January 25, 2022


Home living innovation

Home, Actually, Developing Up With Singapore, 1950s To The Existing: an exhibition of stories and memories, Property & Style Information & Prime Stories

SINGAPORE – At the National Museum’s newest exhibition, readers can relive the sights, appears and even smells of Singapore from the 1950s to these days via photos, artefacts, audio-visible footage and distinctive digital functions.

Plonk your self in an armchair and pay attention to an audio recording of veteran radio deejay Brian Richmond gush about the old times when doorways of houses had been “always open up” for neighbours to weave in and out of.

Or action into the scents station, the place the familiar aroma of fish head curry wafts by the air.

At a further region, stand in silent remembrance of the victims of the SilkAir Flight MI 185 crash in Palembang, Indonesia, on Dec 19, 1997. It claimed 104 lives, amongst them 46 Singaporeans.

The absolutely free exhibition, Property, Genuinely: Rising Up With Singapore, 1950s To The Current, opened on Dec 19 and runs until Aug 29.

It is organised in collaboration with The Straits Instances to mark the newspaper’s 175th anniversary, as nicely as conjointly with images market Photonico and Singapore Press Holdings.

There are 5 most important themes, with the closing chapter addressing the coronavirus pandemic.

On exhibit are extra than 200 pictures contributed by the Nationwide Museum, Countrywide Archives, ST and the public, as perfectly as about 80 artefacts from the Nationwide Heritage Board (NHB).

The museum experienced conversations with much more than 120 people today, such as members of the general public, on what dwelling indicates to them, and included them in elements this sort of as curation, conceptualising the narrative and picture selection.

One of the collaborators is Affiliate Professor Eugene Dairianathan from the Visible and Executing Arts Educational Team (Audio) at the Nationwide Institute of Instruction, who was approached to co-curate an interactive songs phase called A Singing Singapore.

Readers can enjoy 12 “distinctly Singapore” tracks from a jukebox.

“Tracks (can give) a sense of authenticity of position, house and time of lived experiences of house,” Prof Dairianathan says.

Members of the community use a “radio” which performs nostalgic music this sort of as House by Kit Chan. ST Photo: JOEL CHAN

Singapore Armed Forces officer and images enthusiast Alex Chua was tasked to seize the powering-the-scenes stories in overseas worker dormitories after Covid-19 spread there past year.

He was a group leader in the Ministry of Manpower’s Forward Assurance and Aid Groups (Quick) deployed to the dorms in April.

Four pictures taken by Mr Chua, 48 – of healthcare workers donning individual protecting products (PPE) for hrs when caring for the personnel – are showcased at the Dwelling, Really exhibition.

“They resonate with me incredibly substantially,” he says. “It is uncomfortable putting on the PPE and the frontliners are normally drenched in sweat when they clear away it at the close of the working day.”

A commemorative MRT ticket (previously mentioned) to mark the very first day of procedure on Nov 7 1987, a bus conductor’s ticket puncher and SBS bus tickets with values of 45, 60 and 80 cents. ST Picture: JOEL CHAN

For instance, he made a composite shot of Dr Stephanie Yap, a dentist who was component of the cell swab group – made up of images of her with and without PPE on.

“Her encounter and hair have been drenched in sweat, and she experienced deep line marks on her experience from her mask.

Other slices of Singapore history are also captured in images taken by ST.

Editor-in-chief Warren Fernandez claims the newspaper has been telling the story of Singapore – from its times as a British colony to Independence and over and above.

A father describes to his son what it suggests to serve National Services. ST Photograph: JOEL CHAN

“We have captured these in tales and also in visuals – pics, and now also progressively on movie. This showcase capabilities highlights of these endeavours in excess of the many years, and will be both equally nostalgic as properly as stirring and inspiring,” he suggests.

Veteran ST photojournalist Stephanie Yeow recollects her assignment in Palembang to protect the burial of the victims on Jan 19, 1998 – a thirty day period soon after the SilkAir crash.

“It was a quite quiet and sombre ceremony loaded with unique prayers and reflection,” states the 49-12 months-old, who saw loved ones throw flowers into the mass gravesite whilst some just stared blankly at the heartbreaking sight.

“It truly is hardly ever pleasant or straightforward covering disasters with mourning loved ones members. I felt a deep unhappiness.”

“Whenever I see images taken by my colleagues – past and current – it hardly ever fails to boost the importance of documenting the present, so we can go away a piece of visual historical past for potential generations.”

Ms Wong Hong Suen, NHB’s senior deputy director, curatorial and engagement, is heartened by the reaction to the exhibition so considerably – exactly where mom and dad and grandparents have been spotted exchanging lively discussions with their kids and grandchildren.

Partners and groups of good friends, much too, have engaged in animated conversations though viewing the artefacts and shots.

Ms Wong claims: “Technological know-how has been a good enabler for us to improve the visitor encounter and engage readers on different stages.”

Mr James Chia, and his wife Barbara, who are in their 40s, were being there with their two daughters aged nine and 11.

For Mr Chia, the chief government of ArcLab, an education and learning know-how get started-up, he was drawn to the nostalgia of the university tuckshop corner and one more section which featured the Kallang Roar, which he states united a era of Singaporeans.

“But our story is even now unfinished,” he provides. “We however have substantially to do, like to be much more tolerant of numerous views and be a lot more informed of the unsung heroes between us – as seen in the photographs exhibiting our Covid-19 heroes and migrant staff.

For Ms Julia Seah, a university student at Nanyang Technological University’s Faculty of Artwork, Design and Media, the this means of home altered for her just after staying associated in the museum’s Scholar Archivist programme, which collaborated with her school for the exhibition previously this yr.

