Tag Archives: Museum

Witness to War: Remembering 1942

A new World War Two exhibition at the National Museum of Singapore, commemorating the 75th anniversary of the fall of Singapore. When I heard of this upcoming exhibition, my first initial reaction, “Another World War Two exhibition? How different is this from the rest of the other exhibitions?” I wasn’t too sure and I am a bit skeptical on what this exhibition Witness to War: Remembering 1942 is going to showcase to the public.

As I entered into this exhibition for a sneak preview with the curators, prior to her official opening to the public. I knew this was going to be something different and special, it’s not your usual World War Two exhibition. Let me bring you through my experiential journey through my photos and story.

First and foremost, it’s indeed like an international exhibition blockbuster, with more than 130 artefacts from 10 overseas museums and institutions, some never-before-seen artefacts and untold real life stories and accounts of the fall of Singapore.

Catch some old vintage films first

At the beginning of the exhibtion, you would be greeted by different vintage films montage, showing key international events from 1914 to the late 1930s. Observe carefully and you can spot Singapore landscapes and sceneries inside some of the vintage films! The films montage does take your attention span and you might be glued to the big tv projector screens!

Walking down, entering into the central area of the exhibition galleries, you would be to view many artfacts on display, some are really big and you can’t miss them, some are small, don’t go too fast. While I am unable to write and share on every artefact on display, I would highlight and share on artefacts that personally stood out for me. Please visit my photograph album for this exhibition inside my Flickr collection.

New gems and rediscover cherished classics from National Collection

25-Pounder Field Gun

Japanese Army Bungle

Enfield No. 2 Mk. 1 revolver

World class artefacts from 10 overseas museums and institutions

Steel sword (katana) of Lieutanant General Tomoyuki Yamashita

Union Jack Flag

4 pods, 4 themes

Every pod has stories, real life stories from survivors. Visit the pods, sit down, watch and listen, feel, ponder and reflect.

I – Destruction

II – Displacement

III – Love & Loss

IIII – Fortitude

5 stations for children engagement, learning, participation and interaction

Experiential learning is one of the best ways in my personal opinion to learn, especially for young children. There are 5 stations inside the exhibition that the young children are able to engage, learn, participate and interact within and from the exhibition itself.

Student Archivist Project

In this exhibition, visitors can view the works of the next generation of storytellers, the students involvement in this exhibition making process, through their help in recording, preserving and sharing of the war survivors’ experiences. This is an excellent and most meaningful involement, to connect and bridge the different generations together, through inter-generational dialogue and bonding.

 

Sit down, reflect, leave a mark behind with your thoughts and feelings

At the end of the exhibition, I sat down and reflected on the latest exhibition to be held at the National Museum of Singapore. This wasn’t just another World War Two exhibition that I thought it would be, it’s something really different, something special and unique, the real life stories, heartwarming and heartwrenching at times, the interactions, engagements. There are some things that tugged the heart strings that made it very different and special from the other World War Two exhibitions. The exhibition has the engagements and interactions, ideal for parents to bring their children down to visit and learn more about the war that took place in Singapore, the history, the stories of our survivors. Let’s not take our peace, stability and security of Singapore for granted.

My own personal thoughts and feelings

At the nice table located at the end of the exhibition, sitted on the nice softa, I looked at the small piece of paper for me to pen down my thoughts and feelings of the whole exhibition, the stories from the World War Two survivors. Somehow or another, I couldn’t and I didn’t manage to write it down. I am going to return back to this exhibition again, tour it one more time slowly, observe and learn more about our World War Two history that never see, hear and feel before in other World War Two exhibitions. Of course, I am going to pen it down my thoughts and feelings, and drop into the letter box at the side of the table, for the survivors who shared their remarkable stories with us in this exhibition.

My initial skepticism of this World War Two exhibition had totally changed, this is not just another World War Two exhibition. The experiences, the stories and interactions with and inside the exhibiton make it special and unique. Only when you are there, you will be able to enter into this experiential journey to understand and learn more about the Witness to War: Remembering 1942.

Lest We Forget.

Exhibition details

Location: National Museum of Singapore Exhibition Galleries, Basement Level

Period: 23rd September 2017 to 25th March 2018

Opening hours: 10am to 7pm (last admission at 6.30pm)

Free admission for Citizens, Permanent Residents and visitors aged 6 years and below

If you do visit this exhibition, share your experiences, chronicle it on social media via the hashtag #remembering1942.


