UNDERSTANDING ASIA THROUGH SINGAPORE
The new galleries at the Asian Civilisations Museum use Singapore’s history as a port city as a means of understanding the interconnections between Asian cultures, and between Asia and the world. The new and refreshed permanent galleries will be arranged along broad themes highlighting cross-cultural connections, rather than segmented by geography or cultures.
Connecting the cultures of Asia
Trade and the Exchange of Ideas
- 9th-century exchanges: The Tang Shipwreck
- Southeast Asia as a trading hub
- Chinese porcelain, Southeast Asian ceramics, Indian textiles and furniture
- Global consumption of Asian luxuries
Faith and Belief
- Ancient Indian faiths
- Spread of Hinduism and Buddhism throughout Asia
- Christianity and Islam in Asia
Click on the various tabs to find out more about our new galleries.
HISTORY OF THE BUILDING
The original part of the building that now houses the Asian Civilisations Museum was completed in 1867. There were several additions to the building in the late 19th and early 20th century. It served as the colonial government offices, and housed numerous government departments, from customs to the legislative council, and until the 1980s, the Immigration Department. From 1989 until 1995, it served as the Empress Place Museum. The ACM moved into the building in 2003. After more than a decade, ACM is again renewing itself, adding to the rich history of its building.
ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN
The architecture of the ACM reflects Singapore’s own urban architecture – a mix of the old and the new; the colonial and the contemporary.
The two new wings add over 1,300 sqm to the ACM. Designed by GreenHilLi Pte Ltd, headed by architects Nigel Greenhill and Li Sau Kei, they bring light and space to the museum visitor experience, using warm-toned titanium and glass to create a look that contrasts yet complements the original neoclassical façade.
The Riverfront Wing of the Asian Civilisations Museum was awarded with an Honourable Mention in the SIA Architectural Design Awards in 2017.
BACKGROUND OF REVAMP
At the 2014 Committee of Supply Debate, it was announced that a $65 million package was to be dedicated to enhancing Singapore museums and cultural institutions. About $35 million was used to fund major revamps of the National Museum of Singapore and the Asian Civilisations Museum as part of Singapore’s 50th-anniversary celebrations this year.
In the third quarter of 2014, the ACM embarked on a comprehensive renewal of the museum, which includes new construction and reimagined galleries that will display objects in new ways. The expanded and refreshed galleries will enhance visitor experience and better share Singapore’s Asian heritage through the historical connections between cultures.