Parliament: Requests to extend Bicentennial Experience exhibition at Fort Canning being reviewed

The Bicentennial Experience is an interactive exhibition showcasing 700 years of Singapore history, put together by its creative directors Beatrice Chia-Richmond and Michael Chiang.
The Bicentennial Experience is an interactive exhibition showcasing 700 years of Singapore history, put together by its creative directors Beatrice Chia-Richmond and Michael Chiang.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The Singapore Bicentennial Office (SBO) will study different options to retain key elements of the nation's Bicentennial year, including the Bicentennial Experience exhibition.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Indranee Rajah told Parliament on Tuesday (Aug 6) that these elements include the exhibition, community showcases and publications, and said the SBO would share its plans "in due course".

She was responding to Mr Christopher de Souza (Holland-Bukit Timah GRC), who had asked if the exhibition could be extended to the end of next year or even made permanent.

The exhibition at Fort Canning Centre currently ends on Sept 15.

The SBO has received many such requests since the exhibition opened in June, Ms Indranee said, adding that it is reviewing them.

"Visitors felt that more Singaporeans and especially the young should enjoy it. Some have even called for the Experience to be made permanent so that visitors to Singapore and new citizens as well as future generations of Singaporeans can be educated on our history," she said.

Ms Indranee, who is also Second Minister for Finance and Education, noted that there are several issues to consider, including additional costs and technical implications of extending the exhibition.

 
 
 
 

"We also need to find the right format if we were to make the Experience permanent, as it was never designed as such," she added.

Mr De Souza asked if the exhibition could be updated at the nation's major milestones, for example when Singapore celebrates its 60th birthday in 2025.

He also suggested that an additional interactive survey be added to the exhibition for visitors to indicate what they think the country's priorities should be for the future.

Ms Indranee said the SBO would consider both of his suggestions.

The Bicentennial Experience is an interactive exhibition showcasing 700 years of Singapore history, put together by its creative directors Beatrice Chia-Richmond and Michael Chiang.

The exhibition has seen over 300,000 visitors so far, with the 400,000th expected in early September, Ms Indranee said, adding that over 95 per cent of visitors surveyed have rated it positively or very positively.