Ubin residents’ names when their acting part came into play, acknowledging the community spirit and bonding on P.Ubin. Do we still have this community spirit and bonding in the modern Singapore society today? Would we able to bring this “Homecoming” back into our modern Singapore society?

As the movie drew to a close, the lights came up again, with a huge, loud and warm round of applause filled the Ubin village ground. This was really heartwarming! The cast and crew of “Homecoming” went up to the wayang stage, it’s like a meet the fans segment! The photography moments, taking group photos, celebrating the history and heritage of Pulau Ubin.

Leaving on the bumboat ride out of P.Ubin, on the night of 14th May 2016, this had been a great and wonderful Singapore Heritage Festival 2016, this was Homecoming to me.


Created with flickr slideshow.

Armenian Street Party – A Sneak Preview

A maiden debut for Armenian Street, part of the bigger Bras Basah-Bugis precint, will be closed on the 11th and 12th of March 2016, for her First Armenian Street Party. It is great to see the Armenian Street hub to close the road and transform into a street party for everybody to come down, enjoy the festivities and fun. Armenian Street is going to transform into a buzzling colourful hub consisting of heritage and nightlife, coming to life with a spectacular line-up of fun, acts, performances.

The Armenian Street Party, is a ground-up initiative is anchored by Peranakan Museum and Singapore Museum University, the street party features performances showcasing Peranakan culture, contemporary music, poetry reading and other fun activities taking place at Armenian Street. It is great to see Peranakan Museum along with her neighbours, the stake holders along Aremenian Street, to produce a festival and carnival for the public to come down and enjoy together. The inaugural Armenian Street Party would allow them to grow the Armenian Street district, a rich historical and cultural hub.

Personally, I feel that Armenian Street has a great potential to grow her own festivities and hub with the Peranakan Museum taking the lead, as the anchor festival lead, along with the stakeholders around Armenian Street area. Let me share with you some of the key highlights of the Armenian Street Party happening on Friday 11th March 2016 and Saturday 12th March 2016 –

  • The Urban Garden – This alley between Substation and the Peranakan Museum will be transformed into a garden, with beautiful festoon lighting, swings and park benches. This small alley had played a lot of roles in various arts and museum events over the years and the transformation into an urban garden is definitely appropriate, giving visitors to the Armenian Street Party a place to relax, sit down and chat.

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  • Motif Traces – Keep a lookout for this contemporary dance performances, inspired by Peranakan motifs from the Dance Ensemble Singapore Arts Company (DES Arts)

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  • Si Wanggeh (A Spiritual Entity) – This is a Peranakan Wayang production by Peranakan Siblings.
  • Emily, The Musical – A special musical production by Musical Theatre Ltd, keep a lookout for this special musical performance where nonyas and babas of the 1930s come to life through their songs, revealing the colourful Peranakan love of life, their pains and their passion.

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  • The Main Wayang Company – I saw them perform at Armenian Street during Singapore Night Festival 2015! They were awesome and lively band of singers! The title of their performance is “Peranakan Song Dance – Spirit of our Fathers”. Join them, dance and sing along with the great singers in a tribute to Peranakan pioneers to classic baba-nonya tunes.

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  • Live performances by Singapore Management University (SMU) – Our younger Singapore generation, students from SMU will be there too, singing and entertaining the crowds at the Armenian Street Party.

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For more information on Armenian Street Party, check out their website for more details, performances and programme schedule. The Armenian Street Party is making her maiden debut, let’s all give her our full support, come on down on Friday 11th March 2016 and Saturday 12th March 2016, soak in the fun and festive atmosphere of Armenian Street.

Armenian Street – The Street is Our Stage, let it transform into a mini festival hub of both traditional and contemporary performances coming together, for everybody, young and old, locals and visitors to soak in the fun and enjoy themselves!