Created with flickr slideshow.

150th Anniversary of the First Postage Stamps Issued in Singapore

A new exhibition has recently opened to the public at the Singapore Philatelic Museum (SPM) from 1st September 2017 to 1st January 2018, visitors to SPM are able to enjoy a very interesting and intriguing exhibition of stamps, some of the stamps have a very rich and old history, some of the rarest stamps, covers and other philatelic materials on display, showcasing the history and significance of Singapore from her Colonial days when she was an international port of call around the world.

On 31st August, I was at the official launch and opening of the exhibition – 150th Anniversary of the First Postage Stamps Issued in Singapore, attended and launched by Guest-of-Honour Mr Chan Yeng Kit (Chairman of Infocomm Media Development Authority), Mr Woo Keng Leong (CEO, Postal Services at SingPost), Mr Hong Tuck Kun (Chairman of the Stamp Advisory Committee), Mr Richard Tan (President of the ASP) and Professor Cheah Jin Seng (Chairman of SPM Board) at the SPM.

Thereafter, I went into the exhibition space to view the collection of stamps on display at this exhibition. When you entered into the exhibition space, it might look small in terms of floor size, however, there are a lot of stamps on display and some of the rarest stamps are there! Every stamp, cover and philatelic material tells a story of Singapore, her postal history and history as part of the Straits Settlements. It’s really amazing, mind blowing at times, it’s not just the history behind it, there are also stories behind some of the stamps on display there. This exhibition is excellent and very suitable for parents to bring their children there to learn more about Singapore’s history and culture.

Just to share a bit on the history of the Straits Settlements, in the year 1867, Singapore, Penang and Malacca were transferred from the jurisdiction of the East India Company in India to British rule in London as a Crown Colony. Singapore took control of the seat of the government of the Straits Settlements, along with its postal affairs. In order to commemorate the change of governance, a new set of stamps was issued on 1st September 1867, for the first time by the Singapore Post Office.

I didn’t get the chance to view and learn about every single stamp, cover and philatelic material on display because there are many stamps inside the exhibition. I have to plan a time and visit the exhibition at SPM again. For my next visit, I am going to slow down, view, observe and learn more about each stamp, their story and history.

When you visit 150th Anniversary of the First Postage Stamps Issued in Singapore at SPM, you can purchase a momento of this key postal milestone, the following items will available during the exhibition period:

  • A limited edition, 150th Anniversary of the First Postage Stamps Issued in Singapore. Price: $50
  • A series of 150th Anniversary of the First Postage Stamps Issued in Singapore exhibition picture postcards. Each month, a different set of 4 serialised picture postcards will be available. The pictures on the postcards are of the exhibits on display. Price: $10 for a strip of four postcards.
  • Special Exhibition Souvenir Covers: Bring home a special exhibition souvenir cover with 1st local stamp and the event date stamp (1st September 2017). Price: $3.

In conjunction with the SPM exhibition 150th Anniversary of the First Postage Stamps Issued in Singapore, SingPost has 1st local, 2nd local, 60cents, 70cents and $1.30 issued in Singapore stamps. Pre-cancelled First Day Covers affixed with the complete set of stamps are available at $4.25. There is also a Collection Pack, comprising of the 5 SingPost stamps and 3 Pos Malaysia stamps commemorating the first Straits Settlements will also be sold. You can buy them at the General Post Office, Philatelic Store which starts operations at the SingPost Centre, Jurong West Post Office and online at shop.singpost.com.

For more information , check out the URL links below-

Do visit the the exhibition – 150th Anniversary of the First Postage Stamps Issued in Singapore at SPM, if you are a parent, bring your children there, it would be a fun learning experience for them!

An Infinity Rainbow World of Artworks with Yayoi Kusama

I entered the National Gallery Singapore and I was greeted by big yellow balls with black dots hanging from the courtyard ceiling of the City Hall. These unique and special artworks welcome us visitors into a very special, different, unique and abstract world, of one of the world’s most influential artists, Yayoi Kusama.

This marked the start of a rainbow journey, from a very colourful start with the brightest and most colourful artworks into the other end of the rainbow, into a black and white world. Located in three galleries (Gallery A, B and C) and the City Hall Chamber, visitors have over 120 works across media to view, explore, interact and connect with Yayoi Kusama, starting with her paintings from the 1950s to her modern artworks of today.

