Friday, June 10, 2016

A trip to the National Museum of Singapore with friends

walking towards the National Museum from Bras Basah MRT station via SMU exit
This June school holidays the boys deserved a break from all the studying/revisions in preparation for their national exams this coming 3rd and 4th terms. My parent volunteer group of friends arranged some museum visits over the duration of the holidays and we were glad we were able to join them last Wednesday.

It was our first visit to National Museum with the company of fellow parent volunteers/good friends and fellow Montfortians. Our family is not really a big fan of museums but I thought the boys would enjoy being with the company of friends learning and seeing new things together. And they did.

93 Stamford Road, Singapore 178897
Telephone#: (+65) 6332 3659
Opening Hours: 10am-7pm (last admission 630pm)
Admission Fees: 
  • FREE admission for Citizens, Permanent Residents and visitors 6 years and below. 
  • Others: Adults $10, Students and Seniors aged 60 and above with ID $5
  • Admission ticket includes Singapore History Gallery, Life in Singapore: The Past 100 Years Galleries, Goh Seng Choo Gallery and the special exhibition at the Stamford and Concourse Galleries.
  • Separate admission charges apply for Treasures of the World from the British Museum special exhibition.
  • For a limited time, for NTUC card holders admission to all exhibits is FREE.For updates on any ticket promotions, do visit the museum website.

The National Museum of Singapore is the country's oldest museum with a modern outlook. When some people think about boring as synonymous to museums, the National Museum explores multiple perspectives of history and cutting-edge presentations. It celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2012 and reopened after a three-year revamp. This is the place to go if you want to know more about Singapore's history - its redefining moments, challenges and achievements through the years.

The boys and I arrived earlier than the rest of the group so we decided to walk around the main lobby/Level 1. I loved this dramatic staircase and couldn't resist to have my photo taken.

this was also a good photo spot - representing British accents
felt like royalty sitting on this chair
the dome from the inside
When the others arrived, we went to the ticket booth to get our FREE tickets and stickers and went on our tour of the National Museum. First stop, Level 1: We Built A Nation: Stamford Gallery and Concourse Gallery.

Singapore celebrated its Golden Jubilee and this section of the museum is a place for reflection. Different exhibits of the contributions of the pioneer generation with interesting artefacts, pictures, documents and more. 
the signage leading to the galleries
Here's a sneak peak of some of the exhibits in the galleries:
one of the first exhibits in the gallery
Model Sailing Ship from the mid-20th century made with ivory, mother of pearl and wood.
This was presented to Mr Lee Kuan Yew by a Hokkien shopkeeper in Toa Payoh during his constituency visits between December 1962 to September 1963 after the Referendum on Merger with Malaysia.

Hon Sui Sen's Calculator (1970s)
One of the first calculators produced in the Hewlett Packard (HP) factory in Singapore.
A gift presented to then Minister of Finance.
a model of the Mr. Lee's residence at Oxley Road.
My friend Cynthia, whose grandparents used to live near this area, shared some stories of how it was like passing through the residence of the country's first Prime Minister.
who wouldn't recognize this?
The Red Ministerial Box was used by Lee Kuan Yew while he was in political office,
the symbol of his unwavering commitment to Singapore.
I remember watching the news and seeing this on tv in a show to honor Mr Lee.
From the Stamford Gallery, we headed further inside the museum past the staircase leading to the museum shop where the Singapore History Gallery was.
this looked really cool and the displays inside were amusing for the boys
radios from the olden days
the turntable caught Kelvin's attention
the jukebox
Ira: so how is this going to play music?
Pirates of the airwaves
Our boys experiencing how it was like to be a radio DJ

learning the script
pretending to talk to a caller
There is an activity corner where visitors can design their own LP and put them on display or bring them home. Our boys decided to take the kit to do at home.

