From Our Director, Dr Alan Chong
Have you visited Singapore’s Museum of Asia?
Over the last 18 months, we’ve been working on new galleries to best feature our exquisite masterpieces. These beautiful objects, made for export, depict the seamless connection between Asian cultures, and between Asia and the world throughout history. Treasures uncovered from the Tang Shipwreck cargo were opened to the public in November last year. With two more galleries now open - Trade and Chinese Ceramics – our display of cross-cultural works of art, and the comprehensive collection of creamy white porcelain produced at the Dehua kilns, reflect how places and the people in them have never been static, and are constantly evolving to add richness and diversity of cultures in Singapore and around the world.
And, speaking of current landscapes, I recently received an interesting note from a young visitor. After carefully reading one of our object labels, he reminded us that in Greek mythology, Atlas is not a god, but rather a Titan. There is some debate as to what a god or a deity meant in ancient Greek, but technically this nine-year-old is correct, and we changed the label. What struck me about this is how obviously engaged he was while in the museum. Encounters like this renew my faith in the younger generation, and assure me that museums continue to have great value.
With our stunning new contemporary spaces, the museum is now a wonderful setting for adult afterhour programmes that promise to invigorate your museum experience with us. Come explore – let new wonders startle you, and relax by our new riverfront café, bar and restaurant. We promise enchantment in every way.
Tricks of the Trade
For thousands of years, goods have been trading around the world. Our new Trade Gallery presents a selection of marvellous objects – carved in ivory, finely worked of silver and gold, potted and glazed, woven and dyed, crafted from tortoiseshell and exotic woods – that tell stories of commerce and cultural exchanges through history.
Curator Clement Onn explains, “Precious luxuries and even everyday objects that travelled across continents and oceans are now on display in our Trade Gallery; they tell the story of how connections between peoples and places have influenced the development of religions, culture, ideas, and even cuisine – all spread across the globe via merchants who travelled the ancient trade routes on land and at sea.”
The Art and Technology of Chinese Ceramics
The museum's new gallery of Chinese Ceramics displays a fantastic variety, from earthenware pots made 2000 years ago for ritual burial in tombs, to some of the finest pieces destined for the emperor’s dining table. Chinese potters were endlessly creative in materials, shapes,styles, and colours, always adapting to trends and demands from customers around the world.
Conan Cheong, principal curator for this gallery, delights in a special display: “We’ve chosen to highlight our large collection of white porcelain made in the Dehua kilns of Fujian province in this gallery, and they tell a fascinating story. In the 17th and 18th centuries, Fujian experienced an economic revolution driven by overseas trade. Art and culture flourished in their prosperous port cities, and the Dehua kilns of southern China became famous all over the world for their finely sculpted porcelain figures.”
Christianity in Asia: Sacred Art and Visual Splendour
27 May to 11 September 2016
Following our exhibitions in recent years inspired by Buddhism, Islam, and Hinduism, the ACM now takes on Christianity. Christian art made in Asia shows influences of both East and West. For instance, Chinese artists took inspiration from images of the Buddhist Guanyin to depict the Christian Virgin Mary, which resulted in intriguingly hybrid images. And skilled carvers in Sri Lanka crafted Christian devotional images in ivory, for clients in Europe and Asia.
Featuring objects from museums and private collections in Portugal, France, Italy, Japan, the Philippines, Hong Kong, and Macau, this show is not to be missed. Most of the objects will be seen in Singapore for the first time. The ACM has been building its own collection of Asian Christian objects, and many of these will also be on display for the first time.
Recharge and Refresh
Starting this month, the museum will host an array of fitness and lifestyle programmes just for you! Kick start your day with boot camps or take a midweek art break with AfterHours@ACM and get your culture fix with wines and gourmet treats.
Art-ternoon Tea at ACM anyone?
Unleash your inner Picasso at Privé on the weekends from 2 to 6pm with our new Art Muse sessions. $45 gets you painting essentials and a delicious Art-ternoon Tea set so you can paint the stunning Singapore riverscape and wile away your weekend.
EMPRESS brings the flavours of overseas' Chinatown to you with our Chinatown Chow promotion in May. Discover the much talked-about (but seldom tasted) Moo Shu Pork, Egg Fu Young, General Tso's Chicken and more "exotic" specials. Museum visitors enjoy 10% off Chinatown Chow a la carte specials. Valet service now available from 6pm daily for restaurant guests!
Programmes may change at short notice.
Asian Civilisations Museum
1 Empress Place, Singapore 179555 | Tel: 63327798 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
By MRT: Raffles Place By Bus: 75,10, 107, 130, 131, 167
By Car: Parking is available at Parliament House. The Fullerton Hotel. One Fullerton. Six Battery Road.