Entering into the world of artist Yayoi Kusama at the National Gallery Singapore, it’s more than just having the best Instagram worthy locations, it’s more than taking selfies and wefies with her mirrors artworks. Yayoi Kusama iconic and abstract artworks are more than just for photography opportunities, her artworks engage us in many ways of our life, space and fashion.

Upon entering into the world of Yayoi Kusama, I spotted and discovered, trends, patterns, colours, from polka dots and nets, pumpkins, infinity mirrors. I also started exploring space, colour and form from her amazing artworks across different media, from paintings to sculptures, collages and videos.

Yayoi Kusama works are bold, captivating, abstract, intriguing, mind blowing. With over 120 of her works on display, I just want to share these few key works below, that you have to visit:

The Spirits of the Pumpkins descended into the Heavens @ Gallery A

Infinity Mirrored Room – Gleaming Lights of the Souls @ Gallery B 

With all my Love for the Tulips, I pray forever @ Gallery C 

Life is the Heart of a Rainbow @ Gallery C

 Are we able to view and connect with her artworks in our daily life today? That’s the rainbow question for you, seeking the golden pot at the end of the rainbow, by visiting and discovering YAYOI KUSAMA: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow exhibition at the National Gallery Singapore.

When you enter into the world of Yayoi Kusama, do not rush, engage yourself and be involved with her artworks, the interaction and connection, feel them and capture them down in your memories, through your eyes, heart, soul and cameras. Remember to hashtag #SGLovesKusama, share your photos along with your inner most thoughts and feelings about/with Yayoi Kusama.

Personally, as a commercial/events/travel photographer, while I seldom enter into the foray of artistic/abstract photography, there is something very magical that feeds our creative soul, to learn from the creative artists of another discipline, through their eyes, heart, soul, ideas and ultimately their artworks. Through my Instagram, I shared some photos that I took at the exhibition with my thoughts and feelings. More photographs of YAYOI KUSAMA: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow Exhibition can be viewed in my Flickr collection.

I may not know where this will bring me or help me in my current photography adventures. There is one thing that comes up into my mind, that is to explore cross disciplinary artwork creations with artists from other fields with my photography. Maybe one day in the near future.

Flying into an infinity rainbow world of artworks with Yayoi Kusama and beyond, what goes beyond there? Now, it’s up to me to explore and discover what is waiting for me at the end of this infinity rainbow world.

I think I need to make another visit to YAYOI KUSAMA: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow Exhibition, maybe a few more visits.

YAYOI KUSAMA: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow Exhibition details

Dates: 9th June – 3rd September 2017

Venue: City Hall Wing, Level 3, Singtel Special Exhibition Gallery

Ticket details

Singaporeans / PR

All-Access Pass

  • Adult $15
  • Concession $10

Includes complimentary general admission + YAYOI KUSAMA: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow

Non-Singaporeans

All-Access Pass

  • Adult $30
  • Concession $25

Includes general admission + YAYOI KUSAMA: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow

Special Exhibition

  • Adult $25
  • Concession $20

YAYOI KUSAMA: Life is Heart of a Rainbow

Book Tickets

The YAYOI KUSAMA: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow exhibition is by timed-entry, stipulated on your ticket. Visitors can book their tickets online here: https://www.nationalgallery.sg/visit/admissions

For more information, check out the links below


Created with flickr slideshow.

Stitches of Love – Hidden Blessings in Children’s Clothing & Accessories

The world of fashion, clothing and accessories have went through many changes over the centuries, whether for adults or children’s fashion and clothing. Look at the modern children’s fashion, clothing and accessories today, do you remember your childhood fashion and clothing? How about those children’s fashion, clothing and accessories during the era of our forefathers, what does it looks like?

On 27th May 2017, the Stitches of Love – Hidden Blessings in Children’s Clothing & Accessories was officially declared opened at a opening ceremony with performances by Mr Baey Yam Keng, Parliamentary Secretary for Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth.

At Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall, you can take a walk back in time into ancient Chinese culture of children’s fashion, clothing and accessories. In ancient Chinese culture, the children’s clothing and accessories were more than just a clothing for their body. They were showered with lots of love, hopes and blessings on the children’s clothing and accessories, worn by the young children.

When you visit this exhibition, look and observe closely at the children’s clothing and accessories on display. Do you notice the motifs featured on them? All these motifs are on the children’s clothing and accessories, they are meant to bestow blessings, good fortune, longevity and good health upon the young children wearing them. Some motifs are there to protect the children from harm against misfortune and disaster.

