Thursday, December 5, 2013

Images of Singapore

 R and I visited Images of Singapore with some friends a few months ago. This museum, located on Sentosa, displays the history and culture of Singapore with "multi-media displays, multi-screen theatre presentations and lifesize tableaus depicting major events in Singapore's history". It's kind of a re-imagining of the museum as theme park attraction. In addition to history, the museum also showcases festivals and cultural practices from the different ethnicities that make up Singapore's population.
They have an old-fashioned bicycle delivery cart outside the museum that R enjoyed climbing
It's somewhat successful: I enjoyed seeing many of the displays, especially the section on children's games. It does give a useful brief introduction to Singapore's history (albeit the government-approved, heavily edited one). And it is a great place to take children, especially ones slightly older than R (who still enjoyed her visit thoroughly).
R checking out the different peoples of Singapore signing a treaty
Singapore as a port city, with multi-ethnic population
Traditional life scene (kids are playing capteh)
The downsides: most of the exhibits are of the diorama-with-lifesize-wax-dummies variety (which can get old/creepy after a while). The choice to up the "entertainment" factor in the museum has meant that a lot of the content has suffered: in other words, it's been dumbed down/simplified/omitted. This may have been intentional, however, as the museum is government-run and free speech is not an important value here, especially when it comes to discussing historical facts. And maintenance of the exhibits was not perfect (a problem at most technology-heavy museums I have visited worldwide, to be fair).
R and her friend especially liked the firewalking display (which is done annually here for certain Hindu festivals)
Chinese opera display: so colorful!
Overall, it's not a bad way to spend a couple hours if you are already in Sentosa, especially because the museum is all indoors/air conditioned, and can thus serve as a safe haven from the weather. It's probably not worth a special trip, though (unless you are a museum completist like me).

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