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Singapore 2014: National Museum of Singapore and Art Museum

Singapore 2014: National Museum of Singapore and Art Museum

National Museum of Singapore

The Museum is a short walk from Dhoby Ghaut. On a hot day, this seems to be a much further walk. Outside the museum there was a solar charging station with USB plugs for your phone. That was really cool.

There was an admission fee but it includes the art museum and also another museum nearby. There were parts of the museum that you can see for free. You can also hang out in the main foyer area (second picture) for free. There were many students here after their school ended for the day.

This museum was mostly had history of Singapore but was missing some parts right after WWII. It also had a few other collections, such as fashion, food, and photography.

The museum had multiple levels. You can start at the bottom, work your way up, and then take the audio tour back down to the basement. The tour is included with your admission and only accessible from the top floor.



I started in the basement. The first exhibit was the furthest from the escalator. The below exhibit was a projected video of people of different nationalities. You can walk around them and see them blink, scratch their face, etc. It was pretty cool.

The next room adjacent to the exhibit above showcased the changing times of the 1900s from cultural, political and social changes in Singapore. It briefly includes some information about the two world wars.

Next was a collection on the second floor. It was a fashion exhibit.


Below were just two pictures of the film gallery, showcasing Singapore film and their outfits.


Below is the view of the entrance from the second floor. It is a small entrance but it opens to a large foyer behind the gift shop. A water curtain greets you when you come in from the bright archway to the left.

Next on the second floor was a collection of food! I love food. You can learn about all the popular dishes and drinks here in these two rooms. It will also tell you where the dishes originated from.

Next was a collection of photography. The pictures also had videos describing a particular aspect of life in the early 1900s. I was watching a video about polygamy and how it was legal until it became illegal in the mid 1900s.

I finally made it up to the top floor and this is where the audio tour started. It is included with the paid admission. You get a giant 7″ tablet and you can watch videos and hear audio commentary and instructions throughout the tour.

The audio tour walks you through the history of Singapore. The first picture shows a rock with words of a very old language. Many people have tried to decipher it with no progress. This room holds other artifacts, such as utensils and jars. They speculate that they may have come from China as they are one of their main trading parnters.

In the next room, there was a video playing. I can’t remember what it was about.

Below is the picture of Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, a British Lieutenant Governor, who essentially founded the modern day (post 1800s) Singapore. Before his arrival in Singapore, there were only 1000 people living there. After he came to Singapore and started a trading port for the British Empire and left Major William Farquhar in charge of Singapore, more than 100000 people were living in Singapore.

Below is a Boston Bell, made in Boston and sent to Singapore!

In the same room, there were many different exhibits. There were too many to go through in this post, mostly because I couldn’t remember them all. Many of these exhibits deals with an aspect of life in the late 1800s to early 1900s, from trade to women’s education.


The tour was very good. It goes through a lot of history of Singapore, all the way up to the late 1900s. Too bad my tablet froze and I had to remove the velcro covering to restart the tablet. It also ran out of batteries as when it froze, it drained the battery. There is a power button on the back face of the tablet and you need to remove the cover to get to it.

Art museum

Most of it was ok. There was an exhibit on the top floor that blew my mind. The admission of this museum was included in the admission into the National Museum of Singapore. It was across the large street from the National Museum.


The art museum is in a few different wings of the building so you can easily go through the same hallways twice. It was a bit confusing to find all the exhibits as you would have to back track to get to some exhibits.


There were two large courtyards in the middle of the museum. I was trying to stay inside and much of the museum is inside and air conditioned.


Below was a side by side short film. They are related to each other and you find out why and how at the end. A very nice short film.


Below was art inside of the long archway. The lights you see at the end of the archway was the front door.


The next exhibit involved many pictures put up in a room with no titles or description. It would be up to the guests to write something and try to name and explain the piece of art. It was a really cool concept.



Next, it was an interactive post-it exhibit. There were pens and post-its and you can fill the wall with messages or anything you want.

On one side of this room shows the effects of deforestation. The other side of the room (second picture) is a pyramid of sorts that has statues and candles.


This next exhibit showcases the grueling conditions sugar was being produced in Singapore. This artist equates these sugar shells to blood diamonds as many people worked for little money in very hot conditions and during the hot summer months, there weren’t any work so some died. This exhibit helps demonstrate the plight of the farmers.


The next two pictures shows the upper level hallways. There is glass enclosing the hallway so it is air conditioned. Some of these glass panels can open so workers can get behind it and clean it. There were some open areas for classes to hold workshops in.


Next is a few pictures of different art collections on the second floor.


This next exhibit blew my mind. It was both a visual and audio experience. It was computerized so the images and colors change based on where you are and where you look, which is really creepy.

All images are projected onto a piece of glass so its completely transparent. Mirrors line the outside walls so it looks like the people go on forever. There are some pillars that are also covered with mirrors so be careful.

There were multiple fingerprints on the back wall, which shows that people were definitely feeling their way through the exhibit.


Here is my Instagram video of the exhibit. Too short to walk all the way around but still very cool.



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