Whenever the children wore those clothing, they were blessed with lots of love, hope and affection by their parents, that were hidden and stitched onto their clothing and accessories.

This special exhibition “Stitches of Love – Hidden Blessings in Children’s Clothing & Accessories”, is co-presented by Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall and the Memorial Museum of Generalissimo Sun Yat-sen’s Mansion from Guangzhou, China. There are over 99 clothing and accessories featured inside this special exhibition, from the late Qing dynasty to the early Republican period, visitors can view items such as hats, ear muffs, bibs and shoes.

Whenever I looked at old photographs from the late Qing dynasty and early Republican period, I began to understand more in-depth on the significance of the children’s clothing and accessories. They had so much love, hope and affection stitched onto them! Do visit this special exhibition at Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall! Keep a lookout for their public lectures and free guided tours by their volunteer guides!

Do visit this special exhibition of love at the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall with your family and children, it’s a great exhibition to learn and share about history, heritage and culture on clothing and love!

Exhibition Details

Location: Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall

Dates: 27th May 2017 to 4th March 2018

Opening Hours: 10am to 5pm (Tuesday to Sunday)

Website: www.sysnmh.org.sg

Singapore Biennale 2016 – An Atlas of Mirrors

The Singapore Biennale 2016, with the theme “An Atlas of Mirrors”, was recently concluded on the 26th February 2017, having started on 27th October 2016. This was the fifth edition of the Singapore Biennale and I am glad that I managed to visit most of the artwork exhibitions present at Singapore Biennale 2016 before it ended. Looking back at my own personal Singapore Biennale visits, I covered four out of five editions, starting from year 2008, 2011, 2013 and 2016, with photographs that I took during my visits to Singapore Biennale curated and consolidated inside this Flickr collection.

The theme “An Atlas of Mirrors” for Singapore Biennale 2016, was on the instruments of vision and navigation to explore around the world used by the human race. The atlas was used by the human race to explore and venture all around the world, to discover the unknown and open up new chapters in history and time, not just in terms of landing on a new country, it’s also about the cultural, sociological and psychological revolution and evolution. As the human race used atlas and maps over centuries of exploration, scientific development and technology growth, coupled with more rapid and intense human movement around the world.

Do we know, how and where we see ourselves, see the world, see the future, from we we are right now? With the growth and boom of information technology, internet and social media, are we even learning more about each other from different parts of the world? Or have we retreated into mountains and caves, becoming even more isolated than the industrial revolution era? Do we need the mirror to constantly look at ourselves and ask ourselves questions?

Over my four visits to Singapore Biennale, from 2008 to 2016, they had always been an eye opener for me, not just for my eyes, also for my heart, mind and soul. There were times when some of the artworks by the artists were too deep and complex for me to understand and relate. There were also some artworks that clicked immediately with my mind, heart and soul. The Singapore Biennale is one mega arts event that allow me to explore and learn more about contemporary art in Singapore, the region and around the world.

Couple an atlas and mirror together, that’s the theme for Singapore Biennale 2016 “An Atlas of Mirrors”. While I can’t say that I have every answer to the things I said in my earlier paragraphs, at the very least, it pushed me to think beyond the views and experiences that I have inside me currently, in the business world, in my photography and in life.

Due to personal situations that happened in the last quarter of 2016 and early 2017, I wasn’t able to split my time and visit the Singapore Biennale 2016 a few times, to slowly absorb and understand the artists abstract artworks and the meanings behind them. I only managed to visit them just four days before her closing day. Nevertheless, I am very glad that I did it, feeding my my mind, heart and soul with contemporary art from Singapore Biennale.

Some of the artworks at Singapore Biennale 2016 connected with me in some ways or another, here are some of them

  • There are those who stay / There are those who go
  • The Great East Indiaman
  • Cooking the World
  • “If you can dream a better world you can make a better world or perhaps travel between them”
  • Black Forest 2016
  • History Repeats Itself
  • One Has to Wander through All the Outer Worlds to Reach the Innermost Shrine at the End
  • The Covenant
  • Melampaul Batas (Beyond Boundaries)
  • SONICreflection

Do visit my Flickr folder – Singapore Biennale 2016 and view more photographs that I took during my exploration and adventure of the contemporary art festival!

