Thursday, 11 October 2012

National Museum of Singapore

At the foot of Fort Canning Park you find the jewel of historical establishments in Singapore, its National Museum. As impressive architecturally as it is educationally, one can’t fail to be impressed by it. Once inside the atrium you realise you are in for a treat.
With a rich history dating back to its inception in 1887, the National Museum of Singapore is the country’s oldest museum but with the youngest and most innovative soul. Designed to be the people's museum, the Museum prides itself on introducing cutting-edge and offering many varied ways of presenting history to redefine the conventional museum experience. Previously known as the Singapore History Museum, the institute has gone through drastic changes over the years. Having undergone three and half years of renovations and restorations, the refurbished museum was re-opened to the public on December 2nd 2006. One of the new attractions that were unveiled not long after the re-opening was the 'Singapore History Gallery' multimedia tour. Having taken it myself I can say it is an absorbing (and time consuming) adventure, which takes you back to Tamesek and before. In truth I never realised what a massive history the island had, before taking the tour, so I can highly recommend it. The tour itself is interactive and the 'companion' for the tour is a handheld device giving you options and extra information on the exhibits you are looking at. You can choose your own 'path' into the past and the device will guide you wherever you want to go. My only complaint would be that I would need around two full days to get through all the available information and media on offer! Considering the enormous up-keep and layout of this tour it is surprisingly well priced costing just S$10 for entry. And here is another good thing about the museum. Yes, you need to pay for entry (and it’s not expensive considering what is on offer), but some areas are free and indeed you can walk straight past the cash desk to take a look around in the main atrium. The giant video screen and swinging chandeliers you encounter as you walk in are a foretaste of what to expect from the main museum.
Described as the latest cultural icon, the Museum is far from being just a space for exhibitions and artifacts. It hosts challenging and vibrant festivals and events year-round that unleash new creative possibilities in culture and heritage.
Four lifestyle galleries (Singapore Living Galleries: Food, Film and Wayang, Fashion, and Photography) examine themes close to the hearts of Singaporeans. These galleries are updated regularly with rotating displays.
Additional activities such as films, lectures, opera performances, adult and children’s' workshops and theatrical events continue to attract the public into the Museum's welcoming space. It reaches out to the community and schools to gain a living history of the Red Dot.
During public holidays the museum (in accordance with all museums in Singapore) is free to the public and of course is a very popular attraction with queues starting early in the morning to get in.

3 comments:

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  2. Gotta love history. The National museum has some great items, very beautiful!

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  3. What an interesting blog, introduced by a thought-provoking photo. The unusual wall painting of the dwellings is also a strangely modern interpretation. Something like this hieroglyphic view of a park by Swiss painter Paul Klee, http://EN.WahooArt.com/A55A04/w.nsf/OPRA/BRUE-8LT475.
    The image can be seen at wahooart.com who can supply you with a canvas print of it.

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