“The exhibition definitely received me considering about what residence means to me,” states the 24-calendar year-aged, who provides that in the earlier, household was “where ever my family members is”.

“Fondness of a put grows more than time with the accumulation of shared experiences built with family members and buddies,” she says.

“Property is the place we feel safe, protected and joyful, and I am proud to contact Singapore my residence.”


House, Truly: Rising Up with Singapore, 1950s to the Existing is presented through five important themes centred on the metaphor of a dwelling put, made to be interactive by audio, video and protected touch screens.


The Housing series shows partly-demolished blocks at Boon Lay Push. ST Photo: JOEL CHAN

This portion explores how nation-constructing appeared and felt like to people today on the floor, via the laying down of crucial procedures in housing, economy, defence, healthcare and infrastructure.

It characteristics private accounts from individuals who lived by means of the country’s early several years as an impartial nation, via the situations they witnessed or the rites of passage they went as a result of.

Some of these initial-hand accounts ended up of going into a Housing Board flat for the very first time. Ladies who entered the workforce during the top of Singapore’s rapid industrialisation are also highlighted in this area.

The stories had been documented by secondary faculty students and undergraduates as element of the museum’s Scholar Archivist Undertaking 2020. This portion also capabilities a specially commissioned soundscape, A Day in the Everyday living of Singapore, which showcases distinct appears of folks, destinations and activities.

2. Shifting IN

Members of the public use a desk very similar to the kinds utilised in tuck shops. ST Picture: JOEL CHAN

This features some of the typical ordeals and memories that make a house a residence, these kinds of as heading to school, making the most of Singapore hawker food, or relaxing in recreational spaces.

Readers are invited to stage into immersive spaces that take them back to the comforting moments of celebrating festivities in their living space, or lounging by a jukebox featuring Singaporean tunes, both of those old and new, that have been section of the soundtrack of our decades of living and expanding up in Singapore.

There is also a Let’s Talk at the Tuckshop sitting down area, one particular of three chat corners in the exhibition, developed to let people to pause, reflect and reminisce.

3. Dwelling Together

The Residing Jointly series, which unpacks how Singaporeans have worked jointly to navigate and triumph over challenges faced when dwelling collectively in a shared house. ST Photograph: JOEL CHAN

This examines how Singaporeans have navigated the tensions and problems they faced when residing in shared areas, as persons settled into new households.

From various nationwide clarion calls this sort of as the 1968 Hold Singapore Cleanse and the 1979 Courtesy strategies, this area reveals how Singaporeans have worked with neighborhood leaders as a result of dialogues and initiatives.

4. Open up Doors Part

Members of the public see exhibitions underneath the Open up Doorways collection. ST Image: JOEL CHAN

Open Doorways can take a glance at how Singapore has been shaped by its immigrant and multicultural past via the tales of people today from different lands who have designed Singapore their residence around the decades.

Hear these tales as a result of online video interviews in a area at the exhibiton that is built to glimpse like an HDB void deck.

5. Durable By way of STORMS

A room for reflection that invites site visitors to add to a dwell collective reaction on what “residence” means to them. ST Image: JASON QUAH

The final part demonstrates how Singapore has stood united via crises and issues these types of as floods, the withdrawal of the British military services, economic crises and the Sars outbreak.

This segment also incorporates a special element on the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, with a show of art will work, images and artefacts, including contributions from the Countrywide Museum’s Gathering Present-day Singapore: Documenting Covid-19 in Singapore Open up Get in touch with.

Residence, Actually concludes with a room for reflection that invites people to contribute to a reside collective reaction on what “house” indicates to them by producing or drawing on a reaction card, and observing it projected on a monitor. Readers may possibly also opt for to react by using a exclusive recording system designed for the visually impaired.


The “clever cane” prototype is supported by philanthropic organisation Temasek Basis Cares. ST Photo: JASON QUAH

The museum is piloting an accessibility working experience in which visually impaired website visitors can embark on a journey through the museum applying a wise navigation “cane” and a internet-based mostly platform.

The pilot will start on Jan 21 with extra information to be launched in the coming weeks. It is the initial time a museum underneath the Countrywide Heritage Board (NHB) is employing this kind of a prototype to aid the visually impaired in going through an exhibition.

In conceptualising the exhibition encounter, the curators spoke to customers of the visually impaired neighborhood and labored with them to have an understanding of how to much better fulfill their demands.

Through the use of seems, scents and programmes that will be co-created with the neighborhood, Household, Actually will provide visually impaired site visitors an enhanced museum practical experience.

The “intelligent cane” prototype is supported by philanthropic organisation Temasek Basis Cares.

The cane was made jointly with Nanyang Polytechnic and Tutorial Pet dogs Singapore, and will carry on to be refined with normal responses from buyers to evaluate and explore its possible use for other exhibitions and NHB museums.

This knowledge for the visually impaired is supported by the museum’s volunteers such as its Care Facilitators who are properly trained to make certain greater accessibility for all people.

A member of the community participates in an interactive screen at the exhibition. ST Photo: JOEL CHAN


To retain site visitors protected through the pandemic even though they interact with the several stations, all website visitors will be offered a stylus pen with a radio-frequency identification (RFID) tag.

The stylus idea of the pen gets rid of the will need to touch any screens, even though the pens permit website visitors to set their ideas on paper for feed-back about the exhibition.

Guests can also use the radio frequency identification (RFID) tag connected to the stylus to reply to polls and quizzes. Subject areas contain willingness to provide nationwide service.

Upon “examining out” of the exhibition, website visitors will get an e-mail containing a specifically curated record of digital information dependent on their interactions with the distinctive sections.