Bored at home? Tired of doing the same old thing during the holidays? Well, then maybe we’ve got a new hobby guide lined up just for you: why not try your hand at museum hopping?
Over the holidays we have been taste-testing the various museums across Singapore in search of something interesting to fill the days of our holiday week. Here are some of the museums we’ve visited and our take on it.
(Note: all the museums profiled are free for students; just flash your IC or EZ-link card and the receptionist will give your a sticker for which gives you access to all the exhibits in the following museums!)
Asian Civilisation Museum (5 minute walk from Raffles Place MRT Station (Exit H))
Approx. time required: 1.5 – 2 hours
The new exhibit at the Tang Shipwreck Gallery really captured our attention and scrutinizing all the ancient kitchenware was beyond fascinating. The other exhibits in ACM include the Ancient Religions gallery, Chinese Scholar gallery, China and India gallery, and many more. The ACM is a must-see museum to learn more about your culture and to understand where your ancestors came from as well as to appreciate the heritage of other cultures in Singapore.
Singapore Art Museum (Across the road from Bras Basah MRT Station)
The main museum is closed for renovation. But the 8Q museum just across the road is open for viewing!
Approx. time required: 0.5 – 1 hour
The President’s Young Talent exhibit is up and exhibiting amazing works of art by 5 different artists who have undergone mentoring. Each artist has their own gallery and have made full use of the space provided to tell their individual stories. One artist has a gallery on different materials, another about soil work, yet another about scars, another about surfaces, and the last, about our world. Each gallery is unique in its own way and it is strongly recommended that you visit the 8Q SAM to experience the exhibit on your own!
National Museum Singapore (10-15 minute walk from SAM)
Approx. time required: > 2 hours
Other than the essentials of the National Museum of Singapore, such as the History of Singapore, Japanese War and Singapore’s rise to Independence, there were other appealing exhibits such as the Polaroid exhibit, Story of the Forest and Magic and Menace. The Polaroid exhibit was eye-opening as we got to learn about how a polaroid comes about, and got a look at the many aesthetic polaroids the museum has to offer. Moreover, when we entered on of the interactive exhibits, all we saw was a white screen. We knew that there was a video playing as we could hear the sound, but we could not see the video. However, one we put on the pair of glasses, the video came to life. The screen was no longer white, but filled with colour. It was fascinating! Story of the Forest was a breathtaking exhibit and the computer graphics were nothing short of unbelievable, so all graphics fans should really take this opportunity to get a peek. The National Museum of Singapore was one that left us in awe and it was a spectacular museum.
Peranakan Museum (10 minute walk from City Hall MRT station)
(Quite far from the MRT station and with the heavy construction around the museum, it took us even longer to find it)
Approx. time required: 1.5 – 2 hours
It was not a big museum, but it was definitely unique in its own ways. (However, i would strongly recommend going in a group of 4 or more as this museum is slightly creepy due to the emptiness of the museum) This was a 3 storey museum and each level of the museum told its own story about the Peranakans in Singapore. The first level gave a brief introduction on the how the Peranakans came to Singapore. The second level was about traditional Peranakan marriage. There were big layouts of how a typical couple room looked like which really aided our understanding of the way a traditional Peranakan house looked. The third level included exhibits on the traditional Peranakan food, kitchenware, religion as well as their notion of death (which did get quite scary). In addition, the new exhibit, Amek Gambar, told the story of Peranakans and Photography and displayed the timeline from black and white films to coloured photos. All in all, this museum was overwhelming and it really connected with my 5 senses. On a side note, there were a lot of gold in the museum, so bling bling, keep your eyes peeled!
We hope you will have fun visiting these museums and learn a thing or two about the different cultures and heritage of various Singaporeans and the history behind what makes Singapore such a diverse but flourishing country today!