From the Radio Days of the Past, we headed to the basement for the Treasures of the World exhibit from the British Museum. We were just in time for a guided tour which I think was very helpful and informative and educational. Hearing stories from the experts / Friends of Museums members is so much better than just reading the captions of the exhibits. There were so many stories/mysteries behind each artefact that mere captions could not do them justice.

The Treasures of the World exhibit holds artefacts from all over the world - "objects that tell stories of human experiences".

Here were some of our favorite exhibits:
Egyptian mummy: the cursed one
would you believe this was used in the ancient times to drink chocolate?
Trivia: Chocolate/cocoa beans were the last beans left by the gods.
Now I really must savor every bite of chocolate I eat.
Transformation Mask (Vancouver Island, Canada)
Used in a sacred initiation ceremony by the Nuu-Chah-nulth people in AD1890-1930
a bust of Roman Emperor Hadrian in the Tivoli residence
Trivia: this was created in detail that even the creases in his ear lobes were
captured well. It was said that the creased ear lobes were signs of heart disease.
a statue tablet in the middle east
Kelvin spotted this trivia board about the Philippine Eagle
Ivory Figure of St Joseph, produced in a workshop in Manila.
17th to 18th century when the Philippines was under Spanish occupation.
representation of Buddha as he did not want to be depicted as a human being
First representation of Buddha as a human being.
The heavy clothing shows Greco-Roman influence.
Cloth on the left hand as with Buddhist monks.
Binding of hair on top of head as in most Buddhist statues.

the last piece of our tour...
Woman's Cloth by Anatsui, AD2001.
Metal tapestry
After the Treasures of the World, we headed to the Singapore History Gallery as it was still raining outside. We decided we will have lunch when then rain stops just in time after the lunch crowd.

At the entrance of the Singapore History Gallery was this wall with a projection of a map drawn in the early years.
everyone thought we won't be seeing Singapore as it was just a small dot.
But there it was...
we also found the map of a part of the Philippines then
a big ship was a perfect photo op for the boys, but they were more interested
in how to go IN the ship
resting at this made up traditional shop
how small is this tank which was used during the Japanese occupation?
the bicycles used by the Japanese to invade Singapore by surprise
a door from the old Changi Prison
old currencies and passport copies
an old tv complete with opening and closing doors
old meets new...
an antique designed table with touch-screen features
Test your olfactory organs at this exhibit...
the smell of the old Singapore river as a contrast to the smell of the blooms of the Tembusu tree
This smelling station was the last exhibit we've visited before heading our for lunch at Pastamania in nearby SMU. We had to eat to pump up our energies after the first part of our museum tour.
the boys with their tummies full are striking a pose with the slabs of concrete in front of the museum
Part two of our museum tour was at Level 2 where the boys put their pedal powers into use.
this one was to blow up a balloon
this one was to power up a blender...
Blue juice anyone?
a must-stop, photo op before we went inside the remaining galleries..
How beautiful is this space?
our boys, from the tallest to the cutest
Here were some of the interesting exhibits at Life in Singapore: Voices of Singapore, Growing Up, Surviving Syonan and Modern Colony:
Kelvin seems to fit in this setting
the fashion of then
glamorous costumes
fancy footwear
ornate jewelry box
colorful gramophone
silver, silver everywhere
a sewing machine
this was used to milk feed babies, imagine that!
make that 2016
I can't resist to have my photo taken in this spiral staircase that leads to nowhere
the last, but definitely not the least, exhibit we saw at the museum this.
Sports trophies that come alive! See them for yourself.
It was an enlightening and entertaining day for all of us. The children saw for themselves what they were taught in school about history/social studies. Hands on or experiential learning is really the best way to grasp information/knowledge/facts better. Ira could still remember what the museum tour guide has discussed during our visit. And I also learned more than a thing or two about the history of Singapore. 

This museum deserves a second visit.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Feel free to leave your comments, as your questions, share parenting tips and tricks, a book title or two.


milestone moments | Desenvolvido por EMPORIUM DIGITAL