Key information

Event: Armenian Street Party

Location: Armenian Street

Days: 11th and 12th March 2016

Time: 7pm to 11pm

Admission Free

I would like to thank Peranakan Museum for the invitation to the sneak preview of the Armenian Street Party.

Jubilee Walk – A History and Heritage Walkabout in Singapore

Going for a walkabout in any city, town or country is one of the best (interesting and fun too!) ways to enjoy the views of the city, to learn the history, heritage and culture of the country and its people. A walkabout is suitable for both locals and international visitors alike, a meaningful and experiential experience for all.

Singapore celebrated her Golden Jubilee year in 2015, with lots of festivities and celebrations throughout the year. During the year 2015, Singaporeans started to learn and know more about her rich history, heritage, culture and society that goes further back and beyond the first 50 years of independence in 1965, to the days when she was a thriving port and trading hub during her Colonial days.

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While Singapore’s history may not be as long as compared to others, she does have her own unique stories to tell and share that she went through to reach her status today. By embarking on the Jubilee Walk, you can walk and go through the flow of time to learn, experience and see Singapore’s heritage from her Temasek era to Colonial era, nationhood, modernisation and metamorphosis into the modern urban city today. Over a distance of 8km, the Jubilee Walkers would be able to see and feel the experiences of history, heritage, culture and society of Singapore. It’s like walking through a warp time zone, from the past to the present and into the future, starting from the National Museum of Singapore, ending at the Marina Barrage.

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I went for a Jubilee Walk Guided Tour (5km distance) with fellow photographer, social media and heritage friends recently. The starting/meeting point is the National Museum of Singapore and the end point is Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay. Our guide, Marcus Ng, is very experienced and friendly, sharing a lot about the various history and heritage stories during the Jubilee Walk Guided Tour.

Here’s a short summary of the locations that we walked to during the Guided Tour ~

National Museum of Singapore -> Fort Canning Park -> Peranakan Museum -> Singapore Philatelic Museum and National Archives of Singapore -> Armenian Apostolic Church of St. Gregory the Illuminator -> Central Fire Station -> Old Hill Street Police Station -> The Singapore River -> Asian Civilisations Museum.

Along the Jubilee Walk route, you are able to find interesting artefacts, artworks, historical monuments, landmarks etc. Here are some of the photographs that I took during the Jubilee Walk Guided Tour, keep a lookout for them! Due to our eager and enthusaistic participation and interaction with our guide Marcus, our walking pace slowed down and we had to end the Guided Tour at Asian Civilisations Musuem due to time constraints. Thank you National Heritage Board for organising the Jubilee Walk Guided Tour!

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Nevertheless, I am planning to continue from where we left off from the Guided Tour and do my own second half Jubilee Walk walkabout on my own or with my fellow photographer and heritage friends.

The Jubilee Walk is suitable for both locals and international visitors, you can also download the maps and app into your smartphone or tablet and you are good to go ahead with your Jubilee Walk walkabout! I have prepared some tips (with some help from the friendly folks at National Heritage Board) for the Jubilee Walkers who would like to go on their own Jubilee Walk walkabout.

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Tips for Jubilee Walkers

  • Wear comfortable clothes and shoes
  • Bring water along the Jubilee Walk
  • Bring along an umbrella or raincoat (just a precaution)
  • Bring along your hat and wear it
  • Start your walk from the late afternoon (e.g. 4pm) when it is not too hot and you can reach Marina Bay/Gardens By The Bay/Marina Barrage around 7pm (depending on your walking pace) to enjoy the Singapore sunset view
  • Get hold of the Jubilee Walk booklet or download the Time Walk app and maps into your smartphone or tablet
  • Don’t carry too heavy and too many things during the walk
  • Keep a lookout for the SG50 markers along the Jubilee Walk route
  • Enjoy and have fun! Take more photographs and share them on social media with the following hashtags #JubileewalkSG, #Funwithheritage, #jubileewalkSGguidedtours
  • If you can’t finish the walk in one sesssion (due to time constraints or bad weather), don’t fret, you can always come back on another day to continue with your Jubilee Walk from the last point where you left off

Useful links

If you like to join a Jubilee Walk Guided Tour, check out this link on the Guided Tour dates and availability.