I leave you with this short video recording (that I did with the Canon EOS M5 review camera unit that I was reviewing during the time when I was at Singapore Biennale 2016) on the artwork produced by Melissa Tan from Singapore, titled “If you can dream a better world you can make a better world or perhaps travel between them”

As the Singapore Biennale 2016 concluded her fifth edition, have you ask yourself, from where you are right now, how do you visualise the world, and see for yourself where you are right now and into the future?


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

Nonya Needlework: Embroidery and Beadwork in the Peranakan World Exhibition

Peranakan, Nonya or Baba, these are the words that most people here affectionately describe and relate to the Peranakan community in Singapore (and probably in other parts of the world too), I remember my army days when we would affectionately called our fellow camp mate “Baba Koh”. Oh yes, Peranakan food is really delicious and unique, if I have the opportunity, I would introduce and share on Peranakan cuisine in my future articles.

The Peranakan community played some important and key roles in the early days of Singapore, some of them were business owners and philanthropists that shaped Singapore’s early days through hospitals and schools. Most of us here would most likely be able to relate their philanthropy works, businesses and causes.

I attended a school that was founded by a Peranakan Hokkien Chinese businessman and philanthropist, it’s one of the oldest schools in Singapore. Would you be able to guess the name of the school?

Here’s a clue, a line from my school song

“… He started a free school for boys who were poor, to give them the chance to do something more …”

Studying in a school with such a long rich history and heritage, is probably one of the factors that drives me to write, cover and document history, heritage, conservation, preservation matters/subjects in Singapore.

We have seen great works, efforts and legacies built by the Peranakan community. Do you know that they have other skills and talents that probably not many of us would know? The Peranakan community are very skilful and talented in needlework, embroidery and beadwork.

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I will be the first to raise my hand and tell everybody here that I don’t (never) really know how talented and skilful the Peranakan community were in this field until I visited this very special exhibition, Nonya Needlework: Embroidery and Beadwork in the Peranakan World exhibition at the Peranakan Museum. I can relate to the Peranakan community through famous businessmen, philanthropists, schools, hospitals, leaders of modern Singapore and my fellow Baba friends. Oh yes, of course, Peranakan food too!

IMG_1720

When you visit the Nonya Needlework exhibition at Peranakan Museum, do not rush, take your time, there are close to 200 amazing, gorgeous artworks, embroideries, needlework, beadworks, intricately crafted objects on display there. Each and every artwork is a history and legacy of the Peranakan community. This special exhibition displays the traditional Peranakan art of embroidery and beadwork, many of them are seldom seen in the museums and they are from the Singapore’s National Collection, collected over 30 years of dedicated collecting by Singapore’s museums.

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Besides Singapore’s very own collection over the years, the special exhibition also has Nonya artworks from museum partners and private collectors that are being showcased together in this special exhibition too. The special exhibition is divided into five sections, auspicious emblems and symbols, creative hands: makers and methods, and materials, to the diverse styles of Indonesia, Malacca, Singapore, and Penang.

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Some of the Nonya artworks were very bright and colourful, along with their intricate, delicate and precise skills, those artworks are a real eye opener to a community that has contributed quite a lot to the society of Singapore and how rich their Peranakan heritage and culture possess.

I made two trips to this exhibition, the first was the official opening of this exhibition and the second trip was joining the curator tour. There were big crowds on both days that I was there, showing great support for this exhibition. During the official opening ceremony, I also saw many pretty Peranakan ladies dressed up in their pretty and colourful kebaya, a perfect fit for the occasion and exhibition, for the bright and colourful Nonya works on display.

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Inside this exhibtion, there are close to 200 Nonya artworks on display, each of them very special, unique, precious, priceless and of utmost significance. Writing this statement doesn’t do any justice to the excellent curation, collection and displays inside this special exhibition. I strongly encourage you to visit this exhibition at the Peranakan Museum! You need to be up close and personal with the Nonya artworks and you can start to appreciate them even better!

“Nyonya Needlework showcases the pathways of creativity in this Peranakan art form. Although needlework was very much rooted in a traditional context, embroiderers often borrowed and “translated” techniques and designs from other cultures and other media (including batiks, ceramics, and metalwork), introducing novelty and dynamism into the art. The overlaps in regional styles of beadwork and embroidery convey a shared sense of identity; at the same time, their diversity expresses their local connections. We hope visitors will enjoy the refinement and detail in these works, and discover the innovative spirit and craftsmanship, as well as the stories of the Peranakan Chinese embedded in this cross-cultural art form, and be inspired to create their own”, said Dr Cheah Hwei-Fen, lead curator of the exhibition.

