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This 1910 building evokes the serenity of its era in its arched verandas, balanced symmetry, and dignified proportions fashionable in 19th-century England. A Sri Lankan figurine of Buddha, Islamic art and calligraphy, South-east Asian tribal wood carvings and other ethnographic collections trace Singapore's diverse cultural and religious origins to all over Asia. The Asian Civilisations Museum, however, leans heavily towards Chinese cultural heritage, with two-thirds of the galleries focusing on artifacts from China, with jade, ceramics, bronzes, and folk art, dating from the Neolithic Age to the 20th century.
Few new cultures are as distinctive and rich as that of the Peranakan (Straits Chinese). Deeply entrenched in the glory of ancient women and traditional folklore, this resplendent museum hearkens back to the heyday of the rich Peranakan culture. A reproduction of a Peranakan house of the early 20th century, the Peranakan Museum lends stirring insights into the vibrant and resonant nuances of this very culture. Chinese, Malay and, to a lesser extent, European influences are evident in the clothes, architecture and lavish furnishings, highlighting the affluent lifestyle of the Peranakans. Many treasured artifacts, ceramics and collections from the 17th-century Qing dynasty porcelain and intricate beaded embroidery are fine examples of the heritage of this unique culture. Elaborate and insightful, the museum shelters a thematic representation of the lives and times of the Peranakan people across a multitude of galleries.
Trace the events that have shaped Singapore from the 14th Century right up to the present day at the National Museum of Singapore. Discover the rich heritage of its people, their ancestral roots, ethnic and religious diversity and past struggle for nationhood through dioramas, artifacts and an intriguing 3D show. The 14-century Javanese gold jewelry on display hints at Singapore's glorious past. In addition to exhibits, the museum also screens a variety of movies that are woven into a theme of culture, history and heritage.
Occupying a Roman classical building, the Singapore Art Museum features modern and contemporary paintings, sculptures and installations from Southeast Asia. With state-of-the-art galleries, it boasts a permanent collection of nearly 7000 artworks by established and pioneering artists. Visitors can also access digital images of works from public institutions and private collections all over the region. Art aficionados visiting Singapore, simply cannot miss this gallery. Singapore Art Museum also has exhibits for children.
Singapore Coins and Notes Museum is the only one-of-its-kind in the nation and is a venture of the Singapore Mint. Nestled in an old chophouse, it is spread across two floors with various themed rooms. Opened in 2009, it gives you a glimpse into the world of currency exchange from the colonial era till present. Check out their exhibits of rare coins, foreign currencies, notes and objects. While their interactive activities will make you happy with excitement. Make your own souvenir on a vintage press machine or buy memorabilia and medallions from their gift shop.
National Library of Singapore has plenty of books in various languages, including Malay and Chinese. There are also tours and seminars of the library that are available to the public. To learn more about special events, please check the website for more information.
A museum dedicated to recognizing the role of Malay soldiers in defending Singapore in WWII, Reflections at Bukit Chandu offers a more personal insight into the war. Highlighting the experiences of the soldiers who were part of the fiercely-fought hand-to-hand battle on Bukit Chandu which pitted an outnumbered Malay regiment against the Japanese forces, this interactive museum uses a wide range of mediums like videos and original recordings to remind visitors of the emotional fabric that enveloped WWII. Stroll the grounds outside and pause at the pillars of reflections, erected in remembrance of the soldiers who fought and died on the very soil that the museum stands on today.
This small museum charts the development of Singapore Air Force from its inception in 1939, when it was first called the Malayan Volunteer Air Force. A vast collection of aeronautical and military paraphernalia is on display, from colonial cap badges to helmets and missiles. Some aircraft are also showcased, including early planes like the Hunter Hawker and the A4-C Skyhawk. A must for war relic enthusiasts, the museum comes recommended for families who have arrived in Singapore with curious little ones.