Have a good walkabout on the Jubilee Walk in Singapore! Enjoy and have fun walkabout into Singapore’s history and heritage from the past, to the present and into the future!


Created with flickr slideshow.

Treasures of the Singapore Musical Box Musuem

The sound of music today, the MP3 songs, iTunes, Spotify, many of us today can be seen plugged into with our headphones/earphones, listening to music and songs while on the move or at home/office. I begun to think back in time when I have DVDs, CDs, LaserDisc, jukebox, cassette tapes, LPs, these were the types of music media that I grew up with.

What was it like before all these technological advancements came in? What was music like to people in the 18th or 19th century? How did the modern music came about? At the Singapore Musical Box Museum, I took a musical journey back in time to the 18th and 19th century, the world of musical boxes treasures. This was an amazing and beautiful sound of music journey, the history, heritage, conservation, preservation, culture, connections, evolution and education of how musical boxes came from, in a galaxy far far away, that helped to shape the music scene today.

A musical box to me is a small nicely designed box with beautiful artwork, open it and beautiful music will be played. Upon stepping into the world of treasures at the Singapore Musical Box Museum, I never realised that there were so much to learn about musical boxes, the history, evolution and influence in the music scene today. My visit to the Singapore Musical Box Museum wasn’t just an eye-opener, it was also an ear-opener, some of the most beautiful music to my ears, heart, mind and soul.

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During our visit to the Singapore Musical Box Museum, we were hosted by Mr Naoto Orui, Founder, Singapore Musical Box Museum and along with this wonderful staff. My friends and myself were treated to a very enriching musical journey and education, of musical boxes. Each and every musical box, regardless of its size, style, history and significance, each has its own story to tell and share with the visitors. Mr Naoto Orui, shared with us about the mechanism, design and engineering aspects of a musical box. I strongly encourage you to visit the Singapore Musical Box Museum, have the experience to view and learn how a musical box works.

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Let me share with you a video that I found on YouTube that explains how a musical box works.

The Singapore Musical Box Museum goes beyond sharing, telling and teaching the history and development of musical boxes to gramophone and musical dolls that can be viewed inside the museum. Inside this museum, we were able to learn and view a part of Singapore’s history and economic development in the early British Colonial days, when Singapore wasn’t just a trading port, she was also a leading country for technological development during that era. Hearing this story, the connections and how it managed to influence regional countries in Asia such as Japan and Hong Kong, it was simply amazing and mind blowing. We never knew Singapore played such a role, an important one, during her early days as a trading hub.

There was a very unique and special musical box, titled “China”, it was a musical box produced from one of the first collaborations between British and Singaporean craftsman. I knew that Singapore does have some significant brand names and products from her early manufacturing days, however, the musical box “China”, showed us that our Singapore’s early days as a thriving economy hub, not just as a trading port, from the British Colonial days.

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The world of musical boxes, can be found in this newly opened museum in Singapore. With over 40 antique musical boxes in working conditions, visitors can be intrigued and mesmerised by the world and music of musical boxes, along with her history, influence and impacts that musical boxes had on the world, and how Singapore’s early days had benefited and rode along with it.

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Take a break, visit the Singapore Musical Box Museum. Listen to the beautiful music and discover another small piece of history, fame and influence of Singapore that many of us did not know about.

I would like to thank National Heritage Board for arranging this visit and Singapore Musical Box for their warm hospitality and their in-depth sharing of musical boxes, the history, evolution and influence.

Key information and details on Singapore Musical Box Museum

Address: 168 Telok Ayer Street Singapore 068619

Website: http://www.singaporemusicalboxmuseum.org/

Opening Hours:

Monday – Friday: 10am – 6pm

Tour Schedule: Hourly tours starting from 10am, last tour at 5pm. Each tour duration is approximately 40 minutes.