Source: Peranakan Museum press release

There are a number of Nonya artworks that I really like, here are some of them

Table Cover

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Penang, early 20th century

Silk damask embroidered with silk floss (knot stitch) and metal thread, silk knot work fringe and tassels, diameter 120 cm

Ceremonial handkerchief

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Malacca, late 19th century

Silk, metal beads, glass beads, cordonnet, 34.2 x 20 cm

Valance for a wedding bed

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Indonesia, mid-19th century

Cotton, glass beads, paper, metal thread

National Museum of World Cultures, Netherlands

* Description provided by Peranakan Museum press release highlights *

As I mentioned earlier in my article, there are close to 200 artworks on display, I have uploaded selected photographs into my Flickr collection and you can view them!

Here are the key information and details of this special exhibition at the Peranakan Museum

Nyonya Needlework: Embroidery and Beadwork in the Peranakan World

娘惹巧手:土生华人世界的刺绣与珠绣工艺

Dates: 24th June 2016 to 26th March 2017

Venue: Peranakan Museum

            39 Armenian Street, Singapore 179941

Website: www.peranakanmuseum.sg

Enquiries: 6332 7591 / nhb_pm_vs@nhb.gov.sg

Admission charges: Individual $10

                                    Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents $4

Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday 10am – 7pm (to 9pm on Friday)

Getting There:

By MRT – A 10-minute walk from City Hall or Bras Basah MRT stations

By Car – Paid parking is available next to the Peranakan Museum

By Bus – 7, 14, 16, 36, 77, 106, 111, 124, 128, 131, 147, 162,162M, 166, 167, 171, 174, 175, 190, 700, 700A and 857

There are also some upcoming programmes at the Peranakan Museum, in conjunction with the Nonya Needlework special exhibition. Do keep a lookout on their website for more details and updates of upcoming programmes and events!

Straits Family Sunday: All Sewed Up

14 August 2016, Sunday 1pm – 5pm

Free admission

Metallic threads, glass beads, and nimble fingers. Discover colourful Peranakan creations on display in the Nyonya Needlework special exhibition. Get inspired and create your own fashion statement accessory or go on an exploring tour with the whole family.

Peranakan beadwork with Raymond Wong

3, 10, 17, 24 September 2016, Saturdays

2pm – 5pm

Admission charge: $50 per session

Spend your Saturday afternoons at the Peranakan Museum! Create magical beaded accessories under the direction of Rumah Kim Choo’s Raymond Wong, inspired by our special exhibition, Nyonya Needlework: Beadwork and Embroidery in the Peranakan World.

  • Source: Peranakan Museum press release *

When you visit the Nonya Needlework: Embroidery and Beadwork in the Peranakan World Special Exhibition at the Peranakan Museum, do also visit the other sections of the museum too, explore and learn more about the Peranakan community in Singapore!

* I would like to thank Peranakan Museum for the invitation to the official opening of the Nonya Needlework Special Exhibition and the curator tour *


Created with flickr slideshow.

Christianity in Asia: Sacred Art and Visual Splendour Special Exhibition

The Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM) in Singapore is now holding a very special exhibition, this is also their inaugural special exhibition after their extensive revamp last year. This special exhibition is titled “Christianity in Asia: Sacred Art and Visual Splendour” and this is also the world’s first exhibition on the history and spread of Christian art in Asia.

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This Christianity in Asia exhibition is very special and unique, it’s not just learning more about Christianity, this is an exhibition whereby you can learn and understand more on the spread of Christianity in Asia since the 7th Century, how Asia played a part in this spread and how Asian art absorbed the influences from many different cultures, including those from the countries such as the Middle East, India, China, Japan, the Philippines and Southeast Asia.

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When you visit this exhibition, you are able to view some very amazing and priceless exhibits dating back to the 13th century to the 20th century, with a special focus on the period from 16th to 18th century, the period where significant trade and missions took place. There are over 150 objects from six countries – Singapore, France, Portugal, Italy, Hong Kong and the Philippines and 20 acclaimed institutions and private collections from around the world, including the Musee du Louvre, the Bibliotheque nationale de France and Lisbon’s National Musuem of Ancient Art, that are showcased in this special exhibition at the Asian Civilisations Museum.

