National Museum reopens permanent galleries, starts new exhibition on 'desire and danger'

The National Museum of Singapore.
The National Museum of Singapore.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Never-before-seen historical artefacts are among the sights that the public can expect next month, when the National Museum of Singapore (NMS) reopens its permanent galleries.

The permanent galleries, which were closed for almost a year for a revamp, will welcome visitors again on Sept 19.

They will be joined by the Goh Seng Choo Gallery, which will exhibit a rotating series of works from the William Farquhar Collection of Natural History Drawings.

The collection comprises 477 watercolour drawings by Farquhar, who managed Singapore as its first Resident from 1819 to 1823.

The gallery will open with the Desire and Danger exhibition, which will feature Farquhar's drawings of flora or fauna that possess aphrodisiacal or poisonous properties.

The drawings will be juxtaposed with actual specimens of their subjects, such as the rabbitfish and the breadflower, to explore the relationship between man and nature.

The permanent galleries, which are divided into the Singapore History Gallery and Life in Singapore: The Past 100 Years, chronicle Singapore's development and also take a closer look at everyday life during crucial periods in the nation's history.

They will include artefacts never displayed before, such as a washbasin previously owned by a couple in their 90s who used it during World War II.

The Singapore History Gallery also promises a more multi-sensory experience with the use of audio-visual multimedia and an interactive map, where visitors can submit their own stories.

NMS director Angelita Teo said: "At the heart of the revamp is a greater focus on creating personal and emotional connections with our visitors. We hope that by making the museum experience accessible and relevant, more visitors will be motivated to discover more about Singapore's history and heritage on their own after having visited us."

The galleries' opening weekend will be marked by free festivities on Sept 19 and 20, where visitors can take part in activities inside the galleries such as dressing up in vintage costume for photographs or eating kacang putih.