Admission Charges:

Adults: $12.00

Students (with valid student pass) : $6.00 (for citizens and permanent residents only)

Seniors (60 years and above with valid ID) : $6.00 (for citizens and permanent residents only)

Telephone: +65 6221 0102

Email: smbbmbox@gmail.com


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National Gallery Singapore

On Tuesday 24th November 2015, this marked a significant, important and official day that the National Gallery Singapore re-opened her doors to the public after a period of renovation. I looked back at my archives and found an article that I wrote in 2010, titled “National Art Gallery Singapore Open House” and I still have a collection of photographs that I took of the former Supreme Court and City Hall (inside my backup portable hard disk) before she closed for the massive renovations and the metamorphosis into the National Gallery Singapore today.

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There would be two weeks of festivities from 24th November to 6th December 2015 and there is something for everybody to visit the National Gallery Singapore and be a part of this milestone in Singapore’s history. There are major activities and events during the two weeks, Art Carnival, Let’s Talk About Art, Follow Your Bliss, Film and Music & Dance – Step Into The Beat. More information can be found on the National Gallery Singapore website and this would allow you to plan your visit to the National Gallery Singapore.

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Prior to the official opening day on the 24th November 2015, I was honoured to be given the opportunity to tour the National Gallery Singapore along with the various Instagram community groups in Singapore for the Gallery Insta-Meet on Saturday 14th November afternoon. While I shared some snippets of the National Gallery Singapore on my Instagram, today, on the 24th November 2015, along with the official day that the National Gallery Singapore is re-opened. I would now share more of my photographs and stories from my visit during the Gallery Insta-Meet.

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It was really great to visit the two iconic national monuments, the former Supreme Court and City Hall again, now combined and joined together to form the National Gallery Singapore. There are a number of art galleries inside the National Gallery Singapore and I strongly encourage you to book your tickets to visit the various grand art galleries inside there. Most of the heritage, design, furniture and architecture were preserved to her heyday when the former Supreme Court and City Hall played major roles in Singapore’s colonial history and early independence years.

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During my Gallery Insta-Meet event, I explored new places that I never thought that I am able to see up close, the former Supreme Court Terrace whereby I was able to see the dome and inside the Rotunda. A new, interesting and unique design would be the Link Bridges: Upper Link and Lower Link that joined the City Hall and former Supreme Court together. The sheltered walkway space where the Link Bridges are located, is something new with the area enclosed by a metal and glass canopy, supported by tree-like columns, turning it into a civic plaza in the sky with the connection of the two National Monuments.

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While my photography collection from my Gallery Insta-Meet can bring you into a visual tour of the National Gallery Singapore, nothing beats going down to the real destination, the National Gallery Singapore, to visit and tour the two National Monuments, the various art galleries, getting more connected and in touch with Singapore’s history, heritage, conservation and preservation.

National Gallery Singapore is once again open to the public, let’s all visit and welcome the National Gallery Singapore, a new visual arts institution, into our network of museums in Singapore.

** Here are some useful information and links to plan your visit to National Gallery Singapore **

Website: National Gallery Singapore

Facebook: National Gallery Singapore Facebook Page

Instagram: National Gallery Singapore

Twitter: National Gallery Singapore

YouTube: National Gallery Singapore

ADMISSION

Tickets are required for admission into the Gallery buildings

DIRECTIONS

By MRT

5-minute walk from City Hall MRT station.

10-minute walk from Clarke Quay and Raffles Place MRT stations.

By Taxi

Nearest taxi stand is located at the Adelphi.

ENQUIRIES

Tel: 6271 7000

Email: info@nationalgallery.sg

Address

1 St Andrew’s Road, Singapore 178957

* Information from National Gallery Singapore website *


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