Here are some of the curators thoughts on this exhibition

Director of the ACM, Dr Alan Chong, said: “Christian art in Asia was created by artists of many different faiths: Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, Confucian, and so on. New motifs and materials were used in these objects, which reflect many heritages. Moreover, many of the images were collected by patrons who were non-Christian. This demonstrates the curiosity and openness evident throughout Asia, especially in the 16th and 17th centuries.” 

Clement Onn, curator at ACM and of the exhibition, said, “The Christianity in Asia exhibition is a celebration of artistic innovation, experimentation and the diversity which emerges from cross-cultural influences. Through the curation of the exhibition, we hope that visitors will not just be exposed to the wide array of Asian Christian art, recognised by its intrinsic quality, originality and aesthetic merit, but also learn that common threads such as religion can also bring people of various cultures and from different countries together.”

Source: Asian Civilisations Museum press release

The exhibition is organised into 4 thematic sections: Early Christian Art in Asia, Asian Art with Christian themes, Christian missions to Asia in the 16th to 19th centuries (The Indian Subcontinent, China, Japan, Philippines and Southeast Asia) and lastly, a case study of Singapore. What makes this exhibition special and unique is learning and understanding how local artists and artisans (who may not be Christians themselves) in their particular era interpret Christianity, how they adapted the Christian themes into their artworks.

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During the curator tour of the Christianity in Asia: Sacred Art and Visual Splendour Exhibition, there is a particular artwork, just one of them that caught my attention among the many other special and precious artworks on display there.

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The photograph above that I took at the exhibition would be an inlaid metal candlestick made in Syria between 1248 and 1249. This was decorated with both Christian scenes and medieval Islamic art. Visit the Christianity in Asia: Sacred Art and Visual Splendour Exhibition at ACM, keep a lookout for this artwork, observe and identify the scenes near the base.

When you visit the exhibition, I strongly encourage you to download the ACM app into your smartphone and bring along your earphones/headphones. Upon starting your tour of this exhibition, it would make it experiential, engaged and a lot more interesting.

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At this particular artwork display inside the exhibition, put on your earphones/headphones, use the app, look at the artwork and listen to the sound!

If you prefer a more in-depth understanding and wanting to learn more from this special exhibition, I strongly encourage you to sign up for the curator tour, not only are they the exhibition/subject matter experts, they are great museum guides too! They are more than willing to share with the visitors on the curator tour! Check out the photographs that I took during the visit to this special exhibition!

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Upcoming Curator Tour information for Christianity in Asia special exhibition

Dates: Friday 26th August 2016 and Friday 9th September 2016

Time: 7.30 to 8.30pm
Fee: $25 per session (book at ACM Front Desk or Peatix) (http://acmcuratortours.peatix.com/)

Here are some key information, dates and details of the exhibition –

Christianity in Asia: Sacred Art and Visual Splendour(圣辉艺彩:亚洲的基督教信仰与艺术交汇

Exhibition Dates: 27 May to 11 September 2016

Venue: Asian Civilisations Museum

1 Empress Place, Singapore 179555

Website: www.acm.org.sg

Enquiries: 6332 7798 / nhb_acm_vs@nhb.gov.sg

Opening hours: Monday to Sunday: 10am to 7pm (to 9pm on Friday)

Getting There: By MRT – Raffles Place

By Bus – 75, 100, 107, 130, 131, 167

By Car – Parking is available at Parliament House, Connaught

Drive, The Fullerton Hotel, One Fullerton, and Six Battery Road

Ticketing

Admission to Special Exhibition, Christianity in Asia: Sacred Art and Visual Splendour

Singapore Citizens & Permanent Residents Non-Citizens & Non-Permanent Residents
Adults $9 $15
Students Free $10
Seniors (60 years and above) Free $10
Person with Disabilities Free $10
NSFs Free N.A.
MOE Teachers Free N.A.
Children 6 years and below Free Free
Foreign Family (5 person max) N.A. $45

This Special Exhibition, Christianity in Asia: Sacred Art and Visual Splendour at Asian Civilisations Museum, is really an eye-opener for me, it’s really special and unique. Moreover, it’s very educational and a great learning time for me when I visited it, to learn about history, arts, heritage, culture, preservation, in different parts of the world and also how it plays a part in early Singapore’s history and community.

* I would like to thank Asian Civilisations Museum for the invitation to the Christianity in Asia: Sacred Art and Visual Splendour Special Exhibition and joining the curator tour. *

 

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.

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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